Challenging Negative Behaviour

July 13th, 2010 by Martin Smith Leave a reply »

Challenging negative behaviour

It is always difficult to tackle negative behaviour in a positive way that corrects the issue without causing resentment and / or damage to the relationship.

The BIFF model is one of the simplest and most effective ways of guiding your approach to the situation that I have come across.

B  ehaviour

What is it they are doing that is causing the problem? Present facts in order to reduce the risk of conflict. Be specific about the behaviour that you are seeing or experiencing from them.

e.g. “You have been more than 10 minutes late on three days occasions this week”.

I  mpact

What impact is their behaviour having? Again, present facts to reduce the risk of conflict and again be specific about how their behaviour is impacting you, the team, the organisation or your customers.

e.g. “Whenever you are late someone else has to cover your position and this means they are diverted from getting on with their own work”.

F eelings

Express how this makes you feel i.e. angry, sad, frustrated, etc. We can all relate to feelings more than their cause so they are a powerful way to give some ‘scale’ to the problem.

e.g. “This make me feel disappointed with you”.

F uture

Open the discussion on what changes are to be made. This is the start of 2-way discussion. Stick to the facts laid out in the BIFF steps to prevent denial or reasoning of the situation.

To keep on track and achieve a successful conclusion, have an ideal and fall back outcome in mind, but be prepared to be supporting where appropriate.

Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a specialist consultancy working with leaders at all levels to improve their relationships with the people that they interact with both internally and externally to the company. We work with organisations, teams and individuals to identify how they can get the best from their people. We have experience spanning diverse industries and encompassing sectors such as engineering, design, customer service, finance, supply chain, sales and procurement.


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  1. Arie Baca says:

    Salut!, This article is high-quality and so is the way the issue was discussed. I like many of the responses as well although I would suggest we all stay on the suject to increase benefit for the message. It will likely be also encouraging to the one particular who penned it down if all of us could create mention of it (for many of us who use bookmarking services for instance a reddit, twitter,..). Thanks again.

  2. Deloras Waver says:

    Funny I was discussing with a buddy about this just the other day, we ought to share the similar views. I hope it’s ok I added your web site to several of my bookmark lists?

  3. Anonymous says:

    lol, nice article friend!. I was reminded of my friends about it, maybe I’ll tell her this blog, and some other friends.

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