How do you coach an employee who seems beyond help? Maybe the person is arrogant, is tactlessly blunt, or lacks empathy. Sometimes you actually can’t help them — but it may be that their behavior is misunderstood or misdiagnosed.
To make sure you have an accurate view of the person, check your assumptions and judgments. Look beyond the obvious symptoms and think about what might underlie their destructive behavior.
Observe patterns and notice when there are breaks in those patterns; these deviations can provide important clues. Consider, for example: Are there certain people this person works with especially well or poorly? Specific circumstances in which they shine or falter? Why is that the case?
And then come up with a broad range of ways to help the employee. Until you identify what’s really causing the problem, it’s hard to be sure about how to fix it.
Avoid one-size-fits-all approaches, and think through what the employee truly needs in order to improve.