Take people seriously.
Provide privacy and
confidentiality within the guidelines of your corporate policy.
Follow the "need to know" rule, i.e. who else needs to know about a situation when presented.
Ask the person to describe the concerns in
detail and to provide information that will help you understand the nature, timeframe, longevity, and context of the situation.
Take notes. Include date, time, sequence of details, location of discussion,
who else was present, clarification of the attitude of the person discussing the concern.
Ask if the person has confided in any other person.
Ask if the person has taken any steps on their own to
impact the situation that is of concern to them.
Factor in sensitivities as to how the person may have, or not have taken steps to address their concern prior to, or after discussing the situation with you.
Ask what the person believes would be an effective resolution.
Be too casual or low key as to not appear sincere or serious.
Promise not to take action.
Laugh, giggle, or poke fun at concerns being expressed.
Belittle the person expressing the concern.
Swear, use foul language, or
Use language that expresses heightened emotion i.e. words like as disappointed, disillusioned, shameful, unbelievable, awful.
Explain someone else's behavior for them.
Delay or put off
having a discussion with a person if they tell you they want to talk about a "sensitive" matter. They may use coded language to tell you they have something they want to discuss. Understand that diverse
people have varied ways of approaching sensitive matters and internal politics can factor heavily into who discusses what with whom.
Use voice mail or e-mail to document and pass on sensitive employee
conversations (related to content) that follow a discussion about a conduct matter.
Wait until performance review discussions to address conduct issues.