From one of my readers in asking them how a coaching session went with a “Steamroller” employee:

Well, it went! I can tell you I got her attention. I showed her the notes that I took from the session recording – pretty much verbatim – as you explained the characteristics of a “steamroller.” I was careful to tell her that I wasn’t “labeling” her, but that when I attended the session and you described the steamroller, I thought of her. She said she didn’t want to be seen as a steamroller, nor was she aware of being perceived as described in your session.

I’m sending her the session recording today along with the handouts from your session. Awareness is the first step, right? I told her that I was going to call it to her attention whenever I was aware of her steamrolling someone or when I felt she was steamrolling someone in an email. She was open to this. Unfortunately, she is in our southeast office, but I do have frequent phone interaction with her.

Later in the day after she’d had some time to reflect on our meeting, there was some rationalizing and denial. When she started down that road, I told her rather than looking back to concentrate going forward. She said she needed to rationalize past experiences in order to fully understand. I said, OK, but we need to give it some space, that we’d talked it to death for today. So, I put an end to that!

Only time will tell. Unfortunately, the leadership in the other office wouldn’t belly up to the bar with me. They said, “Oh, we don’t see it.” I told the Office Manager that since the partners don’t see it, I’m certain that she can adjust her behavior for subordinates/peers as she does for the leaders!

It was a long day – I flew out of town, had the review and the discussion about being nice to people and what that looked like, flew home. Days like that are emotionally draining, especially when there’s no support from the leadership in the office. But I’m tough! I know in my heart of hearts that I was honest with her, but yet was compassionate. I told her we’re all human, none of us are perfect, and I’m sure she’d like to change some things about me. I even suggested that once she listens to the recording that she let me know if she sees me as one of the “toxic people” you describe. Tried to even the playing field a bit, not sure if that was good or not, but it felt right.

Further, I called her this morning to check on her, so to speak. We have exchanged calls, but I will touch base with her before end of day.

Probably more than you wanted to know, but I think the tools you are providing are really good. Many thanks.

From Marsha: No I love the detail. Your approach was wonderful.

For the future, here are some suggestions:
Ask the leadership before you make an approach on anyone if it would be helpful for them to have employees more productive. Of course they will say yes – then you back in to your approach on whatever the issue is. Often times I have found, leaders don’t want to upset the applecart!

Then on your approach with the person, identify what you learned from the session, book, etc. then apply it to them. Sometimes that makes the information easier for them to accept.

Anyway – you did a great job! Congratulations!!!! Keep me posted. Marsha

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  1. […] level skill. Work harder and smarter. Keep a list of the all the skills you have. Without being a Steamroller or a Know it All let it be known what you are capable of accomplishing. Volunteer to cross train […]

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