Supervisory Leadership

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How do you handle tattletales if you're the boss?

The first thing you have to do is document what the tattler brings you. I tell supervisors I train to sit the person down and take out either a clean sheet of paper or on the Incident Record Form that many of the folks who go through my program use.

You need to record the data, just like you would with an incident you witnessed yourself. Who was involved? What happened?

In fact, at this point you're documenting two incidents. One is the incident being reported to you. The other is the behavior of the tattler. I suggest to supervisors that they need to make two copies of their incident record form, one for the basic incident and one for the tattler.

You should make it clear to the tattler that you will take action if necessary on what you're told. But you should also tell him/her that in most cases their name will be shared.

That deals with the suck-up tattler, the one who's trying to get attention and look good to the boss. It also deals with the revenge tattler who's trying to hurt someone else. They don't want what they tell you to be on the record. They tend to back off or quit coming by so often.


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