I've copied a post below from another group.  It's not my post, but it really got me wondering what to do in this kind of situation.  I'd really like to get feedback from this group.

Thanks, Pat

Here is an interesting situation that I did not have to deal with in the past. I have an employee (Sr. manager level) with the following attributes:

- Very intelligent, smart, hard working and makes all deliverables

- Great knowledge of the product history as the product has been around 7+ years

- Knows customer deployments and can help resolve field issues quickly.

Lately, I have seen quite a few mood swings that can change her personality from an easy going person to one that is very upset and shouting at peers.

This is beginging to have impact in the workplace. Given all the positive attributes, I am looking for best way to discuss this topic and help the person and overall situation.


Given that we are a small company, we don't have formalized HR department. I would be interested in getting some ideas to approach this issue in the best possible way.


Mark's picture
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Are you not facing this situation yourself?

I don't answer hypotheticals, least of all copied posts from somewhere-else.


pbrazil's picture

It was posted this weekend on [email protected].

No, it's not my post.  TENG is Technology Executive Networking Group.

I responded (harshly, for which I apologized), with a reference to a mt podcast.

TNoxtort's picture

When I see something like it makes me think back to my peer counseling days. Give some clear feedback via their model, which includes talking about how it negatively affects the workplace and their standing in it. Ask them what they can do. You can inquire if there's a personal situation going on, and if so, refer them to the Employee Assistance Program.

I was just sharing with my boss the other day about the "amygdala". It's the fight/flight/freeze part of our brain that protects our life when it senses danger. It acts fast, faster than we can think. Since most things in life are not life threatening, that means it can cause us to take actions that are not in our long term best interests. On the other hand, it may cause us to suppress feelings that still control us, and guide us at the wrong times. The amygdala conditioning is developed in childhood - if it is overactive, then counseling, inner work, or whatever, is needed to let one's cerebral brain take over and do the smart thing. Perhaps she's got a situation at home that is creating a lot of suppressed negative feelings. A one on one may reveal that, and you can refer to appropriate resources.

adrianlh's picture

Follow the feedback model - do you have a moment..., when you...., here's what...., what can you do?  I cannot recommend loudly enough that you stay away from words that describe their emotions like: angry, upset or mad.  Stick with what the person actually did or said: do not guess at their motivation and do not tell them they are moody or negative.  If you get locked into an debate about how the employee feels or their state of mind you will lose every time.  Also be ready to do this a few times: if the employee refutes the behavior occured be ready to walk away on the first time and not give the adjusting feedback.  If the poor behavior persists your feedback switches from their negative impact on the team to feedback on their inability to change.  This then becomes an issue between you and the person in question: a more narrow and hopefully less emotionally charged situation.