I have had to reprimand an employee for behaving rudely to a co-worker. I told him that he has to behave respectively toward the co-worker from now on, without exception. He is upset because he says I have no right to tell him what to think and that he will never respect this co-worker. I don’t know where to go with this now.
— Stuck Supervisor
You just took a weasel. If you do not know what I am talking about, read “Take No Weasels.”
Here’s how you took a weasel. You told your employee to behave a certain way in the future. Your employee then wanted to focus on his private opinions. That’s totally unrelated to what you were talking about. That’s why it’s a weasel and you took it.
When your employee said that you have no right to tell him what to think, you should have told him that he is right. You should then have clarified that you do not care what he thinks and he may think anything he wants as far as you are concerned. Anything. You then should bring the conversation back to your agenda. Tell him that you are talking about what he does and what he will do (and not do) at work in the future. In the future, he has to behave in a respectful manner whether or not he respects the other person.
No more weasel.