PCO in the Know

Allowing is Approving —

A key to being a successful and effective manager is to have “difficult conversations” with staff.  When these are continually avoided a manager is no longer effective and many things fall under the adage “Whatever you allow, you approve.” These conversations are better termed as “necessary” to destigmatize them.

Here is a simple example of how this works. During the Covid time, we all had to manage on a day-to-day basis as we had no idea what was next. One area which I let slide was the office dress code; this morphed into soccer pants and t-shirts for some of my office staff. After we eased back into normal—working in the office space—the dress code stayed at this level of casual weekend wear.

I met with each office person individually and let them know we needed to get back on track toward more professional attire. This required brief conversations where I acknowledged the chain of events and asked for cooperation. I held most of these discussions outside my office, even some standing in the parking lot or in the warehouse. Had I chosen to use the dreaded group email or covered collectively in a meeting, it would likely not have gone as well.

This is an easy example of how to have necessary conversations and be effective as a leader.  The 3 steps to a necessary conversation are simple:

  • State unemotionally what you perceive as the behavior you want to change
  • Have the employee’s perception of how they see it
  • Agree on what is the next step

Some easy Don’ts and Do’s

Don’t agendize (not fair)

Don’t persecute (demoralizing)

Don’t homilize (redundant and annoying)

Don’t get personal

Do thank the employee for their cooperation and their contribution to the team.

This all falls under management 101 and will help make you an effective and respected leader.


Bob Williamson

Pest & Lawn Director, Cetane Associates

August 2023

PCO in the Know | Blog #2

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We were very pleased to have such a knowledgeable and experienced company in our corner with the team at Cetane. It was obvious that they knew the best process and how to get the ball over the goal line. Their advice throughout the process was greatly appreciated and we thoroughly enjoyed working with them.

— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT