How To Talk to the Employee Who Knows Everything

Have an employee who thinks they know everything? Their answers are always right. They dismiss the opinions of others. And they don’t want to collaborate because their way is the only way.

If this sounds familiar, it can be difficult to deal with, especially when you need this person to be open to feedback and gain new skills. So if you have a know-it-all on your team, how do you get them to listen? Here are some tips from the Kansas City recruiters at Morgan Hunter to help you:

Put yourself in their shoes.

Before you have a conversation with your employee, take a step back. When people act this way, it’s often out of a personal issue, a problem with confidence or a sense of arrogance. They’re not a bad person and might not even realize how their behavior is impacting others. So approach the situation with empathy rather than aggressiveness.

Deal with the problem head-on.

Have a face-to-face conversation with your employee. Explain to them specific ways in which their behavior is causing a problem. When they get defensive and come back with a quick retort, which they likely will, don’t be afraid to challenge them. Be ready with hard facts, examples and information on why their behavior needs to change.

Stay constructive.

Although know-it-all behavior is nothing short of annoying, don’t get angry with your employee. Keep the conversation constructive and make recommendations for steps to take forward. Perhaps this employee would be great in a leadership role, with the right training. But it’s up to you to clarify goals and help your employee understand and function better as a part of the team.

Be an example.

When it comes to the kind of behavior you want to see in your employee, make sure you’re leading by example and modeling that behavior. Communicate to them that it’s ok to not have the answer to every problem. Many times, the best solutions emerge from situations where everyone is contributing and being heard.

Whatever the outcome, don’t be afraid to confront the know-it-all. If you’ve noticed the problem behavior, then chances are, it’s already impacting morale on the team. It therefore needs to be dealt with swiftly before damage spreads.

Need help hiring smart, confident employees?

You don’t want a know-it-all. But you do want talented people. At Morgan Hunter, we can help you find them. As leading Kansas City recruiters, we can source, screen and vet high-quality candidates, all so you get an exceptional new hire. Contact us today to learn more.