ProAdmin2's Blog

July 22, 2009

Effectively Deal with a Reprimand

Filed under: Job Performance — proadmin2 @ 12:24 am

Maybe you were having a bad day or you were stressed about personal problems and you have consistently missed deadlines. Perhaps you are having conflict with a co-worker and the conversation you had with him or her got out of hand.  Whatever the case may be, your supervisor was required to issue you a disciplinary action.

It is difficult to deal with a disciplinary action, especially if you have exhibited a “clean” record. The following tips are ways to effectively deal with a disciplinary action.

Express Appreciation

It is important to be positive and acknowledge the fact that the supervisor is expressing their concern about your actions or behavior.  After you have been told the nature of the reprimand, politely thank the supervisor for bringing this matter to your attention. This is not admitting fault but only expressing appreciation for being told of the issue.

Ask for Suggestions or Recommendations

If applicable, ask the supervisor for suggestions or recommendations as to how you could have handled the situation differently and take notes. Taking notes is an indication that you are concerned about the problem and also notes aid in reflecting after the meeting to review and collect your thoughts when you are in a calmer state.

Feedback from You

If you are asked to make a comment in reference to the issue, think very carefully before answering.  Most likely you will be emotionally charged (angry, hurt, and betrayed); therefore, making a statement may have consequences.  Give yourself time to evaluate the situation. It will be easy to become defensive; however, keep your emotions in check. If you choose to refute the action or make a statement (in writing) to your supervisor at a later date, do so.  At that time, you will have better control of your emotions and will be able to think clearly and communicate more effectively. Remember to remain professional.

Do Your Homework

Become familiar with the company’s HR policies and employee handbook. If you have a union at your place of employment, read the policy on disciplinary action. If your company does not have a union, check with the HR department on policies and procedures for issuing reprimands.

A disciplinary action is an eye opener that indicates a request to modify or change a behavior. This is an opportunity for you to change your behavior before the mannerism escalates and further action is needed. Remain open and optimistic. Maintaining a professional and positive demeanor with your co-workers will be beneficial to your career and development.


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