WHEN you have to deal with one of your team who is complaining to you, don't allow negative feelings to dominate your responses.

Instead, try to see the situation from your team member's point of view. You don't necessarily have to agree with him but perhaps you will be able to empathise with his situation.

The successful manager thinks about the people he has to deal with, is sensitive to how they see things and knows that they might think differently than he does.

Let me give you an example. I have always been scrupulous about good timekeeping; it's something that's been programmed into my brain. If you agree to meet me at 8.30 in the morning, I'll be there at 8.20; I will always do my utmost to be on time.

Naturally, I used to get angry when a member of my team would show up late for a meeting or an appointment with me. When I got angry, I would get stressed and end up saying something that I regretted later.

Therefore, I learned to start thinking about the situation and tried to see it from my colleague's point of view. I decided not to let my programming run my brain.

That does not mean to say I ignored the lateness or did nothing about it. I thought very carefully about what I wanted to say and spoke to the team member about how we would resolve this situation.

The point I want to make is that I am not prepared to allow that team member's behaviour to dominate my mind. Getting angry and stressed is not good for your health and it isn't a productive way to motivate your team.

We all see the world in a different way, based on our culture and how we were brought up. It is very important to understand this, particularly when you give your people feedback, be it good or bad.

Last year, I spent several weeks in a particular hotel running seminars and I started to get to know some of the staff. One day, I noticed that Carol the conference manager had been named employee of the month and her photograph was displayed in the reception area.

When I congratulated her on this honour, I was a bit surprised at her reaction. "I hate it, I'm so embarrassed," she complained.

Carol didn't like the attention she was getting, and as a result, this recognition by her manager didn't motivate her. Another member of her team could possibly react completely differently and regard it as a great honour.

If you have good rapport with your team members, then you become sensitive to how they see things. The successful business person understands each member of his team and doesn't reward everyone in the same way.

I have often heard managers say, "I treat people the way I expect to be treated". The successful manager says: "I treat people the way they expect to be treated."