I sometimes get calls from employers who are frustrated and ready to replace their helpers. On a recent phone call, the employer ended with "Afterall, both parties have to want to change, before things can get better." Right? Well, read on ...
It doesn't matter if you are employer or employee, husband or wife, parent or child -- you have the power to change your relationships, to make them better. The key is: You yourself have to change! I know you are thinking, "I'm not the one who needs to change." "I'm the boss, she should change, not me." Look at it this way: If you are the boss, then you are the leader. You should set the tone, set the example. You are the powerful one. Change your world, by changing yourself.
Have you ever played one of those games where everyone crisscrosses their hands and then has to try to untangle themselves into a circle without breaking contact? We are connected to each other. If I try to change you, it won't work. You will feel belittled, dis-respected and resentful. BUT, if I change myself, the way I treat you, the way I react to your bad behavior, etc., I WILL EFFECT YOU. We cannot directly change others, but we can indirectly effect or change them by changing ourselves.
To put it another way: it's like math. 5+5=10. But what if I become an 8? 8 + ? = 10. People around us automatically adjust to changes in us. It's like dancing, change the way you lead, and your partner will eventually change too. (Of course, they may step on your feet a few times in the process of learning the new dance.)
Why not try an experiment? Read my article on "How to give feedback without becoming a nag" Change the way you give feedback to your employee. Follow the guidelines strictly, and avoid all questions like "Why did you ....?" which are "blame questions", and focus on the event, the outcome, and the change you would like to see. Try it for 30 days, and see if your relationship doesn't improve. You may also want to try it with your spouse, and kids.
Let me know how it goes, won't you?