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  • #2184615

    Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate


    by anyhelpwouldbegreat ·

    Ever so often I struggle to manage one of my people. I’ve just turned 30 and this person is in their mid 40’s. I’ve been her manager for just under a year, and started with the company as her manager, whereas she’s been here 5yrs.

    This person is loud and likes to try to trip me up (loudly), when she knows the office is an open one, where the conversations can be over heard. I do have regular meetings (weekly updates) away from the environment, but she just likes to try to prove she’s right about things that she so obviously isn?t, but because of the noise I back down, because I?m quite reserved, and basically not that kind of person.

    People try to look like they get on with her, and there is so much bitching about anyone and everyone you wouldn?t believe.

    The company has recently come to some trouble and recovered from Ch11. Her position/ team was moved elsewhere (the helpdesk) and she moved into desktop, being one of the few to stay.

    I’ve come from an IT background, am used to managing younger peers, and am highly educated, whereas her snippets are from experience on the job, although she misses so many obvious things that are staring her in the face.

    Often when I?m being nice, and mentor her it’s shrugged off and feelings of ‘I know that’ etc. It’s very hard to manage such a person.

    Does anyone have any thoughts?

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    • #3190198

      Follow the HR Process

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Depending on your HR process, it appears that this person can’t deal with a younger supervisor, no matter what her other issues may be.

      Call her in the office and officially reprimand her in writing on her behavior and place her on a performance/mentoring plan. Document everything.

      Unless you put it all in writing, it is a “he said/she said” situation and the judge gets to settle those. And usually the ruling won’t be in management’s favor.

      • #3190605

        Report to HR or next highest ranking person

        by schighway101 ·

        In reply to Follow the HR Process

        Document everything that has been said by you, and by the other person. Report to either HR or whoever you report to. Report the person. I am much older than you are and I’d be John Brown if I’d put up with that. Good luck.

        • #3050561

          Sometimes it doesn’t work if your HR is very unprofessional & bias!

          by love challenges ·

          In reply to Report to HR or next highest ranking person

          I was in the similar situation. My staff will tell me he’ll never break the rules or go against the security policy, but I caught him a few times doing just that – with solid proof! I spoke to him and each time he’ll give me plenty of excuses – From “don’t know” to “I think we shd make people happy!”.. “Why make our life so miserable??” and it never works… At last, I seek the help of our HR Mgr – unfortunately, our HR Mgr, being very bias & personal, simply gave me ‘Lip service’. On 1 hand, she advised me to give my staff verbal warning – which she’ll do but on the other hand, she just keep mum. Can you imagine the shock I got from her (1 year after I spoke to her twice to issue warning letter to my staff?) – she’d never spoke to my staff! She felt that my staff was great – always attending to her requests & was very prompt! And she ‘thought’ I was just sharing my unhappiness with her only … This just showed that even HR Mgr – though attended security training before, still do not understand what’s security and is very naive … ???
          Therefore, bottomline, if the people around you are not supportive and are naive, forget abt it, just carry on with your Mgr role…!

    • #3190167

      How would you react…

      by zen37 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      …If she was one of your younger peers?

      I would act the same way. Age is no reason to treat anyone differently. I totally agree that it does make it more difficult, but there is no reason why it should be handled differently.

      Good luck

      • #3190147

        Couldn’t agree more, sort of, mostly..

        by synthetic ·

        In reply to How would you react…

        Your comfort level, approach and expected response with a younger person might be a little different, and seemingly much more easily approached; however, that is still no reason to generally treat this person any different in response to the job. If you get into a habit with any employee of treating them differently based on age, race, etc than you risk alienating the other employees you mange. I am not saying that these things won’t influence approach, but in the end, each employee needs to know they will be treated fairly and consistently, no matter the mitigating issue. Better in the end to have it out with this individual, than to upset the positive sounding balance with all your other charges. As bflimflam said, follow the appropriate HR path and document everything! Good Luck

      • #3190636

        Eval Report

        by amtek ·

        In reply to How would you react…

        I assume that you HR has and Eval report on at least a yearly time frame. So I suggest you start documenting her job faults for the next report then
        inform her of the corrective actions she must take to remain as an employee most normal people pull their head in when they are under the gun.

      • #3189969

        I’ve managed older employees too, and

        by mary.a.dempster ·

        In reply to How would you react…

        would not have taken that kind of crap from any of them. Fortunately, I did not have too. If I was in your shoes, I would write up a warning, detailing everything that has happened. Call your HR person and go over it with them first to make sure everything is just right. Then sit down with her and explain the problem,and the process you are initiating with her because nothing else has worked. You are the manager and unless you come across as a leader, you will never get the respect and cooperation from this person you need to have a good department. The way I see it, she is trying to make you fail. Don’t let her.

        • #3176263

          Manage older employees

          by dcollins1 ·

          In reply to I’ve managed older employees too, and

          Sometimes a leader has to show how to lead by example
          I’m not about to give advice becauce I do not know you or her. But the best work place is a freindly work place. Maybe the person is scared! and is tring to show she is still useful and productive. But she doesn’t have the personal or professional ability to
          ask for help

        • #3176195


          by commonsensa ·

          In reply to Manage older employees

          Amcol, said it the best that it could be said, your are the manager,”PLEASE EXCUSE THE FRENCH@&* HERE” and sometimes it sucks but there is an old small story about the boss being an asshole. and it pretty much is the truth. But he can also earn respect, noone enjoys costing someone that job atleast noone I would consider worth a crap. But you are in charge and in that position you MUST be in control if the person is a problem then correct it, and use the means provided to you to do so, use HR and managing steps to document every step but you must either get control or give it up to this person. they will either change or you must send them on thier way, if your other team members see that you gave her a chance then they will see a fair deal, you get thier respect and either a good emply from her or a team that sees you will do what is needed to get the job done. as it was said either way you win. Just remember respect is earned, newver demanded. But as a leader you MUST do what has to be done for the greater good, in this case the team and the companies goals.

        • #3186357

          Is that the situation though?

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to Kudo’s

          I get the feeling that this person has earned the respect of his peers because he has been working the post for the amount of time that he has. I think this woman whovever she is is simply believing she is better than he is and that means if he changes his attitude too much and too forcefully, could lose that.

          Sorry but I think the answer you have given would more than likely lead to a confrontation which wold make the prospect of a more comfortable working environment even more difficult to attain.

        • #3182415


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Is that the situation though?

          Actually it was never said her peers had her respect. What was said is that they act like they try to get on with her and that there is quite a bit of bitching going on. That sounds to me as if her peers tolerate her more than anything. Whatever is happening, something does need to be done in that department.

        • #3182130

          Sorry! Badly worded!

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to Respect

          I was actually talking about the author having the respect. In all respects of the scenario it would seem she is the cause of the bickering that is mentioned.

          It must be said though: The more I read of the threads posted here, the more I am inclined to believe she should be sacked and let that be the end of it.

        • #3196269

          Resolving Workplace Disputes

          by lfuhrmann ·

          In reply to Is that the situation though?

          I recommend having a Conflict Resolution Specialist mediate between the supervisor and the individual. A collaborative solution is always a better and longer lasting solution.

        • #3196309

          Oh not again

          by baal ·

          In reply to Resolving Workplace Disputes

          Is it any wonder IT ‘Managers’ are not seen as actual ‘Managers’ by their peers. Why must the solution always be along the lines of reprimand, sack or hand the problem to HR? This person however obnoxious she appears obviously either has friends higher up the ladder or has proved she can make a valuable contribution to the company (thats why shes still there. She ‘had’ a comfort zone (5 years) but that has been disrupted by change of role and change of Manager. You should sit down with her (and not hidden away in a private room) and acknowledge to her that you both seem to have got off on the wrong foot. Acknowledge that she has great value to you (she has 5 years company exp)and explain that you have found it difficult to draw on her expertise in company related instances because ‘you’ believe that your approach is misinterpreted. ‘Ask’ her what you can do to repair the situation and reach a compromise. Have a similar meeting (individually tailored) with each of your department members, then have a full team meeting and explain that you have now listened to and accepted everyones input to how the department can work better together. Explain that above all else you are all professionals and the dept must be seen as prof by all other employees of the company. You believe that by presenting a solid team approach and supporting one another the dept can move forward and show the rest of the company that above all else the IT dept is a professional team. Then tell them that you are going to appoint a team captain position which each person will have a chance to wear the cap. Each week the Team capt is appointed in turn (either alphabeticaly or similar that gives your ‘obnoxious’ employee third shot at the role – never first or last) the capt has the responsibility of maintaining morale and sorting out tasks etc for their week. Each other member gets a turn to vote on how they did at the end of the week. When every member has been in the role a team meeting can be called where each one tells of their experience and the others can give their verdict on how they did. Eventually all staff members will be aware of each others ‘people’ skills or failings. After nearly 30 years of doing this I can honestly say I have always (yes always) ended up with the best team I could have asked for – Remember ‘Everyone’ has a value you just have to let them show it.

        • #3051695


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Resolving Workplace Disputes

          By bringing in a Conflict Resolution Specialist, the manager is essentially stating that she has failed and cannot handle the situation. Bringing in a specialist is an option, but it should be the last option when all else has failed. Even in a last effort situation, I’m not particulary keen on bringing in someone else to resolve personnel problem especially when it sounds as if it’s a one on one issue. If the managers whole department were revolting then I’d be more amenable. I believe that professionals understand the heirarchy and the lines of authority. A professional accepts their place within that heirarchy. Based on that, if the situation came to the point of needing to bring in a specialist, I would probably be more incline to dismiss the employee before I payed someone to do what I haven’t been able to do. Of course if the manager is the problem, that is an issue her bosses need to look at and apply the same philosophy. As has been mentioned we don’t know all of the details and one poster astutely noted that we’re only hearing one side of the story. The manager needs to use all the tools at her disposal to resolve this, including seeking advice from other more seasoned managers, her supervisors, HR, etc. We don’t know that there is a conflict. We only know that the manager has a problem with this individual.

        • #3051691

          Reply to Baal

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Resolving Workplace Disputes

          You’ve reached a lot of conslusions about why this employee is acting the way she is that have never been stated by the original poster. There have been a wide range of recommendations posted including talking with the employee to get to the root of the problem. In fact most of the more well thought out post included counseling (talking if you want to play symantics). Most of the more well thought out post only recommend firing, reprimanding, etc after trying other less severe alternatives first. Firing is a tool at the disposal of a manager. Whether we like it or not, there are times when this tool must be used for the overall good of the organization. And, just for the record, I’m not terribly concerned about how my peers view my status. My employer pays me to do a job and I’m going to do that job to the best of my ability. What my peers think is inconsequential. What my boss’ think, not that is something to be concerned about.

        • #3185552


          by srini_soma ·

          In reply to Manage older employees

          I would say – first step should be to sit down with her and discuss what’s her problems. If you find the problem is only with the attitude, you may have to plan for second disucssion with HR with/ without you. It’s possible she can bring up some concerns to your HR. That would help you to correct if anything missing from yourside.

          Definitely there is no use in following her voice level and to fight with her. There won’t be any difference if you do so.

        • #3182420


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Manage older employees

          This employee has been there for 5+ years, 4+ more than the manager. At this point one would think that she knew her worth. Even if you’re right and she doesn’t her approach is still a problem. At 40+ years of age and obvious experience in the work force I would think that she would know how to conduct herself in the workplace. Holding her hand is not going to make this problem go away. Leaders lead and managers manage. Personally, had it been me, after this happened one time, I would have explained in no uncertain terms where she fits into the heirarchy and what’s expected of her in that role. If it happened again after that, it would have been clear that she had no respect for the position I hold. It doesn’t matter if she respects me or not. Ultimately, we’re not paid to win popularity contest even though as you stated a friendly work environment is preferred. In any case after the second occurance, the issue would have been dealt with accordingly. I have a reserved personality also, however, if I’m in a position to lead, manager, and supervise, my employer is going to get what they are paying me for.

        • #3193954

          Eval Process and Procedures

          by ginese11 ·

          In reply to I’ve managed older employees too, and

          There is no magic formula with people, she may be deadset in her ways. Follow the established poliecs and ensure everything is documented.

          If she know everything, them she must also know, if I do not work well in a team enviorment, I’m gone.

          There are many ways to approach situations, but the situation will dictate the action.

          Once you resolve that one, all the whinners will wake up.

        • #3225985

          All about timing

          by guardianoz ·

          In reply to I’ve managed older employees too, and

          I agree with you about asserting your position to any subordinate, however this is more about timing.

          With regards to management I am a very strong believer in tried and tested methods.
          The first approach should be mutual respect, regardless of age, however we all know that this is not often the reality or you would not be in this position now.

          Secondly adapting to Dale Carnegie’s methodologies in ?how to win friends and influence people? can be a way to get an employee on side, which is a great way of maintaining their knowledge but also winning their support. Winning the support from an employee with years of experience is great, but also the relationship and the significance of that relationship to you (for other to see) is priceless.

          Last but not least, is going down the very hard and fast path of enforcing your position onto them.
          Firstly, write up their letter of warning, giving several reasons for the letter ?support, disruptive, non productive, undermining behavior etc? but also state that someone of their experience and capabilities is not only of great value to the business but also very valuable to you as their superior. This way you are not just giving them a kick in the rear, but you are letting them know if they can get on board and work with you that you see them as important.

          If they can not understand the letter or mature to their role, things pretty much will not change, so I would suggest that you start drafting their second and then final letter, cutting them loose as soon as possible.

          REMEMBER: it is all about timing, if you do not address the issues fast enough you become more limited in the options that are always available to you from the commencement of your initial appointment.

      • #3186359

        I disagree

        by kevaburg ·

        In reply to How would you react…

        One of the problems associated with having to manage an older team memeber is the perceived illusion of authority that the older person seems to believe they have over the younger one. We all know this to be nothing more than the illusion that it is but the way this needs to be managed is completely differently to the way the same problem with a younger person would be.

        You need to be extremely careful in the way you approach the problem and the “chain-of-command” through HR channels is the best option. If things still do not work out then see if a transfer of her or you between departments is feasible.

        Unfortunately this is a situation that could escalate into an unacceptable confrontation very quickly if not handled properly.

        Good luck!

    • #3190133

      It’s not age related

      by amcol ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You’ve just framed your presentation of the situation as an age oriented issue, but that’s not it at all.

      You don’t say if you’re male or female. If you’re male, is it gender related?

      You made a point of you having education and your subordinate having experience. Is she threatened by your academic credentials?

      The company’s just recovered from bankruptcy reorganization. Does she feel her position is in jeopardy and she’s just lashing out?

      You entered the company as her manager only one year ago and she’s been there five. Is she jealous? Did you get the position she wanted?

      The answer is all of the above and none of the above. What I think you have here is the classic know-it-all, someone whose ego demands they be right all the time and that their rightness be accompanied by public affirmation of that fact.

      What I really think is that it doesn’t matter. The problem here isn’t her, it’s you. You’re the manager but you’re not managing. You have a fly in the ointment who’s been allowed to upset the team and interpersonal dynamic to the point where “there is so much bitching about anyone and everyone you wouldn?t believe”. That’s YOUR fault, not hers.

      You’re making the classic young manager mistake. You’re not her parent; you’re not her teacher; you’re not her psychiatrist; you’re not her buddy; YOU’RE HER MANAGER. MANAGE HER. “Often when I?m being nice, and mentor her it’s shrugged off”. Why are you being nice to her? What did she do to deserve your mentorship? She’s not performing, and she’s taking you and your group down with her.

      Don’t be nice. Be tough.

      She’s there to do a job. She’s not doing it. Worse yet, she’s preventing other people from doing their jobs. You have enough already, obviously, to document unproductive behaviors. Do so, create a plan for her, make sure it has hard deliverables and hard dates, then make her report her progress on a regular weekly basis. She’ll either make it or not…if she does you’ve turned the situation around, if not she’s gone and the pain with her. Either way you win, and in the meantime everyone around you…your team, your management, and your customers…will see you doing what’s necessary to address a tough situation. That’s how you gain respect, and that’s how you succeed.

      • #3190090

        With all due respect.

        by zen37 ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        I would not want you to be my manager and if i was yours, you and i would have a serious talk.

        You need to weight your words my friend. Your use of absolutes create an environement not of respect but of fear.

        Is this the manager’s issue? Yes, not his “fault”. Should he care for the reasons she is acting this way? Sure, if it helps in finding a solution. If the reason is as you think (know it all), then yes, the reasons are irrelavent. But if they aren’t, shouldn’t you try to resolve them.

        I do believe that this person is trying to deal with the situation the best it can. He or she could do a lot more, yes. A little more action is definitely needed here. But your words suggest drastic draconian methods that may not be called for….yet.

        You can accomplish a lot more when you get respect from trust than respect from fear.

        • #3190052

          Neither drastic nor draconian

          by amcol ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          Not everyone likes my management style, and I’m OK with that. One can’t be all things to all people, one can simply do the best one can.

          A manager has many responsibilities. You have one to each individual on your team, one to the team as a whole, one to your department and/or division, one to your company, one to the stakeholders, one to your customers, one to yourself…you get the picture. Management is a balancing act in which we discharge our various competing responsibilities in some priority order that makes situational sense.

          In this situation we have an underperforming person who’s in turn creating an underperforming team. You can take that concept as logically far as you feel comfortable. The manager is responsible for the performance of the team and each individual in it. This manager has taken a half hearted touchy feely approach up until now, and it isn’t working. If the issue isn’t addressed, firmly and decisively, nothing’s going to happen except a bad situation will get worse. It’s the manager’s job, any manager’s job, to make things better, or at least hold to an acceptably high status quo.

          I disagree that if it’s not the manager’s fault. That kind of pass the buck mentality is why these types of situations fester to the point where people lose their jobs, and my advice was designed to make sure that if that happens it happens to the right person…the employee, not the manager.

          I disagree that the manager is dealing with the situation at all, let alone as best he/she can. If that were true there would have been no reason for the original posting to begin with.

          Should we as managers care about our team members as people? Of course. Should we cut people slack? Yes, but within reason. Does the employee in this situation deserve to have some slack cut for her? I don’t see why…she’s done nothing to help and is actively making things worse. Should we as managers do what’s necessary to get our jobs done, even if that may mean taking some imperative steps…up through and including people losing their jobs? Sorry, but that’s what they pay us for.

        • #3188683


          by zen37 ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          I’m sorry Amcol, but all i get from your post is aggressiveness and lack of empathy. It is very “type A personnality”. All i can say is that i respectfully disagree with you point of view.

        • #3188658

          No problem

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Well…

          I’ve been called worse, which probably comes as no surprise. I respectfully acknowledge your right to disagree.

          H’mm…that didn’t sound unempathetic or very type A, did it? Sorry to disappoint. I’ll have to work on that.

        • #3190647

          I agree

          by mike ·

          In reply to No problem

          I am in full agrement that the person is well beyond the touchy feely ..try to make nice line. I work in large scale construction and it is all hard deadlines…can’t push it off and take atime out adn try to figure why the bldg isn’t comming out of the ground beacuse someone’s sign is wrong. Find the problem, adjust it or replace it with a BETTER one.

          Yes…but it works on getting things done so you can pick up the phone and get a dial tone EVERYTIME>>>>>>

        • #3190627

          Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          by jhammet ·

          In reply to Well…

          You must be a new age whiner.

        • #3190468

          How original, name calling…..

          by zen37 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          Have you even seen my handle? Do you even know what it means? New age, yes, but whiner….please.

          We could sure use a lot less of these idiotic replies such as this one. If you have nothing more constructive to say about the subject, and you resolve to bring yourself down to name calling, please, don’t bother.

        • #3188937

          I agree

          by roxyred66 ·

          In reply to How original, name calling…..

          I agree totally. This manager is asking for sound advice and we have immaturity knocking on her door.

        • #3188994

          Netiquette please

          by ladyjet ·

          In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          This is called flaming and is not okay on NOT okay on ANY list. Didn’t you learn any computer netiquette along the way? Or in other words, How could you not learn computer netiquette?

          Flaming does not solve problems, it draws attention away from them.

        • #3188886

          Oh lighten up…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Netiquette please

          Please… could you possibly take yourself ANY more seriously?

        • #3188935

          I don’t understand you

          by roxyred66 ·

          In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          This manager is looking for help and even though we all know she needs to manage a little better, you turn around and name call. You should apologize.

        • #3190475

          My MTL friend

          by darealnic ·

          In reply to Well…

          Hey MTL manager (MTL is my home town). Amcol lays out steps to solve the problem. Concrete, measurable, fair steps which can and should be used for any employee you manage.

          The person who asked the initial question doesn’t look like he’s quite up to speed with playing politics to the level of pacifying the situation. Your tactics might work for you, but if this young manager tries them, he might very well get himself caught in a meat-grinder.

          My take… play this one by the numbers as Amcol suggests, and it’ll probably teach you more about navigating challenges like this in workplace more than you can imagine right now.

        • #3190437

          Starting to see his point

          by zen37 ·

          In reply to My MTL friend

          To be honest, when i started answering this, i was thinking on how i would handle this from the start, at the begining. Obviously, this original poster has performed some things that i did not know about as they surfaced on later replies.

          From what i can see at this point, i’m starting to agree with Amcol, as the polite measures have been taken and did not provide any solutions. I believe, at this point, that the measures presented by him, are the right things to do.

          I am surprised though by the way the human factor is very strickly taken out of the equasion for a lot of people. It is very disapointing because i’m a firm believer that the difference between us and simple machines are the human factors. Emotion, mood, hope, aspirations are what makes us grow. If you take that out of work, then it becomes a much heavier burden than it should be.
          I have nothing againts having the #1 objective of a manager to be the productiveness of his or her team. But not at the cost of our humanity.

          We work to live not live to work.
          And work is part of living isn’t it?

          I realize more and more the differences between the Canadian and American culture. Take the exemple of the lunch idea i suggested. Here, the boss takes us out to lunch often. We never think of it as more than a working lunch. There is no inappropriateness there. There is no assumptions made if one is scene with the other.

          Very odd and interesting at the same time.

        • #3188942

          Been there

          by bsmntcritr ·

          In reply to Starting to see his point

          I’ve had a very similar circumstance and learned that being nice only gives an aggressive personality ammunition as much as anything else. In my case, the “Agressive” actually had been telling co-workers, and users alike that a desired promotion wasn’t granted because of gender. This personality refused and laughed off all nice corrective action. Fortunately “They” self-destructed and threaten to quit – it was taken as a resignation (gonzo). Our ages were within one year, our experiences were similar, “They” simply demanded and got nothing in return.

        • #3188876

          Please don’t make this a “Canada” v. “US” thing…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Starting to see his point

          There are plenty of Canadians that have the kind of common sense that AMCOL possesses. And plenty of Americans that have the “be nice” and be walked all over mentality too.

          Sometimes you HAVE to be a little aggressive as AMCOL suggests.

          I mean, he didn’t suggest berating her in font of everyone else, nor did he suggest anything inappropriate. You just flamed him without any support whatsoever for how you would handle it. In essense, all you did was whine and critisize him.

          How does your appoach help this guy with his problem?

          You sound like the lady he should fire…

        • #3186351

          Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to Starting to see his point

          I’m surprised to hear you say that!!!

          I think the one issue that bypasses alot of managers is the “human factor”. Noone like to be intimidated or made to feel inadequate. Therefore the fact this woman has acted in the way she has and the manager has kept himself calm is a credit to him.

          It must be said that the point is rapidly aproaching when strong-arm tactics are going to become necessary but the manager is also managed and surely this is the time for him to use that assistance. Going “one-up” and asking for assistance is what helps gain respect by your peers and not the strong-arm tactics suggested.

          I would suggest though, in addition to some previous comments made that this managers managing techniques are OK. The fact one person is rebelling is no negative judgement on him overall. Its just a new experience he has to learn about.

          One more reason to consult his manager before going overboard.

        • #3182408


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Well…

          As stated in the original post this has been going on for almost a year now. How much hand holding does it take before a change comes about? You want to deal with this situation with kid gloves and these are supposed to be adults. They can act the part or deal with the consequences. That’s reality. Sure each individual has unique needs and the manager has to realize that in his approach to managing, but, I don’t see how taking the touchy feely approach applies in this situation. By her very actions this problem employee understands aggresiveness very well! Why not respond with what she understands?

        • #3190486

          Neither drastic nor draconian

          by philip.grogan ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          This response was refreshing from the previous response which kicked off the thread. The first reponse was a little negative and assumed the worst in the team memeber.

          Two two traits loud and worthless do not necessarily go together. companies all too often cut off the nose to spite the face. It is easy to dismiss someones abilities beacuse of a personal clash. A manager is paid to look beyond this and get the best out of team members whilst producing the required results. The two go hand in hand.

          If our job was easy, anyone could do it!.

        • #3188763

          Send her to a human communications class

          by eelder1 ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          Send her to school and tell why she is going. Tell her she needs to develop tact and that if she doesn’t makes some changes in her behavior, it will be reflected in her annual evaluation. She is being insubordiante, stop her in her tracks.

          I she can bully you, she will bully others. You don’t need to put up with this. You are the boss.

        • #3190484

          Refreshing response

          by philip.grogan ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          This response was refreshing from the previous response which kicked off the thread. The first reponse was a little negative and assumed the worst in the team memeber.

          Two two traits loud and worthless do not necessarily go together. companies all too often cut off the nose to spite the face. It is easy to dismiss someones abilities beacuse of a personal clash. A manager is paid to look beyond this and get the best out of team members whilst producing the required results. The two go hand in hand.

          If our job was easy, anyone could do it!.

        • #3189027

          Actually I am in agreeement with amcol on this one..

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          I’ve read Amcol’s first reply, this one and the others before it.

          I feel amcol’s advice and management perspective on this issue is sound and professional.

        • #3186346

          Not necessarily

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to Actually I am in agreeement with amcol on this one..

          Amcols response, I believe is only the right one if all other avenues have been exhausted. Creating a confrontational environment such as would happen is both negative and non-productive.

          Maybe I’m being naive!!!

        • #3188953

          Amcol is right on.

          by blarman ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          When an employee is clashing with a manager, most of the time it is an effort by the employee to say – you’re management style doesn’t match with my needs as an employee. This is straight out of management 101 (having recently finished my MBA, this was a focus of discussion). And Managers who don’t individually manage their employees are Accountants, not Managers. I know, I work for one, I have had this conversation, and was completely blown off.
          There are four basic management strategies according to the motivation and skill level of the employee:
          For unmotivated, unskilled employees, the manager has to take a dictatorial, micromanaging effort. The manager must train the employee and set goals as to when things have to be done and set disciplinary actions for failure to achieve goals.
          For unmotivated, skilled employees, the manager should set the goals, but probably doesn’t need to do the instruction. The manager should be working on finding a challenge to motivate the employee.
          For motivated, unskilled employees, the manager should mentor: giving instruction while proceeding at a pace worked out between the manager and the employee. Many motivated employees can be given employee mentors or supplementary reading to speed up the learning process and decrease the load on the manager.
          For motivated, skilled employees (rare and valuable), they need to be consulted to feel valued. The manager should work with them to set ambitious deadlines and provide new challenges. Regular progress updates and inquiries about resources they need will help get the most out of these employees.

          It sounds like the manager is using the wrong management tactic – trying to mentor when he should be consulting. The employee is likely complaining because she wants to feel valued for her knowledge. So as a manager, you should cater to this. If she plainly doesn’t know and is trying to BS an answer, then ask questions in a way that points out the results of an incorrect understanding. If she’s not humble enough to handle the correction, you may need to assert the risk of disciplinary action. But I’d try switching tactics first.

        • #3188760

          Not an MBA exercise…but correct accessment!

          by beoweolf ·

          In reply to Amcol is right on.

          The employee (after 5 years) must know something; otherwise they would or should have been terminated long before.

          This is an issue that requires better than a quick, off the cuff response. Professionally and personally, I would review previous evaluations of the employee…see how other managers felt and dealt with this person.

          All too often, newly minted managers are the ones that are defensive, often mistaking opinion for being “opinionated” or defending a professional assessment as being “defensive, dismissive or obstinate?)… they may or may not be. However, learning where they are coming from may give you a clue. Put away your fears and prejudices?someone believed in you enough to give you the responsibility, use your skills to turn this situation around.

          I don’t see this, as it has been framed, as an age issue. It may be experience vs. academic knowledge…that hasn’t been established. Again an older worker, may not have an advanced degree…it may not have been required. But to be honest, the benefits of a degree (even an advanced degree) are nullified, other than documentation, after a few years in the trenches.

          It seems silly that despite all the evidence of wide spread cheating for degrees that has been revealed…we still accept a degree as necessary for a position, but discount many years of successful employment as not quite valid?

          The point is…I agree mostly that a manager should use a different approach when dealing with skilled/unskilled/motivated/unmotivated workers; even more he should take into account how to elicit the best performance from high output workers. They can be your best ally or worse nightmare. What makes it so puzzling, is the choice is pretty much yours based on how you view the value of their knowledge and worth to the job you ask them to do. If they can’t do the job…then educate them, demote them or fire them. If you don’t know how to handle them; then experiment, learn the best approach!

        • #3189875

          Tenure is no guarantee of competence

          by tom.lee ·

          In reply to Not an MBA exercise…but correct accessment!

          Without knowing the particulars it is hard to say if a person is qaulified for a job just because they have been around a while. I have personaly been involved in situations where, for political reasons, getting rid of person ran the risk of having that position eliminated and I have also seen situations where for any number of reasons, higher management was afraid of getting rid of a particular person.

          It needs to boil down to their personal performance and their impact on the group. If they are the best performer around but they drag down the rest of the group then their benefit is lost.

          As a young manager the most common mistake is not wanting to ask for help. One one has all the answers but the effective manager is the one that knows where to go when they they don’t know what to do (this only works if you take these types of occasions as opportunities to learn).

        • #3176089


          by breadtrk ·

          In reply to Neither drastic nor draconian

          Very well said.

        • #3190653

          Work or nice

          by paul ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          Amazing thing, we are now nice to people, walk around them like they can break.
          Rule number one:
          We go to work to work. If we all keep this in mind much of the problems often mentioned on this forum would simply not exist. When we accepted employment, it was accompanied with a set of rules. By acceptance of the job, we also accepted the rules. Nobody twisted our arms to accept the job. So in my view we are now obligated to live by the rules we accept. Many of those contributing here seems to forget this fact. Rule number two:
          IT personnel is in place to make the non IT people life simpler. Not to show superiority. Rule number three: Start managing your self and you will mange others well too. Example works wonders.

        • #3190635

          Is drastic action the key?

          by philip.grogan ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          In management there are so many styles to adopt and all of which will have good and bad points to them.

          Yes we all come to work for the same deep reason of earning enough to pay for the things we want most. Yes our teams need to be productive in order to survive and yes the working environment is not the end of the universe as we know it. Life will go on.

          Yes I am in philosophical mood today!.

          However, it will deffinately enhance our earning potential and the roles we will be successful in aplying for ongoing, if we develope our skills in dealing with difficult situations in a possitive manner. This may mean working on a plan of action and trying to cater for each outcome. The last of which should be through HR as this is irreversable and will set the tone. The company will loose out ultimately. But understand that that action copuld be necessary if everything else fails.

          In this situation, If management is the career of choice, I would want to make every effort to win over the employee and get a grip on the rains so to speak. Wouldn’t it be a great achievement to successfully turn this situation around to a possitive, productive relationship. We are all built differently and becuase of this, one management style does not suite all individuals.

          We all have different reasons to come to work each day. Some of us most of the time will be dealiong with lives great difficulties and unfortunately bring this wot work.

          It is possible that this person needs a non biased ear to offload on. I like to have the attitude (right or worng) that most people are reasonable by nature and that abnormal behaviour is an outcome not a cause. If we want to succeed for the long haul with management in my opinion, we need to be able to adjust styles and tackle difficult situations head on.

          I have found that directive agressive management does not work for the long term and in this day and age employees seek co-operative approach.

          But depending on the business it is really horses for courses!.

        • #3188964

          What planet do you work on?

          by jvbrady ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          When you’re 21, fresh on the job, etc., the maverick syndrome is something that we all naturally experience. You believe that the best answer is the best for the company, period. Structure sometimes feels, as you put it, draconian. As you go on, however, you see a wider view. A bad boss is no longer a meanie, but somebody who is ineffective, vindictive, petty, incompetent in the roles expected of a person who works effectively in an organization. He’s not a life-coach, but can be. He’s not a colleague, but can be. He’s not somebody you have to like, but can be. The one thing he does have to do is make his team or dpt. effective for the company. Entertaining loud and continuous challenges of a subordinate is not effective in any way. I’ve lived through both sides of this, been guilty of and paid the price for letting righteousness be my calling card. If this seasoned employee is convinced of a plethora of changes needed, she needs to approach the manager and outline all this – not call out gotcha’s. It’s very obvious that team effectiveness – or improvement – is not on her radar. And if this manager was such the draconian you suspect, he wouldn’t be asking here for advice on what to do with outspoken challengers. Draconians eat people like that for finger food. I get the sense that this manager has come up through the ranks, and is way more comfortable in the collegial role than the superior/subordinate interraction.

        • #3188943

          Heh heh…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to What planet do you work on?

          Ummm… If you actually read the post, you would see that it was zen37’s response to AMCOL’s advice that was called draconian.

        • #3189962

          On the contrary

          by libbo ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          Zen, I personally wish we had more take charge leadership in the world. When you establish “absolutes” you are letting your people know exactly what you expect of them.

          An effective manager needs a combination of authoritarian and participative leadership styles to say the least, but I think the target of your last reply was being very clear about why he/she would be so firm: The disruptive employee is out of control.

          “Managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right thing.”

        • #3186356

          I agree

          by kevaburg ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          It seems this person wants to assert authority in the most negative way. There was no use of the help and assistance that HR can provide and basically the manager should go in guns blazing.

          This would worsen the situation because noone likes being brought down like that in public and any respect gained over the past years in the position is likely to be badly damaged.

          I do agree that this person is a manager and should manage this person according to the level of skill he has but once it gets to much they need to realise it early before the situation escalates beyond recovery.

          This woman obviously has issues with herself, and that is apparent if she feels the need to make someone else look bad just to make herself look good. If that is the case, then perhaps an assessment of her skills based on facts would be enough to get her moved on somewhere else, maybe in another department or out of the company.

          The one thing that must be remembered is that this company is not the Army and these people need to be spoken to and not spoken at.

        • #3182411


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to With all due respect.

          I’m not sure where the absolutes came in here. His post was very eloquent and point out many reasons that this situation “MAY” or “MAY NOT” be taking place. Trust and respect are earned, however respect for the position should be there no matter what. In the absence of trust and respect unless the manager does something immoral, unethical, or illegal, they are still the manager and the one in a position of authority. If they can never agree on anything it is the subordinates responsibility to adjust to the seniors style. In this case the manager will never “earn” respect or trust as long as this behavior goes unchecked.

      • #3190661

        Wrong Approach

        by general_custarduk ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        That kind of absolute is worng, it will casue friction amongst everyone and you could well end up in a position of staff leaving. Whish is not required as they take business knowledge and experiece with them.

        If you want to find out what her issues are then ask. Have a quiet meeting in a seperate office with an HR representative and go through everyhting from start to finish.

        No warnings, no absolutes just the assurance that everyone is there to work together. If there is a problem it should be brought to you, the manager, and NOT shouted out in public. This will at least let her know that you are not working against her but with her. It should help things move in the right direction.

        • #3190604

          That’s all nice

          by arleenw ·

          In reply to Wrong Approach

          But it’s not necessarily going to solve the problem.

          There is a similar situation where I work, except there are two problem employees. One of them is the department head, they are good friends and live across the street from one another (small town, small company). The department head is a little less obvious about it in front of our director. But she either disagrees with the policy the director sets forth, or – if there are witnesses – agrees and then does not follow the policy in practice because she really does not agree with it.

          The second employee stomps around the place butting into everyone elses work telling them what the should be doing and how to do it.

          Together they team up to berate other staff members, and worse yet they’ve been witnessed bad mouthing our director to some of our board of trustee members – simply because they don’t agree with some of the changes she’s made.

          These two employees have been with the company for years. They both feel they are the only one’s who know what they are doing – based on experience (the department head didn’t even graduate high school) – but new hires are not even getting proper training, so it’s no wonder.

          In fairness, our business has been going through a transitional phase. We were a small place where everyone did everything. But now we’ve grown, and as a result there are departments to handle different tasks. These two don’t seem to get that and think they are in charge of it all.

          But the department head does have a lot of great ideas and she works hard. Her biggest fault is she won’t take any suggestions or direction to get things working better. To make it worse, she’s a big kiss ass that has some of the board members fooled. Even the director was taken in (she just started 6 months ago) but recent events have opened her eyes to some of the problems.

          The point is that this woman anyhelpwouldbegreat is having problems with may not be receptive to ANY changes, whether put nicely or not. The situation for anyhelpwouldbegreat may be even worse than we know – we don’t know what other office politics are coming into play.

          The best anyhelpwouldbegreat can do is document everything and go through the HR process. Perhaps a meeting with a third person from HR or other supervisor where the employee and anyhelpwouldbegreat would be a good idea. Then the two could agree on ways to iron out the differences.

          My bet is the employee doesn’t really have anything specific, just acts that way because it’s been established that she can. A meeting would bring that to light without the unpleasantness of a written reprimand. Then, if the the behavior continues, begin the write-up process until it leads to either compliance or dismissal.


        • #3181926

          On the mark

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to That’s all nice

          I think your last paragraph pretty much sums up the problem in support of everything else here. She does what she can because she can, but what she is obviously has not considered is that those that are successful have better work ethics than she is demonstrating. The problem here is that the manager lacks the leadership skills to reel her in and make her a productive/contributing member of the team. The manager should be concerned because in the end, if she cannot get her team functioning cohesively, she may be out of a job. I can understand her being reserved and there is nothing wrong with that, but doing so to the point that she is non-effective should be cause for concern. Situations require action at different levels, and just letting it go is not the answer.

      • #3190638

        and there you have it!

        by wcoupe ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        Amcol, you’re just exactly right.

        This type of individual is destructive to a team environment, and way beyond the ‘be nice’ line.

        Work, is just that, work. As managers we get paid to make our teams as productive as possible, not ‘be nice’ to them.

        The way I see it a couple of things need to happen, and quickly.

        First, the HR ‘reprimand’ process suggested by another poster is a very good step. If there’s not a formal procedure, simply taking a meeting, explaining the process and then having the emplyee sign a document acknowleging their understanding of the conversation is an excellent first step. It puts the person ‘on notice’ that you find their behavior unacceptable and that further behavior of this nature will have consequences.

        Second, you have to be able to challenge this individual if they are indeed wrong. Point out the ‘missed’ obvious components to their argument. If in fact they’re wrong, it should be fairly easy to illustrate that, and do it simply and without pointing a finger.

        I also agree the problem is also at least 50% the result of the managers inaction. This is the sort of thing that requires action, and quickly.

        The age old question in management is ‘Can we turn around a marginal employee”… My reponse to that is, certainly, but should we expend the energy and resources to do so? Aren’t our energy and resources better spent cultivating those folks who are ‘good’, to be exceptional?

        If we spend time, effort, energy and resources to ‘improve’ a marginal employee what message are we sending those folks who come to work and give us a 100% everyday?

        • #3181922

          I agreed…

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to and there you have it!

          …with most of what you said until the part about not putting energy into a marginal employee. A true test of a leaders leadership skills can be reflected in their ability to turn a marginal employee into an exceptional employee. There is no reason the already exceptional employees can’t be recognized for what they already do while at the same time coaching the marginal employees to become better.

      • #3190622

        Agreed: YOU are the problem more than SHE

        by pailr ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        One thing that amcol did not stress is the impression that your failing to manage this person and bring her into line leaves on the rest of your team. It will appear to them that you are wishy-washy. They have a negative impression of her already and I can assure you that they are wondering why she hasn’t been fired for the way she is acting. Your allowing this woman to disrupt the office karma is going to begin to alienate your reports from you if you do not come down hard on her.
        First thing you need to do is to get her into an office with another manager and give her a point-by-point list of the changes she is going to have to make immediately and remind her that she is subject to performance evaluations DONE BY YOU. Her lack of team skills, you will tell her, is going to seriously hurt her chances in that evaluation. Let her know that she can avoid future ratings difficulties by religiously implementing the steps you have outlined for her. This will serve as her oral warning, with the next step being a formal written warning, in which the hard and fast dates and accomplishments will be enumerated. If she has reached the written warning stage, for most companies, the step after that is termination. Failure to meet the goals from the written warning will lift a shadow from the confines of your office environment. EVERYONE will breathe a huge sigh of relief when she’s gone.
        I worked in an environment where one person was allowed to do pretty much as they pleased, to the detriment of their co-workers, and I can tell you that no one respected the manager for allowing it to go on.
        Realize that one of the things that becoming a manager has brought you, if you are going to be successful, is to have to play hard ball on occasion with your subordinates. You do this, not because it is in your nature to do so, but because it is what is best for your other subordinates and your company.
        I strongly suspect that if this person is trying to make points showing you up, but having incorrect information with which to do it, then she is also giving your customers wrong information as well. I only hope that your customer base is internal. The damage can be limited if that is the case.

      • #3190443


        by sql guy ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        “You’ve just framed your presentation of the situation as an age oriented issue, but that’s not it at all.”

        You have no idea what’s going on through the other woman’s head. It may well be age related. You cannot, with any degree of certainty, say that the other woman isn’t looking down her nose at this person because of the age difference. Likewise, you cannot say it is not a seniority issue. Or a religious issue. Or a sexual preference issue. You cannot say for certain what the issue is, or what it is not.

        I would be inclined to accept the assessment of the participants over the assessment of a random poster 1,847 miles away who has probably never met either one of these people.

        “You don’t say if you’re male or female. If you’re male, is it gender related?”

        Now for a little reverse political correctness: Sometimes a duck is a duck. If the poster is a male, it may well be “gender-related”. It amazes me how people carry P.C. to the extreme, so that the obvious explanation is always dismissed out of hand with no further explanation. “She’s black, he’s white; therefore it absolutely *can’t* be a racial issue.”

        It’s so amazing how many “smart” people forget Occam’s Razor. Every now and then the simplest explanation turns out to be the correct and accurate explanation.

        Of course there’s 1,000,001 lawyers and H.R. people who want to convince you that the simplest explanation is *never* correct: otherwise half of them would be out of work.

        • #3189026

          Thank you

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Ha!

          Yet another poster who’s proved my point for me. You’re making this far too easy.

          “You have no idea what’s going on through the other woman’s head.” Precisely. No one does, not even the original poster who’s one of the players in this little psychodrama. That’s why I said it doesn’t matter what she’s thinking…she’s not the problem, the manager is the problem. Because the manager isn’t managing.

          “Every now and then the simplest explanation turns out to be the correct and accurate explanation.” Precisely. And the simple explanation here is to manage, which is what isn’t happening. No political correctness, no psychoanalyzing, no trying to figure out what’s going on in her head and her life, no crystal gazing navel contemplating sensitive new age guy psychobabble, just pure, simple, everyday management.

          Simple equation…you come to work to, guess what, work. If you’re not doing the work you’re, guess what, fired. Which part don’t you understand?

          Now, some may say that’s a pretty hard edged view of life in the corporate lane. Perhaps. Don’t get me wrong…in my view, every single employee who fails represents a management failure. There’s no such thing as an unredeemable employee, there’s only managers who have abrogated or ignored their responsibility to do whatever’s necessary to extract every last ounce of potential productivity out of every last person. That’s the manager’s job. But the owners of our companies, whoever they are, are paying us to work. To get the work done. To produce results. If you can’t do that, the owners will find someone who will. And managers, acting as the owners’ proxy, are the people charged with doing just that.

          Thanks again. Suggestion…go back and read the posting you commented on. Your response had nothing to do with what I wrote.

        • #3181916


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Ha!

          In the end I don’t think it matters what is going through her head. In the end what matters is that the employee is disruptive to the work force. The manager can try to ascertain what the root of the problem is in order to come up with a solution to correct it, but we can only guess as to whether it will be effective or not. At 40+ years of age, one would think this person would have some understanding of how to comduct themselves in the work place regardless of what ails her. In every organization there is a chain of command in which authority flows. There also is an expectation that those in subordinate positions understand and recognize the authority of those appointed above them. In the absence of that there is anarchy.

      • #3190364

        Mostly agree…

        by tlea ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        I agree with most of what amcol says. The only part I have contention with is his opinion as to the reason for the employee’s behavior. There could be other reasons besides ego. Chief among them may be fear or uncertainty. But none of us can really know the employee’s reason for her behavior without taking to her. This is where you come in…

        You are the manager, and as such you must be in control of the members of your team, not letting them control you. Part of your job is to define boundaries and responsibilities, as well as to set performance expectations. This doesn’t mean that you have to threaten the person?s job to make them perform, but it does mean that you have to tell them what is acceptable behavior and what you expect of them in terms of performance.

        If the subordinate doesn’t straighten up then you will have to pursue more drastic measures. Trust me, not getting this situation under control is bad for your whole team, and may cause some members to foster resentment towards you. Nobody likes to reprimand subordinates, but discipline is part of being a manager.

        I had a similar situation, and after a few private discussions with him and my boss I ended up sending the employee to communications training. Not only did the training help him improve at his job, but the person was also appreciative that I tried to supply a solution instead of just telling him to ?get a better attitude?. Getting the results I wanted took a little more work and conflict, but in the end I didn?t have to hire and train a new employee, which would have taken quite a bit longer.

      • #3188997

        Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

        by ladyjet ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        This has got to be the best reply in this whole group. Good job…

      • #3188925

        Time to punt

        by bobbabcock ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        Sounds as if you’ve let this thing go on longer than it should have already. YOu’re this person’s manager, and need to command respect from your other subordinates and those junior to you.

        Cat-o-nine-tails first (official admonishment), hang from the yard arm next (fire em). Following that, extra rum ration for excellent work from other “team” players (negative example followed by reward for positive behhavior).
        Know that you are going to measured yourself as to how you handled the problem. Solve this as quickly as you can under company guidelines, and then handle your next issues strictly by the book, so you set up a PATTERN of accepted practices, so that your staff and superiors both understand how you will react presented with a difficult staffing situation.

      • #3188917

        Just thought of something…

        by bobbabcock ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        The next time something happens out in the open, calmly send the person home for the day and dock billable hours accordingly. Report the need to have done so to your immediate supervisor and HR. Show the person that won’t tolerate bad behavior. If you can, make a condition for return to work the next day a meeting with you and a HR person where you lay down the “rules” for working in your department.

        • #3195226

          Hold on!

          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Just thought of something…

          I don’t think it’s appropriate for the first disciplinary action to be to send someone home without pay. The first step should be sure the employee understands appropriate behavior in the workplace and the expectations of management. This can only be done through communication. After these things are made clear then the more drastic measures can be implemented. I think to discipline someone without full knowledge that they understand why they’re being discipline only fosters more hostility and bitterness in the employee.

      • #3188857

        amcol is right

        by lsa ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        This is your problem. She’s causing a great deal of discontent and discomfort, but you’ve got yo nip it. This will continue to eat away at the group unless you stop it.
        Written counselling with her signature showing she’s been counselled and acknowledges it may stop it. If she sees you ain’t kiddin’ around anymore, she may stop after realizing she’s not in charge. And if she doesn’t stop, then you have ammo to stop her dead in her tracks.

      • #3188854

        Rule with an Iron Fist when neccessary

        by lsmith1989 ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        I agree, every situation is unique and there is no step by step solution but in this case, I would rule with an iron fist.

        Walk quietly but make sure you swing a BIG STICK.

      • #3188852

        Be the Manager

        by tape monkey ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        You need to start being the manager of your department. Your job is to manage your people. Get this issue under control before the negative atmosphere destroys department moral. Pull her aside and discuss what the real root of the challenge is. I would set up a discussion time with HR as an intermediate.This will also eliminate a “he said” she “said issue”.Are you adapting to relate to her or is your ego trying to muscle her around? What is your non-verbal body language saying? If she has been there as long as you say she has, don’t you think that job performance would have been an issue some time ago? If I was your supervisor I would be writting you up for not keeping your department in order. You might find that in putting your finger on the issue that there are three fingers pointing back at you.Maybe you need to re-evalueate your management skill sets. Document everything it is your only source of back-up.

      • #3188784

        Read Amcol’s post

        by macghee ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        Read Amcol’s post. He’s right on target. Do what he says in his post, in conjunction to talking to your HR manage and following the HR procedure so you don’t leave yourself open to legal liability.

      • #3189967

        I agree but…

        by mary.a.dempster ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        amcol, I agree with everything you said. The only thing you did not add is that this issue has gotten to the dangerous point. HR must be consulted so that the steps that are taken are letter perfect. This is the type of person that would cause a big stink. It is a shame it’s gotten this far,but it can definately be a learning experience for this young manager.

      • #3185551

        not a good boss…

        by srini_soma ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        I feel this approach creates more threat, worry, fear for your rest of team members. Your silent approach of handling the situation in terms of discussions, or reporting HR will smoothen process than a complicated deadlines and in a way that can become good reason for her to take up the issue with your boss. That will create more troubles than benefits.

      • #3194150

        I agree with amcol about the right approach to this person

        by jaustin_larkin ·

        In reply to It’s not age related

        You are the manager and you need to put a stop this this person’s behavior in the office. Nothing more and nothing less.

    • #3188649

      Another approach… maybe?

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      A loud person is a loud oerson and will always be a loud person. You should not try to make this person not loud, you will fail. Since the company has ben having dificulties this would directly explain a lack of morale in the office. Mentoring can be done in several ways. Pointing out and correcting mistakes can be demeaning.

      My Suggestion:
      When she loudly tries to trip you up, don’t correct her. Ask questions to get more details about her concerns. You should then be able to guide further questions so that she will arrive at the truth herself.

      • #3188462

        Asking questions

        by anyhelpwouldbegreat ·

        In reply to Another approach… maybe?

        Thanks for the one helpful comment…

        My Suggestion:
        When she loudly tries to trip you up, don’t correct her. Ask questions to get more details about her concerns. You should then be able to guide further questions so that she will arrive at the truth herself.

        I have tried this. I get the “whatever”, or depressed “oh right”. It’s like being in school. When she’s your friend, she asks questions and sounds genuinely interested, when you’ve upset her she holds a grudge. An example, a silly one, but none the less an example. Some memory came in – usually i take them out of their boxes and put them into dedicated central boxes. I got the “i’d rather you did’nt do that”. Due to tidying up mess in stock rooms due to lack of organisation in the past, and people leaving rubbish all over the place i’d decided to un wrap the memory as i’d done in the past. Replies of “ok, whatever” followed by uncomfortable silences became obvious. I’d upset her again. How to recover from that?

        • #3188424

          Is it you?

          by zen37 ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          Can you tell if she is acting this way only or mostly with you? If it is the case then she has something againts you for sure. A sit down and talk is definatly in order. Asker to go to lunch with you sometime. It will be out of the office, which should make her feel confortable and it’s a public place, so she shouldn’t make a scene.

          If that fails then i’d go with JMGarvin said.

          Good luck

        • #3190483

          bad idea

          by arleenw ·

          In reply to Is it you?

          anyhelpwouldbegreat tried the nice guy approch already. Meeting with this person alone could open the door for any number of repercussions.

          anyhelpwouldbegreat needs to document behavior and meet with her in a controlled environment with a third party to witness and possibly mediate.

        • #3190449

          Double BAD idea

          by oldmainframer ·

          In reply to Is it you?

          I got the impression that the original poster was male. If married, this is a really bad idea. You should NOT have a solo lunch with a member of the opposite sex who is not your spouse. Think of what might gfet back to your wife, friends, etc. if anyone sees you.

          If not married, again, the appearance is bad, because someone who does not know the situation might think that it is a “date”.

          Then there is the question of a relationship with a subordinate. Generally we think that bosses should not have a relationship with subordinates… While this is not what is happening, it is the APPEARANCE – to an outside observer.

        • #3195179


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Double BAD idea

          Professionals have business lunches with members of the opposite sex all the time. That shouldn’t be a concern unless there are some insecurities in the marriage itself. I do agree that any meeting should be in a controlled environment. I also agree that taking one member of the team out to lunch and not the whole team could send the wrong message to the other team members, as innocent as it may be.

        • #3188975

          Bad idea

          by bs analyst ·

          In reply to Is it you?

          If the employee wanted to put her boss in a difficult situation, taking them to lunch would be a gift. “He asked me to lunch, he harassed me, I turned him down, now I’m being disciplined”.

        • #3195185


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Is it you?

          Most people would consider the workpace a public place. This employee knows her co-workers and doesn’t care what they think about her outburst. Why do you think that taking her out to lunch around a bunch of people that she doesn’t know will cause her to not make a scene?

        • #3188376


          by amcol ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          All right, I’m a glutton for punishment. Last try to get my point across, only because you’re asking for help and I assume that means you actually want some.

          Remember what I said about being the manager? Would you really have us believe it’s written anywhere in your job description that you’re supposed to stock the supply room and clean up the trash, which is what you’re doing?

          I know you don’t want to hear this but you are not doing your job. You are not managing, or leading. You are taking the easy way out. You’re not confronting your problem employee, and now it sounds like you have more than one. Whose job is it to unload memory, to put it into the boxes, to clean up the trash? Whoever’s job it is isn’t doing it. Your response? “I’d rather do it myself.” It’s no wonder this woman has problems with you.

          Stop doing everyone else’s job. Stop not holding people accountable to their responsibilities. Stop wimping out and not confronting tough situations toughly, and if that sounds draconian and unempathetic you can pick up any one of about a thousand management textbooks and you’ll find this approach documented in all of them.

          Be a manager. That’s the real problem.

        • #3190444

          While I agree …

          by shannyhan ·

          In reply to Sigh

          amcol, I agree with your approach, however pointing out anyhelpwouldbegreat’s weaknesses and/or flaws as a manager and in such a manner may not have been necessary.

          If anyhelp knew the answer then we wouldn’t be here.

          My advice to anyhelp — take out the constructive comments from amcol’s post. Treat this employee just like you would treat anyone else on your team and take control of the situation. You will be happy that you laid the ground rules. It is never to late to take control of the situation. There will be damage that will need to be mitigated, however.

          The next time the loud, obnoxious behavior ensures, call the employee into your office and tell them what you expect which includes being respectful.

        • #3195171


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to While I agree …

          If anyhelpwouldbegreat is only expecting feedback that feels good, that is an indication of being unfit to lead! In the real world we have to be prepared to hear the truth and the truth is not always pretty. She can view it as contructive feedback from Amcol or negative feedback from her boss when he/she is let go for non-performance.

        • #3190422

          I agree…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Sigh

          No need to apologize for being a good manager, Amcol. Some of these other people have obviously never HAD to manage anyone. And it’s obvious Zen37 never has.

          The old adage “If people like you as a manager then you must be doing something wrong” is appropriate here.

          It’s not our job as managers to “be nice” and have everyone like you. If you want acceptance and gratitude, go cry to your mom.

          If you want this woman, who it sounds like is just being a pain in the a$$, to stop undermining you, tell her to stop.

          And frankly, I would do it publicly, right in the middle of one of her “tantrums”.

          It doesn’t matter if she is older, OR if she has a lot of experience. If you KNOW she is incorrect in what she is trying to tell you, CALL HER ON IT.

          These kinds of people need to be knocked down a peg. It needs to be done quickly AND aggressively.

          After all, you’re her boss. She needs to know it.
          Often, that is all it takes, and she will probably respect you for it. I know that *I* don’t respect someone being fake and “falsly” nice to me, and that may be her issue with you.

          Grow some balls and manage her. Ultimately, you’re the one accountable to the department for your performance. If she can’t be handled. Fire her, or like other posters have said, bring HR into it and document it formally. It really is your most direct course of action. Sorry if you don’t want to hear it.

          And if you are reserved and wimpy and unable to confront problems head-on, you probably won’t be a manager much longer anyway.

        • #3188817

          Wearing more than 1 hat

          by bilcook ·

          In reply to Sigh

          It is entirely possible that the company emerging from a ch.11 is asking some of the personell to wear more than 1 hat. Trust me I have a desk full of them. I am the cad manager, lead draftsman, MIS guy, and tech support guy. I recently had a superior who was ok but did not know 1/2 of what I know and we did most definately clash. I tore this guy a new rear end more than once. We did eventually form a pretty good working relationship, that relationship ws based on him finally realising that I was more than qualified to do his job, and myself realising that he was just trying to do his job to the best of his ability. He was also one of those people who had a “better” or “different” way of doing things. When we both sat down for an honest and wide open discussion it straightened out a lot of things. The most important thing that got straightened out was his admission that not all of his ideas were “better” and he actually started to understand and except my “mentoring”. Not sure if this approach will work for the original poster, but it worked great in my case.

        • #3195174


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Sigh

          That detail caught my attention also. At this point it’ starting to sound like the manager is doing things in order to be liked more so than be in charge. This manager needs to understand that her employer is not paying her to win a popularity contest. They’re only concerned about the bottom line. She needs to do her part to contribute to the bottom line and as you have stated, that is “Manage”!

        • #3190599

          Mgmt skills & difficult people

          by karen.walls ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          This employee is trying to emotionally manipulate you and is turning you into the victim – if you are treating her fairly and with clear communications and expectations (not doing the “nice” thing to hide the conflict), get VERY CLEAR with yourself that you are NOT responsible for her feelings. If you want to keep this employee, get unentangled from this emotional dance with her and approach the situation with compassion, clarity and firmness. If clearer communication and firmer boundaries (HR rules & regs, job duties, job reviews, etc.), don’t work, be prepared to document and fire. However, NEVER attack the person, just the behavior – keep that very separate between you and the employee.

          But what I’m hearing pretty clearly is that you do not appear to have enough tools or training in the area of dealing and/or communicating with difficult employees. I have seen this happen over and over again with younger managers and with people promoted into management without the requisite skill set for handling people. So often new managers think they have to figure these management mysteries out all by themselves or they’re not good managers, which is entirely back-asswards logic. Management is not a mystery gifted from on high to some people and not to others – it takes training & experience and there are lots of resources.

          If your company offers management training, grab it. (If they don’t, shame on them.) Talk to management professionals outside of your company & find a mentor, go online and look at sites that specialize in human resources information, go to the library and find reading material, contact any professional organizations in the area. Find fact-based professional information, not opinions from friends or coworkers.

          This is not going to be the only difficult person you’ll come across in your career so you’d better educate yourself as to all the types you’ll be dealing with at some time or another. Your role as manager requires that you care enough to educate yourself so as to not waste human potential in the people you manage. Once you have paid YOUR dues to be the best manager you can be, then you can be a tough as necessary with a clear conscience, knowing you have done everything possible to save a situation… even to the point where saving the situation means firing someone to uphold the greater good of your team.

        • #3190474

          Sounds Great!

          by tr ·

          In reply to Mgmt skills & difficult people

          Great ideas Karen, but if anyhelpwouldbenice decides to implement your suggestions she’s going to be taking valuable company time to do something that she probably should have done before she filled out the application for a management position or she’s not going to be able to eat or sleep for as long as it takes to “pay her dues”. I don’t have any definitive answers to the situation, although I have a tendency to lean towards Amcol’s approach, but I don’t feel that “basic training” for a position should be done after the position is awarded. It’s a tough situation requiring a tough approach. There should be a “policy manual” or the like. I would go by that to the letter.

        • #3190419


          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Mgmt skills & difficult people

          This was the best answer so far. Good advice Karen.

        • #3190479

          deja vu all over again….

          by g’nat ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          I had someone very like this for my boss for five years.

          IMHO, this has much less to do with anyone’s age, experience, or education.

          I think she’s a bully:
          1) instantaneous, unpredictable mood shifts, often extreme
          2) contradicting herself often, sometimes in the same conversation
          3) beating trivia to death, shrugging off major issues, so that you feel silly for even bringing up the issues

          She is poisoning the workplace, and that needs to be dealt with. The really big problem you have is that bullying is almost entirely legal in the US.

          The site would be useful here, I think.

          Getting worried over her being upset is a warning sign for you. You are giving her too much power over you. You’re there to get your job done and help her get her job done, and whether she gets mad *should* not be a consideration.

          I know the books say that you’re not supposed to remark on “how” someone talks or behaves, but her behaviours are sufficiently eggregious that you have to step in and mitigate the damage she’s doing to the workplace.


          I was able to eventually deal with my boss after having a child – no kidding here – and reading the toddler chapters in childrearing books. She was subsequently squeezed out of the organization by her boss. He stripped her of all of her responsiblities and essentially hired her replacement while she was here. I’m not sure you could do the same, as this lady was faculty and couldn’t be fired outright.

          Good luck!

        • #3190429

          Also I’ve found this works quite well

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          When she starts off being loud talk quieter and the louder she gets the quieter you get so she has to stop and listen to what you’ve said.

          Some people just don’t like being told a different way of doing things particularly if it is from someone younger and who they consider “Lack Experience!”

          When she says do it this way you should reply in a very quite voice yes you can do it that way but then you’ll have such & such a problem wouldn’t it be better if you tried this? Since the company has had its troubles could a “Performance Related Bonus System” be introduced? Nothing big but just something as little as being invited to a after work do or something like that for the High Achievers. You don’t even have to leave the premises just have something at the end of the week to thank those workers who have pulled their weight.

          You are however perfectly correct in not wanting to fight with her in a open environment as this is just not the proper thing to even consider if you have to discipline her do it in a closed office where no one can see or hear what is happening. But when you are out on the “Shop Floor” so to speak just keep it quite and she will give up very quickly or learn. At one particularly bad board meeting I reduced my voice to only slightly higher than a whisper and it had a wonderful effect as it stopped every one from getting worked up as they constantly had to stop and break their train of thought to listen to what I had to say, they actually had to strain to hear me and I was often asked to repeat what I had previously said and I did it all in the same low almost unheard voice.

          Incidentally at that meeting I was the only one who had their budget increased. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3190403

          I’d Rather you didn’t?????

          by rough ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          Since when does a subordinate tell management what to do,even if quoted as (I’d Rather)

        • #3188900

          Set Boundaries

          by raven2 ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          You are not her friend, you are her manager. Set clear personnal boundaries, set clear team goals, define success, get your team into this process, it does not need to be labourious. If she can not or will not work within those parameters. A) Follow HR policies and move her out. B) Find a recuriter who will place this person into another company. C) You can suffer. Make your choise, do not let circumstances make it.

        • #3188870

          Very easy…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          You tell her that you would rather she “shut the h*ll up” and the next time she has the urge to correct you, to count to 10 and then stuff that urge way down.

          Then after a few months, when you know she’s gonna pop, go on vacation. In a few days you can come back to see the carnage.

          That’ll teach her…

        • #3189975

          Focus on Performance

          by wildaniels ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          There are a lot of good ideas, and I would offer another. Focus on job performance. It is easier to focus the employee (and ultimately your HR paperwork) on performance. Behavior can be debated too easily. (“you misinterpreted what I did/said, i didn’t mean it that way.”)
          for example:
          you said “Some memory came in – usually i take them out of their boxes and put them into dedicated central boxes. I got the “i’d rather you did’nt do that”. ”
          Put a policy in place that says: when inventory arrives, it is recorded and placed into dedicated central boxes.
          Now, train your staff on the new procedure, and you have a point of docuementation that cannot be disputed. Just be prepared to hold all staff accountable for this performance standard. You are the manager, set performance standards and hold your staff accountable. It will result in more reliable performance.

        • #3186469

          You’re Being Put Upon

          by dimondstar1 ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          As an older employee, I can tell you – as a younger manager you’re being ‘dissed.

          You, as the manager, should be setting the standard and developing procedures – it is NOT her job to criticize you. If you choose to unwrap the memory, for example, how you do it is YOUR procedure. NOT hers.

          Personally, if I was such a spoiled brat of an employee – I’d be expecting to get fired. You’ve been unusually lenient – I hope you’ve been documenting her destructive, disruptive behavior.

        • #3185714

          Two way street

          by jdmercha ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          Good communication takes two willing participants. You, as the manager, must lead the way and give the benifit of the doubt to the employee. But the employee needs to make an effort also. Some people just don’t want to change.

          If she will not chsnge then you have to find a way to work with her. Assuming she does her job, her behavior can be overlooked. Provided it does not interfere with the production of others.

          As others have pointed out, she does not show you the proper respect due a manager. If you are doing tasks that you should deligte to others then that makes it more difficult for you to gain her respect. If your job descriptin allows it, stick to managing and let the workers do the work. If the work is not getting done, document it and assist those who are failing in their duties.

          I agree with others that taking her aside may nnot be the best thing to do. But her annual review may be the time to point out her disruptive bahavior.

        • #3195187


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Asking questions

          If you’ve tried this and it’s not working you need to consider that she just doesn’t care or is very immature, or both. In any case you as her manager need to take action. There have been an abundance of good recommendations posted that you can try. Most of them are not consistent with someone who has a reserved personality, but you must overcome that and exercise the authority your company has trusted you with. The performance of your department is a direct reflection on you as the head of the department. If this one employee is having a negative impact on others (and I don’t see how she couldn’t be at this point) you have or will have a problem.

      • #3189728

        changing bad behavior is mgr’s job

        by jerry~beans&bytes ·

        In reply to Another approach… maybe?

        i strongly disagree that you can’t change anyone’s behavior. what the heck is a manager for, if not to help their people act in ways that beter serve the company? SOMETIMES, you find someone who can or will not learn how to act properly: if they won’t change, they have to go. most people understand that, and would rather change their behavior than look for a new job.

      • #3175977

        Another viewpoint

        by stuffit ·

        In reply to Another approach… maybe?

        I work with someone that also fills the “loud/obnoxious” label. However, instead of just her manager, she is that way to ANYONE who is in a management tier above her or that disagrees with her viewpoint. Almost all verbal communications are what my grandmother would call a “back-handed complement” or “undermining” but never directly at or to the person she is attacking.

        One of the things that helped me was a book called Nasty People by Jay Carter, Psy.D. It helped me take the aggressiveness out of my interactions with this employee. After that, I directed my efforts to diffuse the negative impact she was having on the office by assisting those being affected (including her manager) in seeing that being the target did not make them “at fault” or “in the wrong”.

        I firmly believe that there are those that do not play well with others. In a highly team oriented environment, it is required to give them a limited number of reasonable positive opportunities to correct their obnoxious behaviour or work habits. After those opportunities have been missed or wasted, it is time to dismiss or remove the offensive employee. EVERY single step or communication of this entire process must be well and thoroughly documented (to the point of absurdity!) to prevent further HR or legal issues.

        Since I do not work in your environment, I am trying not to give advice, just options.

      • #3195189


        by vltiii ·

        In reply to Another approach… maybe?

        You are neglecting the overall impact on the division. If this were a one on one situation, what you recommend may be appropriate,however, this is done in public and only serves to undermine the positional authority the manager has. Co-workers see this type of behavior go unchecked and start to question why they should conform to any rules of a decent workplace, which ultimately will cause a complete breakdown in the organizational structure. The manager needs to handle this situation and her team needs to know that she is taking it for action which will solidify her position as the boss.

    • #3188618

      Don’t manage her, lead her

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Force her into either choosing A or B.

      A) Pipe down and be respectful of your peers
      B) Come to my office and we’ll have a talk and I have a nice form for you to sign

      Lead her by making sure she understands she is not only wrong, but she is hurting the customer by being wrong. Also document what you are doing. Talk with her co-workers and if they feel the same, perhaps it is time to have a sit down with everyone to go over what is going wrong.

      If she still can’t work it out, fire her. I know it is ugly, but in the long run she will hurt the team and moral.

    • #3188399


      by bhunsinger ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      How do you gain respect from a bully- stand up! She is in a new position and she would seem to resent that she cannot continue to tdo helpdesk. She is as new in her position as you are, her time with the company not withstanding.
      The military term here is “Lock her heels!” Officers, especially young ones , often are dealing with this situation. Until they USE the authority that they have, they get run over. You tel the person to stand at attention and then you explain in great detail, how their behavior does not measure up.In your style. Quiet is fine, but brook no interuptions etcetera etcetera. How you company does formal this is your BOSS talking to you, is a cultural thing, get advice from you peers. It may be the review, it may be the stand at my desk while I speak more in sorrow than anger, but find out how to do it.
      Of Course there is a flip side. The enlisted man gets to look straight ahead and say permission to speak freely at the end of your monologue and deliver one starting “with all due repect sir….. ” and unload his frustrations as well.(If of course, the young officer wants to lead not just push people around)
      Be prepared for her to unload the frustation on you– it’s called clearing the air.
      On the petty example- Why did she not want the memory unwrapped? You ask her opinion then do it your way anyhow, that is not respect either. Just a thought to look at your behavior.

      • #3188761

        Mutual respect needed.

        by thomasdelora37 ·

        In reply to Respect

        The main thing would require this mgr to respect the employee, have Union rep and HR meet with all parties in neutral territory. After getting Air cleared, set the rules applying to employee & mgr. document the process. If after this meeting, employee is rude and obnoxious, use doc’s to make her unemployed.

      • #3195121


        by vltiii ·

        In reply to Respect

        I was half way with you through much of your post then you mentioned unwrapping the memory.
        1. I’m pretty confident it’s not the managers responsibility to unwrap memory. Sometimes leaders do the labor to attempt to show that they are part of the team. Almost alsways the outcome is the team sees them as another member of the team and not the head of the team.
        2. Since she did decide to unwrap the memory, why does she need to conform to the subordinates methods for accomplishing this. I can’t in the wildest stretch see how this is disrespectful.

        Just because we ask someone’s opinion doesn’t mean that we have to follow their advice. By definition the person offering their opinion should understand that there is a possibility that we won’t. How do you handle differing opinions? Using your philosophy, someone is bound to be offended in a situation where there are multiple differing opinions.

    • #3188354

      Welcome to the Big League

      by roadmanjim ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I am sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations! I have been in a similar situation and can relate. At a previous job we an office loudmouth and the two of us were like night and day. I ended up leaving for other reasons and she got fired. That is neither here nor there.

      I too am soft-spoken and tend to be reserved. I dislike confrontation so my future as a manager is suspect (post-graduation). However, I do think that I could provide some insight.

      1. Whatever motivates this individual, there is slim to no chance that you will be able to change her behavior or point of view. She is what I call a Big-Mouth Frog and learned long ago that certain behaviors have rewards (meet a need).

      2. Decide if she is worth keeping. Does she do her job? Is she punctual and dependable? Do customers have problems with her performance? Does the company have an HR department with a spine? Do you have the support of higher-ups? Whatever the case, you need to start documenting EVERYTHING! This paper trail will be invaluable when the stuff hits the fan. Be advised, that day is coming and it sounds like the office is not big enough for both of you.

      3. Learn to hold your ground without raising your voice. Often, you can calm an excited person by speaking in a calm and measured voice. She is using volume as a power tool and will continue to do so as long as it works. You may have to take her aside, counsel her and document the meeting. Put copies of the counseling sessions in her personnel file along with any accolades that she has earned.

      4. Good luck!

    • #3188335

      Being honest about your own suitability for management

      by furl129 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Mentor? I?d say you?re the one who needs mentoring — or more accurately, coaching.

      Look at the words you use to describe yourself: just turned 30, reserved, not that type of person, highly educated, nice.

      Now look at the words you use to describe what you DO: struggle, back down, mentor.

      It might be very interesting to hear what she thinks of you: weak, naive, arrogant, judgemental?

      I?d say that she thinks you?re a poor manager and is trying to get rid of you by being deliberately abbrasive. She?ll succeed, too, if you don?t clean up your act. The company obviously knows that she?s the one worth keeping.

      • #3188277


        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Being honest about your own suitability for management

        Don’t actually help the guy or anything. What you are saying is what EVERY inexperienced manager will do. This employee is testing her bounds and he needs to dicuss the issue(s) with her.

        If she can’t take the fact that he is in charge, she needs to look for work elsewhere. Further, it isn’t HIS fault that an employee is acting like a jerk…

        When did this whole blame the victim thing come into vogue?

        • #3190413

          Because nobody likes a victim…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Gads!

          And mostly because he doesn’t NEED to be a victim.

          He could turn this around by being responsible for her behavior. She’s being loud because he is ALLOWING it. That’s why blaming the victim has become so popular.

        • #3189015


          by tlea ·

          In reply to Gads!

          Victim? He is the manager. He has the power to control the situation. How exactly is he a victim, except for letting himself be one? Sure it isn’t his fault that the employee initially acted like a jerk, but it IS his fault that she continues to do so, and so the reason for his post. I think pointing out that he needs to have a little more back bone is good advice.

        • #3188799


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Victim?

          This is a YOUNG manager who is being attacked on purpose and with possible malice by a subordinate.

          People KNOW how to act in a business environment, but this one just wants to push buttons and perhaps is jealous.

          The manager is a victim of someone who is acting out ON PURPOSE. People are responsible for their actions…including the subordinate.

        • #3195113


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Yup

          People are responsible for their actions. The manager is responsible for squelching them in this case. Your reaching a lot of conclusions i.e. “just wants to push buttons”, without having all of the facts.

        • #3196190

          Take the poster a face value

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to True

          Sure, I could be jumping to conclusions, but from what the poster said, I’m dead on the money.

          People in the work place need to not only handle themselve professionally and deal with superiors in the same manner, but they need to learn how to act in a social situation.

          The manager is a young manager who doesn’t quite know how to handle this and clearly the subordinate is taking advantage of this. She is working the manager because she wanted the job and is upset that he/she took the position. I’m sure this subordinate can handle themselves professionally, but they chose not to.

          I’ve posted what the manager should do and why he/she should do it. Further, clearly the subordinate is angry about the chapter 11 re-org, doesn’t know her job very well, and is trying to remove a young manager because of envy.

        • #3195115


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Gads!

          When the victim is the manager. Victim and manager are contradictory in this situation. Manager-Authority. Subordinate-No authority (or less authority best case).

    • #3188322

      A difficult situation requires proven solutions

      by the_breeze><> phillipians 3:12-14 <>< ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      how much more proven can you get than Bible taught solutions

      • #3188273

        This isn’t how to build a productive employee

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to A difficult situation requires proven solutions

        A happy and trusting employee isn’t a productive employee. I highly suggested you read:

        “The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact” Mintzberg

        “On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B” Kerr

        “From Control to Commitment in the Workplace” Walton

        “Work Motivation: Theory and Practice” Katzell & Thompson

        Just because they were happy and trusting didn’t mean they were doing anything. The whole socialist ideal that somehow, magically, people won’t take advantage of a system like that is insane. The concept of leadership is leading by example. You must want to achieve and succeed. You shouldn’t be power seeking and you should be social. Beyond that the rest is mumbo jumbo that tries to lead managers to the conculsion that by using socialism in the workforce your employees will somehow work more efficiently.

        • #3188264

          An aside to JM

          by dc guy ·

          In reply to This isn’t how to build a productive employee

          Socialism? I was there, I spent some time in Eastern Europe in the era before Perestroika. The workers were most definitely NOT happy and trusting. They had the highest rate of alcohol consumption of any demographic group I’ve ever met. They managed to get along without blue jeans and tape decks, but if the supply of slivovic, pivo, wodka, or whatever, had been interrupted, there would have been a revolution. They were so depressed that they lost the basic human urge to procreate; their populations were falling precipitously and the governments were trying to entice them with something like two-year maternity leaves. As for trust? This was the national motto in every Slavic language (plus Hungarian, Romanian, etc.): “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

        • #3188184

          Did you read the article?

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to An aside to JM

          It goes on and on how free fuel made the employees happy and healthy, which made them more productive…This is pure bunk.

        • #3190630

          Did you?

          by it_juggler ·

          In reply to Did you read the article?

          Since my own management experience is somewhat lacking, I’ll do here what I most often do in similar circumstances; rely on the insights of my father-in-law (RW) who, although retired now from the multi-million dollar publicly-traded company where he served as CEO/President, serves on several Boards of Directors.

          The postings from amcol remind me very strongly of RW; I think they would agree on most things. However, the article referenced by The_Breeze also reminded me of RW.

          I disagree that the article was pure bunk. Yes, they gave away free gas (that was only one of many examples in the article) but that was based on a pure cost/benefit analysis. Giving away free gas was cheaper than the loss of productivity. Factory workers who show up to work are more productive than those who don’t.

          By giving away the fuel (a temporary measure to deal with extraordinary circumstances) the company demonstrated that seemingly harsh remedies such as proposed by amcol are indeed just and right.

        • #3188998

          You obviously missed the point…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Did you read the article?

          It’s hard for me not to laugh at you jmgarvin. You obviously missed the entire point of that part of the article.

          It had nothing to do with free fuel. It had to do with trust, which you obviously don’t have for anything.

          Look at the credentials of this guy. If he wasn’t a good manger, do you think he would have been a manager in those companies?

          Not only is it not bunk, but it was a demonstration of a great management style that seems to have been lost since then.

          I for one, have always responded to being respected and trusted, with motivation and loyalty .

          I don;t understand what it is that you don’t believe about this article? That a manager could have the balls to give his employees a little credit? Or that they didn’t take advantage of it and trusted him back? Which is it?

          Because I think it’s a sad commentary that you responded negatively to this article at all.

        • #3188818

          Trust != productivity

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to You obviously missed the point…

          A happy and trustful employee is not always productive. You can have your trusting and happy employees all you want, but they aren’t always going to be productive (there or not).

          The article has no relation to reality. I highly suggest you read the links provided and take a course or two in organizational behavior. The implications of the article are that happy and trusting employees are productive. This is 100% untrue.

          While trust is a sign of a good leader, it does not mean that your employees will be productive.

          Motivation != productivity
          Respect != productivity
          Productivity = Productivity

          The article claims that employees were more productive because of the “trust” involved. This could be true, but it could be a mirad of other factors.

          I highly suggest you read the links I posted.

        • #3189005

          I disagree…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to This isn’t how to build a productive employee

          You’re making the same assumptions that you claim are erroneous. You also can’t assume that a happy and trusting employee WON’T do a better job. Statistics are generally useless, as they can be made to show anything.

          In general, it only makes sense that a happy and trusting employee is going to be more productive than an unhappy suspicious one. It’s just common sense.

          And none of this has anything to do with the topic of this thread.

        • #3188813

          Read the links I posted earlier in the thread…

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to I disagree…

          A happy and trusting employee is just as able to produce (or not) as an unhappy and untrusting employee.

          The question is bigger than that, but in the large picture, productivity is only tied to itself.

          While I personally like my workers to be happy and relaxed, I also know that it doesn’t mean they are automatically more productive.

          I also agree this is quite off course and has NOTHING to do with what the posters needs.

      • #3190659

        Good Text

        by j.minkjan ·

        In reply to A difficult situation requires proven solutions

        Good text,

        Thanks for sharing!


    • #3188266

      She needs SUPERVISING, not MANAGING

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      People are criticizing you for not knowing how to manage, when your problem actually is that you don’t know how to supervise. Welcome to American business’s largest club! Don’t feel so bad. Well, I mean you do have to solve the problem, but the fact that it exists is not a reflection on your own adequacy.

      As I’ve said on this forum many times, the workstation revolution squeezed the position of first-line supervisor out of most U.S. organizations. That was a big loss. People are promoted directly from line work into management. That means A. they never had a supervisor, and therefore B. they never learned how to supervise.

      Supervision is not the same as management. It’s 100 percent dealing with subordinates, especially the troublesome ones. First you figure out what you need to do to solve the problem, then you teach them to be a good subordinate, and, bingo, by example you’ve taught them how to be a good supervisor when their turn comes.

      I would suggest tracking down the oldest people you know, such as myself, who remember the good old days of having a supervisor and being a supervisor.

      That said, what would I tell you? For starters I’m rather at a loss here without being able to hear the loudmouth’s side of the story. You have to learn that every story has as many sides as there are players, plus one more: the truth. Like many previous posters, I’d be interested to hear her description of the problem and see how it agrees and differs with your own. That’s where the dynamic is in these situations: in the tension between different views of the same situation.

      So hey, there’s your clue. I can’t come to your office but you go there every day. What you absolutely HAVE TO do, and I’m not the first one here to say it, is understand how she relates to all this. What motivates her, what bothers her, what does she think of you, of her job, of the company, what does she want and what will she settle for?

      Only you know her well enough now to decide what tactics would help you know her better. Lunch, bowling, dog, cat, camping, trains, tv show, there’s bound to be some connection and a really clever SUPERVISOR will find it. It will probably be harder to start the conversation without looking like you’ve been replaced by a Pod Person than it will be to find the subject of mutual interest; you’ve gotten your relationship with her into a rut and getting it out will be a bit of a lurch. Just grit your teeth and do it.

      Perhaps all you need to do is establish a cordial relationship with her based upon something completely external to the job, and the rest of this stuff will evaporate. Believe me, it’s quite possible.

      But the one thing you may find, and is often the root of problems like this, is that the woman is simply depressed over the state of her life in general and you only play a very small role in that. In that case there’s not much you can do. Even if she were a close friend it’s not easy to nudge somebody into the right direction to resolve depression. Some years the world really does suck and there’s nothing anyone can do to make it better.

      Your choice then is to put up with her or not. This choice should be based on the welfare of the company, not you or her. Workplaces are full of discomfort and sooner or later you’ll have to learn to withstand it.

      I can see that in your heart you want to help her. That’s a good thing, don’t listen to these people who are shouting, “Touchy-feely, touchy-feely, DC Guy already admitted he’s really from California.” You wouldn’t like yourself if you didn’t find yourself caring about people you know. But if you can’t help her, that’s when it gets hard. If the best interests of the company dictate that you have to let her go, it will feel bad. You’ll feel like you’ve failed.

      Don’t. If you’ve tried your best and the problem is on her end, then you have to let go and move on to your next problem. And THAT, my dear boy (?) is what being a manager is all about! Staying focused.

      Are you up for it?

      • #3188256


        by amcol ·

        In reply to She needs SUPERVISING, not MANAGING

        In the words of that famous philosopher, Mr. Spock: “A difference that makes no difference is no difference at all.”.

        Supervision, management. To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to. The main reason you don’t find first line supervisors in the corporate world any longer is that their responsibilities were subsumed into entry level management jobs…where they belonged in the first place.

        It’s all the same, anyway. It’s all about getting people to perform at the peak of their ability, for the good of the organization.

        The rest of your post makes some good points, except for the psychobabble parts.

      • #3190365

        Have to Lay the Ground Rules First

        by bluegiant ·

        In reply to She needs SUPERVISING, not MANAGING

        I agree with most of the points you discuss DC Guy…These are effective methods to get at the root of the problem and get it resolved. These steps should be taken after some ground rules are established.

        As another poster mentioned, this employee is testing her boundaries. She is determining how far she can push her manager and exactly what she can get away with. This manager should pull this person aside and lay down some basic rules of behavior. For example, public discussions are to be professional and respectful (that works both ways). Disagreements are to be handled privately, not in front of customers (internal or external).

        This is a necessary first step because behaviors are objective, measureable, and defined. You can define acceptable behavior in writing and hold her accountable for maintaining acceptable behavior as it is defined. You can take corrective action for violations of acceptable behavior.

        IT is a service business with both internal and external customers. Disagreements, arguments, and personal attacks in front of customers reduces their confidence in you and makes your department much less effective.

        Once the ground rules of acceptable behavior are established, steps can be taken as you describe, DC Guy, to get to the root of the conflict and get it resolved.

        My 2 cents…


    • #3188235

      Check YOUR attitude

      by von291 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      First off, let me say the best manager I ever had told me that her job (read:management philosophy) was to help me succeed at my job. Ever since then, I have adopted that philosophy for myself.

      I am 37 and have been in management positions for 13 years, so I have experienced the resentment of senior (in age or longevity with the company) employees too.

      In fact, I had a 75 year old woman that had worked with my company since I was just a toddler! Believe me, it was difficult for her to handle me being her manager. She had a lifetime of expertise (from on-the-job experience) that I could never understand. When I first started working with her, she called me a “brat.”

      This is how I dealt with the situation:

      1. I made it clear to everyone on staff that I was selected for the position based on my skills, expertise, and experience – not my age. At the same time, I am not arrogant or full of myself. Confident, yes. A jerk, no.
      2. I respect everyone equally. Even if there are problems with an employee, I still hold the same management philosophy.
      3. I continually strive to lead all of my employees to success. I support them when they ask. I back them up when the chips are down. I don’t humiliate them in front of others. I encourage, rather than discourage them. I discipline privately and respectfully, and in accordance with policy. I lead by example.

      A lot of how the situation goes down is up to you and how you approach it.

      From your post, it sounds a little like she’s been able to intimidate you because you have mentioned things like, “she misses so many obvious things that are staring her in the face…” etc. In saying that, you reveal your intimidation and insecurity. Rather than point out her flaws, it is up to you to help her succeed in spite of herself.

      Don’t forget that your subordinates’ failures are a reflection of your leadship. Look at this situation as an opportunity to grow and learn how to improve your skills as a leader. You know you have the IT expertise. Now it’s time to improve your supervisory skills. Also don’t be afraid to ask YOUR supervisor for assistance in handling the situation.

      Finally, try to step back from the situation, let go of your ego for a moment, and take a good hard look at how you have been dealing with it. Be honest with yourself. Then rethink your strategy.

      Best of luck!

      • #3188739

        good plan

        by kb0lkt1 ·

        In reply to Check YOUR attitude

        Your post is and has been my phylosophy about good Management/Supervisory/Leadership. We are all working for the same purpose; and that is making the establishment work better to make a profit for our owners. Still one must be strong in leadership.

        It took me a few setbacks of my own and a hard look at my skills but made me a better leader/manager.

    • #3188234

      Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by gsinclair ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I can understand your case. I’m in a similar position but with a little younger person who is pretty much my age (early 30s. That person was in the dept. longer than I have been. What I have done is try as much as possible to communicate by way of e-mail to same employee. ie. pretty much all task I assign that person is documented in a e-mail and is copied to my superior so they can also see what is happening within the dept. By doing this I find that I talk less to that person their is less doubt/challeges about past issues, and I can foolow-up on task more effectivley based on those e-mails. This step have help me. I hope it can do the same for you.

    • #3188171

      Ultimately your choice

      by tagmarkman ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Looks like you managed to get quite a bit of good an conflicting information on this subject. The fact of the matter is this no one here is completly right or wrong. Only you can make the best choice for the situtation that fits your personality.

      If you have the time, DCGuy has some great advice about “understanding” her. It’s not a great “immediate” answer but it’s invaluable in the long run. Do this for all of your subordinates not just this one in which it may be too late.

      If you need to get rid of her, then follow amcol’s advice. You’re not going to make her a good employee but you will build a case very quickly to get her out of there. This is a hardnosed appoach and you can loose some very good talent and lower employee moral quite a bit, but if it’s going nowhere, you this might be the best choice.

      Von291 does a good job at describing general management and suggests a demeanor that might be good to follow depending on your personality. This is the type of management I’m comfortable around. It’s team oriented (you have something I want they have something you want) instead of (I’ve got something you want… now do what I want).

      jmgarvin hits the nail on the head by saying “lead”. I completely agree with this. You manage “things” you lead “people”. Leading has to do with a team more than an individual so making the hard choice should be one to benefit the team.

      I personally belive you are not the person to mentor her. She needs someone she respects outside of your group.

      And lastly: Respect respect respect. I make one rule that I don’t tolerate anyone breaking. Never ever attack the person, only attack the work.

    • #3188134

      Been there friend.

      by davesims2 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I was in a similar situation. If your subordinate is as hard headed as the one I dealt with she has to go. You will be better off and ultimately she will too. In my situation my subordinate was actively undermining my authority. I had two choices, fire a person who had been with the company 35 years or find them a new home. Firing a long term employee can sometimes be political suicide for a new manager. I opted for finding my new friend another place in the company. Can you do that, was there anything this person did before in the company? Can you get them sent back there?

      I was able to use salary and overall team effectiveness as justification. In my situation I was able to bring in someone who was more compitent for a little under half what this other person was making.

      One last word of advice. Before you make a move like this you will want to make sure you know all the things this person is doing. Make sure the work associated with those activities does not falter.

      Best of luck

    • #3190665


      by cleverclogs ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I hate people who think they know everything…and I should know

    • #3190664

      It takes all sorts to make a team

      by michaeljoseph31 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Sounds like a personality clash issue with many facets including age, length of service and your developing management style.
      You need to have a direct conversation with this person on your expectations of them and the need for them to be seen as part of the team. You need to ensure that HR is on board in case the conversation develops in an adverse manner.
      Set goals and timelines for improvement and during this period avoid any open office heated exchanges with this person – for fear of diluting the case / evidence you and HR are gathering on said person.
      Stop seeing length of service and an inhibitor as your primary role is to manage and as long as you do this well you will gain the respect of all employees – irrespective of length of service.
      You should be aware that there are some staff no matter what you do – their thinking and ways of working may never come around to your viewpoint – should this be one of them, my advice would be to part company with them before their disruption spreads and becomes a total burden / distraction for you and the company.

    • #3190662

      Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by cumbrae ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      get rid of her she doesnt fit.

    • #3190660

      Hi try some other web SItes dedicate to this problem

      by jim.allen1 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I recognise the problem as a type of bullying I suggest you go to bullysupport at there are many on there who are suffering similar problems

    • #3190658

      Experience vs. Education

      by efeegilmez ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Once I’ve heard in one of Arnie’s movies, “there is a thin line between being smart and a smart-ass”…

      As I have been in the IT sector 10+ years now, I had experienced tough times with similar annoyed personell.

      Is this a battle ? Yes, it is. But, if you are good at chess then you have a chance. If not learn it fast. Just like dealing with other sorts of personell, you have to be cool and strategic.

      Take this as a case. Why is she like this to you ? What does she want ? Why does she want it? What is her tactics. Plan, create a fightback strategy and destroy.

      And YES, she hates you. She wants to smoulder you on the carpets…Why ? Just because you are educated and more performable than she is. She has been in the company longer, and most probably was hoping to get your position until you showed up. She thinks you are a rookie and easy to digest.

      Must admit, as she has experience, she is one step ahead of you. But not to worry. You are smarter. You are more upto date… You are on a higher level than her.

      The simplest strategy would be to hit her with her own weapons. Dig a hole, camouflage it, ambush, destroy. If you have any positional forces, use it wisely and win the battle.

      If her career is important for her, after a while she will realize that her job is on the edge. Then she will stop thinking with her childish ego, and will become a faithfull servant.

    • #3190655

      Support for the Hearing Impaired

      by chughlett ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Slip onto her desk a brochure offering support for people who have impaired hearing. If she comments, then you just made an honest mistake, thinking her louder-than-average voice might be an outward indicator of a hearing problem. Perhaps speak to your superiors in the context of, “we have an employee I’m concerned about.”


      • #3190414

        Hearing Impaired???

        by iseriesjunkie ·

        In reply to Support for the Hearing Impaired

        As a member of the hearing assisted community, I’d be highly offended at the “brochure on my desk” routine. If you suspect this, talk with the employee privately and don’t mention it to anyone until you know for sure. The louder-than-average voice could be stress related.

    • #3190654

      be Trumplike

      by probinso ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Donald Trump would go here – determine what the weakest link in the skill set is, and task a job in that area. Set time frames and request updates frequently during meetings with groups. A person who knows a little but uses a big mouth will bury themselves if provided the opportunity. During meetings, ask direct questions in this weak spot in front of peers. If this person is is the bane of everyone else’s existence as well, they will applaud (perhaps silently) your efforts. Don’t be louder – be smarter!

    • #3190652


      by c.daniels ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You could set a knowledge profile gathering exercise. This would allow you to gain the true strengths and weaknesses of you sub’s, this also high lights to the subs what are there weakness and may reduce the noise from the said individual once they realise that you know whether they are blagging it.
      Put them to task on thier strenghts which gives them self asteam and makes them feel as if the are not just another body to delegate to.

    • #3190650

      A practice which has worked for me…

      by b_sen ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Based on what you have said, I have faced the loud-mouth aspect several times & dealt with it with “concerned ignorance”.

      i.e – you listen intently, and argue your point with calm reservation, never raising your tone of voice, despite whats coming back from the other side (However, you must be sure that the points YOU are making are in the best interest of your team – that decision, risky as it may be, as a manager must be yours).

      Eventually, the conversation will end, and despite loud opinions, the practical application of the conversation will be at your discretion. If you are concerned of any team member who overhead the “debate” – time will show that in the end, you got your way done, with a calm head.

      This has worked for me several times with large teams, and employees ranging from 18 to mid 30’s. My humble thoughts for you…

    • #3190645

      Quiet rejoinder

      by cnwoods ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You don’t need to change your communication style, but you can use the situation to your advantage by pointing out how inappropriate it is. When she pipes up in open forum and gets loud, try a quiet reply:
      “Obviously this is an issue which is of great importance to you. I’d like to make sure it’s dealt with to your satisfaction. Since your colleagues are trying to work, and it would be rude to interrupt them, lets take it to the meeting room and bring an independent support person along just to make sure you’re happy with the way it’s covered. Would you like to do that now or should we arrange a time?”

      There’s a great book I can also recommend, called “Positive Politics” – not sure the author but it’s a few years back now. Covers how workplace politics can actually be used to improve the working environment instead of detract from it.

    • #3190643

      Keep Your Cool

      by critic ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Well, we all can “suggest” but you should know your situation best. Anyway it looks like she is having some sort of identity crisis. Giving her the benefit of doubt, first I would try to win her confidence with soft but firm words and at the same time collect evidence on her deeds/misdeeds to save my back. A tip – usually, the way to sizedown an inflated ego is to allow it make a mistake and let the consequence stare in face.

    • #3190642

      Constructive feedback is the key

      by jos_hort ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have had to deal with these sorts of employees before and it is really hard to deal with them so I sympathise with you.

      The best thing I ever did was tell the person how I felt about what they were doing and asked them why they were doing it. This not only got the person to take responsibility for their actions but, much to my surprise, improved my position of respect with them rather than damage it which is what I’d feared. The key is to be constructive and not insult her huge ego. If you explain that when she does something and you feel a certain way as a result you have taken ownership of it and is something she cannot argue with. You should aim to come out of the meetings with actions you can both take to improve the situation.

      If nothing else you will end up with a much better shared appreciation of each other and may find it easier to get along.

      I also agree with others this should be a conversation that is documented so that you can show HR fair treatment of a problem employee. Good preparation to this meeting is also key to prevent her derailing what it is you need to say.

      Hope this helps!

    • #3190641

      Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by reyoung3 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Question for you “Anyhelpwouldbegreat” does your company have a good HR department? If so, what kind of employee review system do they have in place? I would look at documenting every time this happens to you. I would also make it a point once things are clam, to invite this person to a conference room with someone from HR to address the concerns at hand. I would use the employee review process to address this behavior pattern which you find unacceptable as a goal for this employee to work on improving to continue to grow in their job. Without documentation, you will be powerless. Every employee/employer issue I have ever experienced, seen or read about have shown without documentation, it would always favor the employee. With documentation the company has a way to manage those employees behavior. I hope this will help. It’s not easy, but trust me work with your HR department and develop an Acceptable Work Behavior Policy. Publish it and give it an Effective Date. Also develop a progressive dicipline policy if you don’t have one. A progressive dicipline program will not work with out having good documentation. First offense is a verbal warning. Second offense is a written warning put into their personnel file. Third offense is 3 days off without pay. Fourth offense is indefinite layoff. Once this is in place you will be able to manage this employee if they want to continue working with you. I hope this helps. Feel free to let me know your thoughts.



    • #3190640

      Managing – Understanding styles and types

      by philip.grogan ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Management is a fine art. There are some very good managers around and some equally bad ones. Taking your question at face value and without any intended malice.

      Have you considered that the employee might be struggling to be heard. Apart from the obvious characteristics of loud people (which I can be from time to time), one possible reason for this behaviour may be that this person has a lot to offer the company, but is not able to communicate this in an articulate way. Finding out what “type” of person she is (taken from the text on types being Expressive, Directive, Amiable and Analytical). We will all be some or all of these types some of the time, but the theory is that we all relate to one of these types when under pressure or duress. This would really help the situation as you would then have a fair idea of how to manage that particular person. With expressive people, criticism is best being specific and as private as possible, for example that piece of work done to that document was poor, rather than that job was rubbish. However, praise is public.

      Group Workshops or white paper tasks could aid this with specific task setting to highlight the employees imnportance. Obviously she is valuable to the company or else the survival of a reshuffle would not have happened.

      I have found from experience that understanding how an employee likes to be driven or communicated with, praised or mentored makes vast in roads to helping both the situation and build a unique working bond. It will never be perfect as you are in what is perceived to be the power position. When we talk of menoting, could this be perceived as micro management?.

      I suggest going to this link. It has a lot of valuable information on management and a lot of good links. there are many around.

      A One 2 one to clear the air maybe a good step in this situation. At least you may get to the bottom of the public criticism.

      Thats my two pence worth anyway!.

    • #3190639

      Do a 180

      by carl.gregg ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      If your office is open to viewing by others, place a flip chart in your office facing away from the group. But, you want everyone coming into your office to see it. Write on it for a few days in the presence of your subordinates and peers.

      Then when the person arrives, do not verbally answer. Write on the flip chart: “Please sit down. We can talk about the issues quietly and without disrupting the work of the others.” Leave the door open so that others can see.

      If the individual storms out, quickly turn the flip chart for the subordinates to read. If she does not but sits down, say “Thank you.” Then proceed with the conversation.

      If this doesn’t get her attention, she isn’t a worker that I would want. If it does, she understands the “power” you have as her supervisor.

      • #3188944

        That’s just demeaning…

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to Do a 180

        And it’s a passive aggressive, cowardly way to handle it. If he can’t address her and look her in the eye when dealing with this issue, how is he ever going to manage her?

        I disagree with this one…

    • #3190637

      There is no hope

      by jstpaolo ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      There is no hope of ever having a person like her becoming subordinate, it would be wise to just let her have her say and approach any discussion with a “yes you are right but perhaps it would be better………..” or “maybe you’re right but can you see a different way of doing…….” or just what should work every time, enroll her help on projects you know she can handle which will keep her busy and out of the way.
      Good luck.

      P.S. Don’t forget to respect her views no matter how wrong she is, your staff will see you in a much more respectfull approachable manner.

    • #3190634

      Send her to “Coventry”

      by jardinier ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Loud, obnoxious people in any situation are totally dependent on a reaction from the object of their harassment. They are very insecure people who are not in control of their own lives, and so try to interfere in other people’s lives as a substitute.

      By not showing any reaction to their provocation, you pull the rug out from beneath them. These people need an audience. Don’t be an audience. Ignore the woman.

      From my own experience in various situations in life, including the workplace, your strongest weapon is to totally ignore the person. Without a reaction to their annoyance, they are nothing.

      I have avoided all kinds of confrontations, including potential physical harm, by merely showing no reaction to the provocateur.

      • #3190633

        You must be confused by now.

        by southpaw ·

        In reply to Send her to “Coventry”

        Man, if you weren’t confused when this started you must be now.
        I’ve been in customer service and a manager for over 15 years; Amcol & BHunsinger make the most sense of all the post on this issue. Whatever you do don’t argue with anyone. Go back to the basics, in a calm quiet voice tell her to lower her voice and follow you to HR. There in front of an impartial witness, politly explain her job role and her new projects (designed to keep her too busy to think about causing you grief). Then give her the option of her making the most of her new role or 30 minutes to collect her personal belongings.

        • #3176172

          I beg your pardon?

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to You must be confused by now.

          No, I am not in the least bit confused. I fully understand the discussion topic and stand by the tactic I have suggested.

          Perhaps you could actually make a comment on my posting instead of just brushing it aside to voice your own response to the discussion topic.

      • #3190614

        excellent suggestion

        by theohkm ·

        In reply to Send her to “Coventry”


    • #3190631

      She’s testing you

      by commandgce ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Women test men all the time. I reckon she’s trying to see whether you will give in to her brattish behaviour. From your description, her behaviour isn’t rational. In fact, for most of us, much of our behaviour isn’t rational – it’s largely emotional. So, my comment is not anti-fem. Therefore, there is no need to react rationally to her. You need to deal with the emotional aspect. Seriously!
      Call her for sexual harrassment. Call her for intimidation and general harrassment. Call her for insubordination. Publicise her inadequacies. Tell the office that she fancies you and that you turned her down and now she’s trying to get back at you.
      Part of the problem, from your description, is that you want people to be nice – and so, you lack repertoire for dealing with brats. Being nice doesn’t work – you’ve demonstrated that. Act unexpectedly. Stop being nice. Be cocky and funny at the same time – being sarcastic on its own won’t work. Treat her outpourings as a joke. You WILL NEED TO REHEARSE YOUR LINES till they’re near perfect. Have some perfect squelches available that’ll get the whole office laughing.

    • #3190624

      Dont be soft cornered

      by bhargaviscool ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I too had this problem in my office, where in the person i had to manage with was even more aged than the one u are facing problems with. the best way to win against them is that the ones who stay long in any company or organisation usually have JOB FEAR that is they like the job either they like it cuz they like to play with the flies on their desktop or simple love the routine and just like to pass the time till they punch their card out of the office.

      show them the fear of them loosing this current job they have, if u have company manuals or code of conduct or some guideliness or policies set by the top notches, show it to her, first call her / him in to your cabin and tell her that she has to do it and there is no one else to do the job, if u have tried the carrot and stick approach then u can try positively first, dont try to be very persuasive, u will always loose an edge over these kind of ppl, be serious about ur job and be committed to it, they will realise in time (hardly a week), if still no change in behaviour, then ignorance is the key to all emotional reactions, ignore that person and if possible divert the jobs coming to her to another person (again u need to have a pal or a close person in the office who understands ur problems with this person and u might even need to motivate this person to do this extra job, and may be remunerate him extra.

      later when this person realises that she doesnt have any job, she might come to you. then from then on dont try to boss this person for a while and just keep giving this person tasks that are monotonous.

      try this it helped me

      (Bhargav – Manager HR)

    • #3190623

      I was that person once…….

      by david.white ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      A long time ago I found myself being the obnoxious, grumpy, disenfranchised employee who moaned about everyting. I’d found myself in that position because of cirumstance and frustration. I really wanted to do well, but it seemed like my career was being held back my a manager who blocked every internal move that I applied for in the company. the reason was simple: I was the only CICS/COBOL/DB2 coder he had and he couldn’t afford to lose me. One day I walked out and never went back, spending many years contracting. It was the best move I ever made.

      The reason that I tell you this is that ever since that job, I’ve found myself managing other people, and manging some large programmes of work – and I’ve encountered other people who are obnoxious, grumpy and disenfranchised. If you read what Jack Welch has to say about such people, you’d just fire them. However I think it’s a bit more complex than that.

      Each of these people is angry about something, and they’ve allowed a negativity about their job to overcome them.

      My advice is to get to the bottom of that, and to give that person a way out of the mess. If they take it, then coach them out of the hole that they’ve dug for themselves. If they don’t take it them fire them. You can’t afford the negativity and neither can they. You have to confront the issue in the open either one-to-one or with HR present. DO ***NOT** LET THE SITUATION FESTER.

      Just recently I met one of these “bad apple” types in a bar in London about 3 years after I’d fired him for being the most grumpy, un co-operative human being I’d ever met. He told me laughing that I did him a huge favour and that after leaving that company he’d never looked back. His whole personality had changed. Sometimes it’s just better to move on.

      Hope this helps.

      • #3190450

        Your question is so vague

        by marathoner ·

        In reply to I was that person once…….

        You don’t really tell us enough here. You mention you are educated, she is hands on, you are there a year she is there five…. etc. but you give no more specifics about her performance. Obviously she rubs you the wrong way and its probably mutual. You say she misses things that are staring her in the face. Since you are IT, those things are probably technical. Is it possible you are missing things that are staring you in the face, as well? It sounds like what we have here is classic LACK of communication, and it’s being badly misinterpreted by both parties.

        How about inviting her out for coffee and letting her blow off some steam. You might frame it as a
        “I’m educated but you have hands-on, and I’d like to know what actually goes on day to day and the stuff you know that’s not in the books.” She might be delighted to show you “her stuff.” When people take that know it all attitude its because they feel threatened. Minorities, women, and older workers often face a hostile environment, and after a while it becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy for them, sad but true. Women, in particular, often perceive themselves as always nudged to the background, and this gal obviously does not want to take the back seat. Think about that old line: “He is a treasure trove of knowledge; she is an obnoxious know-it-all.” Write down everything she says and REALLY LISTEN. You might learn something, or find out what’s really bugging her, and chances are it’s fear. If she is out of date on anything, get her some company paid training. Older workers often perceive (erroneously or not) that all the good training opps go to the young pups. She may be making assumptions about you because you’re younger and educated. Most people who have any type of problem solving in their job title perform orders of magnitude better if you take away the fear.

        Certainly, if her performance is really coming up short get together and mutually come up with a checklist, but make sure it is doable and not just perceived as a way to get rid of her. If a manager does not make crystal crystal clear what he/she values, workers can’t prioritize and end up doing a lot of wheel spinning. No vague hints. Everything objective and measurable, eh?

    • #3190617

      Alternate strategy for the long haul

      by philip.grogan ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      In management there are so many styles to adopt and all of which will have good and bad points to them.

      Yes we all come to work for the same deep reason of earning enough to pay for the things we want most. Yes our teams need to be productive in order to survive and yes the working environment is not the end of the universe as we know it. Life will go on.

      Yes I am in philosophical mood today!.

      However, it will deffinately enhance our earning potential and the roles we will be successful in aplying for ongoing, if we develope our skills in dealing with difficult situations in a possitive manner. This may mean working on a plan of action and trying to cater for each outcome. The last of which should be through HR as this is irreversable and will set the tone. The company will loose out ultimately. But understand that that action copuld be necessary if everything else fails.

      In this situation, If management is the career of choice, I would want to make every effort to win over the employee and get a grip on the rains so to speak. Wouldn’t it be a great achievement to successfully turn this situation around to a possitive, productive relationship. We are all built differently and becuase of this, one management style does not suite all individuals.

      We all have different reasons to come to work each day. Some of us most of the time will be dealiong with lives great difficulties and unfortunately bring this wot work.

      It is possible that this person needs a non biased ear to offload on. I like to have the attitude (right or worng) that most people are reasonable by nature and that abnormal behaviour is an outcome not a cause. If we want to succeed for the long haul with management in my opinion, we need to be able to adjust styles and tackle difficult situations head on.

      I have found that directive agressive management does not work for the long term and in this day and age employees seek co-operative approach.

      But depending on the business it is really horses for courses!.

    • #3190613

      Response to “Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate”

      by gs_2005 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Hi, From your note, the following are my assumptions.
      1. You are young, well educated and are a manager.
      2. You have a subordinate who is older, not so much educated as you are, is more experienced in her present job / company.

      I feel that she is not cooperative since she is not recognised for what she is worth. Give her importance, ownership and an area to work independently (under you, of course) with well defined / measurable objectives and least supervision. Make her feel that she is the boss of her little domain. This approach will certainly reap dividends.


    • #3190610

      Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by jpaullanier ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      First, examine your own feelings and motives, especially those which relate to age, experience and education. Take a look, too, at previous actions by you which may have contributed to the behavior you observe.

      Second, track the behavior objectively. Is this actually destructive behavior on her part, or is it also possible that you just don’t agree with what she says?

      Third, have a constructive talk in private with her. Let her know how the behavior bothers you, and avoid criticism or condemnation. Admit your own part. Ask her to mull it over and meet again at a later time with suggestions. Be open to the possibility that your subordinate may feel her opinion is not taken seriously by you.

      If you want to get along with your subordinate, you can, but you have to be honest about your own role, you have to respect diversity, and you have to want good relations.

      regards, Paul

    • #3190606

      What does she know

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      When people are loud it represend insecurity. Now if it is always that way that mean she feel insecure in most if not every aspect of her life at work and in her private. Now one basic thing is always identify what she know first, and validate if it is all what she know. Then as she feel she should know more, in front of everyone she will feel more insecure and that other will also have an opportunity to know she is missing something.
      That is bad feeling for her and either she will react by beeing more difficult to connect with or will understand that she have a limit. Those self person usualy learn the hard way and are always proud to display their knowledge to people who have more scolarship, it their way to say I also have learn it without going to school.
      If you do attack her in this path, you may hurt other that also learn this way and that do not act the same.

      When she talk loud some line can be use:
      ‘Tell me something I don’t know’ is you feel ….
      And ‘What is your point in disucssing this it is already set….’ as policy or other reason …
      Showing that you want more of her tought as a hole to provide you wiht a view of her argumentation (does she take into account all the element of a situation) will force her to understand or feel that you know this part and more that you feel she should know but you do. That shouldn’t lead you to say it (this extend) on the spot you can say ‘For the rest of the story see me ….’ or ‘I feel something is missing, lets revisit it at a later time.’ (never put yourself in a situation to take a decision faster that you will feel confortable with.)
      Good luck. (English being my second language, please forgive my mistake.)

      • #3190433

        Loud does not represent Insecurity

        by satornado ·

        In reply to What does she know

        I’ve sat back and read every response to this situation. Some I would say are right on and some are far from being effective. Either way, the only reason I bothered to post was because of the conclusion that loud represents insecurity. I happen to know for a fact that loud does not represent insecurity because at times I too have become loud myself. The only reasons I became loud was because I was frustrated and angry with the injustice of my situation. The one thing I don’t hear anyone saying in this post, if you did I apologize for missing it, is that maybe her problem is in fact that she resents the manager because she feels she was over looked for that position or maybe she feels he is not using her as effectively as she thinks she should be utilized. It seems to me that it would be helpful by pulling her into the office and ask her to express her thoughts and feelings without any reprecussions. First find out why she is being this way and if in fact its just her personality then stand up to her and deal with her. There that’s my two cents worth.

    • #3190602

      good advice

      by jthamilton6 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You’ve received some good advice: 1) bring her into your office and talk quietly with her about her behavior and why it is objectionable, 2) begin documenting everything, every exchange as well as every work-related incident. After your talk with her, maintain a very professional stance–friendly, but still very professional.
      It has always helped me to outline exactly the things I want to talk about before I go into such a meeting and have them at my fingertips during the meeting.

    • #3190482

      Document Everything. Don’t get Personal

      by tom.lee ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Whatever her reasons, ot sounds as if she is disruptive to the group. I would take it in three steps:
      1) Work with your HR department to determine the correct (ie. legal) method of dealing with this. You don’t want to give her to anything that she may turn against you in the future.
      2) Put together a plan of what you need to do and in what order. This will give you a goal to shoot and will hopefully keep things on track for improvement.
      3) Document, Docuument, Document. Keep written records of what she does and how you respond. If you keep good records and can backup your statements, there is much less likelyhood it will turn into a your word against theirs.

      Above all, don’t let it turn personal. People that are like this usually understand very well that someone that is upset is likely to make a mistake that can be used against them. They are arrogant and usually look down on others thinking that their skill alone will override anything they do. I once had someone like this that worked for me that transfered from another location that had excellent performance evaluations but gave me fits. When I asked his old supervisor if he had always been like this he said he had been but they overlooked it because he was so smart. You need to deal with is because it’s not right to pass someone like this off on someone else (In the end, he ended up leaving on his own after receiving poor marks for “interpersonal skills” on his evalualtion).

      Good luck.

      • #3190408


        by zaferus ·

        In reply to Document Everything. Don’t get Personal

        I agree completely, as a manager you have to toe the line. Let the employee know with HR presence in a closed door meeting that they have an issue that needs to be corrected. Also with HR give THEM a path of dates and consequences to not complying. They will likely either leave or fall in line before termination becomes necessary.

        Bully’s may be in grade school playgrounds, don’t let them be in the workplace. This isn’t only affecting you, all your staff is certainly being affected by this disruption to your team.

      • #3189884

        Don’t let attitude stop you from listening..

        by tom.lee ·

        In reply to Document Everything. Don’t get Personal

        These types of situations can be difficult and it is important to note that you must first start by being honest with yourself. You must make sure that that everything stays professional and you don’t make it personal. She may have a problem with your age or something else about you that rubs her the wrong way so you do have to consider if there is anything you are doing that might be making the situation worse. The was any employee that I used to have to work with that was very abrasive and people would often tune him out. After one particular incident I realized that if I had listened to the content of what he was saying instead of the tone then I might hear something I needed to know.

        That being said, she must also realize that at the end of the day you are still the supervisor. This is what can make supervisory jobs the most distasteful and it strikes me as ironic that we often aspire to move into such positions and take on such unpleasentness to do less of the creative work that made us want to take a technical career path in the first place.

        This is all part of being a supervisor and there will always be unpleasent subordinates to deal with so you better learn to deal with them now.

        Good luck.

    • #3190481

      do your job

      by ronny.baeb ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You are a manager, this job includes some actions that we as human dislike but are really necessary.
      So get to bussines, ORDER here to get in line, and tell here that she only got two ways to go, your (company) way or the highway.
      If you don’t you will have more troubles, not only with here but the other teammembers will revolt and start to behave in the same manner as she is doing now. The problem is that at that point it will be you whom will be forced to leave the company, the reason will be lack of authority.

      best regards

    • #3190480

      Don’t confuse the issues

      by scooterb ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      My thoughts are this:

      There are a couple of seperate issues which are getting mentioned. Number one, seems to be that she is a “loud, obnoxious person”. This is a character flaw. Probably doesn’t have anything to do with you as her manager. It’s just her personality.

      Second, she “seems to know it all”. This is a work performance issue. Does she? She may think that she does. This might be based on the fact that she has been there longer. She may have been one of those folks that at one time “was good enough” to handle the IT needs. Maybe when the office was smaller and needs were less. But now she feels threatened. You being younger and more educated are a threat to her once held position of esteem.

      You need to handle these things separately. If you handle the work performance first, the other may somewhat fall in line. Does she have some of the basic skills that could make her a good team player with the right training and right application of her skills? If so, then find the right way to get her training and then apply her into a good position for her to demonstrate her skills. If she doesn’t have any skills then talk to HR about relocating her to another department. Since your company is going through CH11, there is an awful lot of “self preservation” because folks are worried about keeping their jobs. This may be a defense mechanism in order to make her seem more “needed” to the higher ups. If she displays the same behavior in another department, then she should be dumped.

      The personality is a different issue. You cannot change someones attitude nor personality. You can only change their behavior. Have a closed door seesion with her (and HR if possible) and explain to her that her behavior is disruptive to the team and co-workers. If she truly wants to keep her job, then she should be willing to modify her behavior to stay in that position.

      This is a good test of a young manager. How you handle it now will say allot about what kind of manager you become in the future.

    • #3190477

      Article References

      by jose.baerga ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have come accross two articles in the Academy of Management Review that may offer some assistance. The first one is titled “Incivility in the Work Place” which also has a web site ( The second is titled “Territoriality in Organizations”, AMR, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp 577-594. Hope this may offer some new information and you can follow the references to other research.

    • #3190471

      Interesting problem

      by k1eg ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I read this and really had to think hard about if I wanted to reply to it or not because I’m not sure you will understand my response. You do need to understand that I
      have been on both sides of the fence and can see both sides of this question.

      “Ever so often I struggle to manage one of my people. I’ve just turned 30 and this person is in their mid 40’s. I’ve been her manager for just under a year, and started
      with the company as her manager, whereas she’s been here 5yrs.”

      You introduced age into this problem and that is part of the problem which I will explain farther down.

      “This person is loud and likes to try to trip me up (loudly), when she knows the office is an open one, where the conversations can be over heard. I do have regular
      meetings (weekly updates) away from the environment, but she just likes to try to prove she’s right about things that she so obviously isn?t, but because of the noise I
      back down, because I?m quite reserved, and basically not that kind of person.”

      Is she so obviously wrong or do you back down because some of her points maybe right?

      “People try to look like they get on with her, and there is so much bitching about anyone and everyone you wouldn?t believe.”

      This is where you maybe wrong. They might just agree with her. If you are having a problem with bitching about anyone then you obviously have a team problem
      and as the team leader means you are not doing your job effectively.

      “The company has recently come to some trouble and recovered from Ch11. Her position/ team was moved elsewhere (the helpdesk) and she moved into desktop,
      being one of the few to stay.”

      This is where the real problem stems from. You are dealing with employees who don’t know if they will have a job tomorrow. She has been thrown into a new job
      that she may or may not be totally comfortable with and her actions seem to indicate that she needs some training and reinforcement of her position. You need to
      understand that people in her age group don’t adjust to change as easily as you may. You indicated that her position/team was moved elsewhere, now if you mean
      by that it was offshored then I can understand where she is coming from. Older people are beginning to resent our jobs being sent to other countries when we are
      better able to handle them ourselves. It is becoming totally clear that companies don’t give a damn about their employees anymore so why should the employee

      “I’ve come from an IT background, am used to managing younger peers, and am highly educated, whereas her snippets are from experience on the job, although she
      misses so many obvious things that are staring her in the face.”

      I think you clearly show an attitude problem of your own here. You maybe better educated than her but guess what she is street smarter about the company than
      you. There are things that you could learn from her and I’m sure things she could learn from you. That is what team management is all about, learning from each
      other to do a better job overall. Right now I am betting that not just her but others are seeing the company problems being caused by younger managers who are
      better educated but don’t have sense enough to come in out of the rain.

      “Often when I?m being nice, and mentor her it’s shrugged off and feelings of ‘I know that’ etc. It’s very hard to manage such a person.

      Does anyone have any thoughts?”

      So with all that being said I would do the following.

      First pull her personnel records and see if she did her job well in her old position. If there were problems then you need to consider bringing in HR and documenting
      her mistakes. If she did well then there is more to this problem.

      Second, Get your team together and tell them where the company is at and make them realize that if they don’t all work as a team you will all be out of jobs. Ask
      them for input on how to make the team stronger and throw out some ideas for their comments. Remember you have been there only a year where as they may
      have been there longer and have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

      Third, You mentioned the stockroom problem. You missed a golden opportunity. You should have given her that responsibility to handle the memory. This would
      have shown that you are relying on her to do something and trust her. It also would allow you to do something more productive with your time.

      You and other younger managers need to realize that people over 40 come from an age that the Golden Rule of management was don’t ask somebody to do a job
      that you can’t do yourself. Older employees see younger management people as people who maybe book smart but have no hands on training and until you show
      them that you can do their job they won’t respect you.

      Something that I have done and maybe will help you is to bring the team together and tell them that for you to better understand what the department problems are
      that you are going to spend some time with each person. Then pick one day a week and one employee and spend several hours with them while they do their job.
      Make it clear that this is not to evaluate them but to better educate yourself about their job. If they do something differently than you would just ask them why they
      handled it that way so you can understand. Make them feel that they are an important part of the department because they are and your job depends on them doing
      their job to the best they can. Most of all keep your mouth shut about how they are doing their job while working with them but don’t be afraid to ask them what
      they are having problems handling. After you spend this time with each employee make notes of the problems back in your office. When you have done this with all
      of them then have a meeting where you list the problems for all of them to see and ask for ideas on how you can solve them as a team. Present some ideas that you
      feel will help solve these issues. This will also give you a chance to find out the strengths and weakness of each employee and you may want to move them around to
      be more effective. Remember that if you do this make sure that you let them know it is because they are good at what they do.

      I know that a lot of this isn’t taught in school but should be. Show them that you want to work with them and use your knowledge to make them better employees.

    • #3190467

      How you treat her sends a message to the organization and your boss as well

      by ruby_krajick ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Her behavior is poor, and she feels threatened (having a reorg and seeing staff go make people nervous, and she wants to appear smart and knowledgeable).

      Give her a task that she can handle start to end, define it clearly in writing, meet with her regularly to monitor progress. Keep the issue of her behavior about the WORK. If her behavior towards others hurts her ability to accomplish the project, talk to her in terms of “When you do X, Y happens to your work”. Also, when she is right about something, give her praise in a group setting — you will see her turn around.

      Obviously the company thinks she is worth keeping, and the other employees who watch you help her improve her performance (modified behaviour = better job performance) the staff will perform better as a whole.

      If she fails at the task, and your discussions with her about how her behavior impacts her job performance fall on deaf ears, then start the HR process to terminate employement.

      How you handle this situation will show staff that “personalities” are not an issue, you can get along with anyone, but that how people behave cannot impede the work that needs to be done. Demonstrate the connection of work performance and office conduct and you will come out on top.

      Good luck,


    • #3190457

      Combining the best of advice

      by csettle ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You’ve gotten some excellent advice, so let’s see if we can sort through what might be essential here, and what steps you might follow.

      1. Before you go any further, make sure you understand your own feelings and motives. If your motives are based in your own insecurities, address those first. If you are not beginning from an ethically unchallengable position, you have to fix that first.

      2. Be clear that you are taking issue with your employee’s BEHAVIOR, not with who your employee IS. If you begin from the assumption that your employee’s motivations are good (whether or not they are), you can prevent youself from challenging her integrity. Focus on challenging her behavior.

      3. Make a plan of action. Make sure your management and HR knows what’s going on, and what action you’re planning to take. Be sure that you have the authority needed to take these actions.

      4. You have an ethical responsibility to hold your employee accountable for her behavior. If your employee’s behavior is resulting in poor performance and/or a high-stress environment, you must address it directly with her. The message is: behavior X is producing unwanted result Y. Since the employee has good intentions (you MUST assume), behavior X must be replaced with a different behavior (N) to produce desirable result Z. Give her the opportunity to participate in discussion with you about what behavior N is, so she will feel a sense of ownership in the solution.

      5. Create goals with your employee to measure her success in changing her behavior. Measure performance with her. Document the process and results. Hold your employee accountable for changing her behavior, and keep her involved in the goals and assessment. If the chosen behavior N is not achieving the desired result, discuss it directly and honestly, and work with her to choose a different behavior.

      6. If your employee is unwilling to participate, or unable to meet the goals, discuss the consequences openly with her. NEVER threaten, and never offer consequences that you do not have the authority, your management’s agreement, and HR’s buy-in to enact. Just clearly state what process you are following, and what action you will take if results are not achieved.

      7. Be open to recognizing where your employee’s talents really lie if they are not what she’s doing right now. If she’s in the wrong job, see what you can do to help her move into a position where she can succeed.

      8. Resolve to do what you must in order to do your job effectively. That means that you must be able and willing to coach your employee (whether you like her or not) through to better behavior. And that you must be willing to move her to another role, another department, or out of the company if needed.

      Best of luck.

    • #3190432

      RE: Managing a loud and obnoxious

      by kcserv ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have been in a similar situation and realize it is not easy to get out of. You want to be “nice” and you want to avoid confrontations, however I’m afraid that’s what is necessary. At least to a certain degree. I think there are quite a few good suggestions here, but the main focus is to establish your relationship as her manager. This does not mean you have to be impolite, nasty or even look to fire her, but you do have to address her behaviour immediately. When she begins one of her loud commentaries, immediately interrupt her and ask her if there is a reason why she is talking so loud (you can do this nicely). If she is trying to “make you look bad”, stop her and offer to discuss the matter in private where you will explain what she is missing. Not only will these little steps help establish your relationship, but it will also help morale if the other employees see you “managing” this employee. Some of the other ideas you may want to employ are emailing tasks (written record is critical). Giving her small projects to build her confidence, give her security, feel trusted…etc. is a good idea as well because she will have to give you updates as to how it’s going and that further enforces your position as manager. Just my thoughts, Good luck!

    • #3190427

      here’s an idea

      by lmcghee ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Very often we place the wrong label on a problem, and then become perplexed trying to solve the wrong thing. I think if you simply replace the word “obnoxious” with “insubordinate” your choice of actions should be clear.

      This may seem ?extreme?, but this company put you (not ?loud mouth?) in charge, and though I?m not a strong proponent of the ?educated? is better than ?experienced? point-of-view, I won?t question the decision ?who put you in charge.?

      What is also obvious is that you don?t have her respect; you cannot go to a classroom to learn it! This is why it?s obvious: you?ve just turned 30, and you?ve been her supervisor for a year, therefore this started when you were 29. Assuming you got your degree at 22 (which is really cutting it close), and ASSUMING that you immediately secured a job, you?d been in the work force 7 years prior to your current position. Since the only places I know of that hire people to be supervisors/managers are the likes of MacDonald?s, Jack in the Box, etc, means that you had to be just another ?worker-bee? like everybody else for 18 to 24 months; and if you got promoted sooner then that why did you leave? Therefore, you haven?t managed very long, a career is at least 20 (military, police, fire) and as long as 40 years (corporate,) you haven?t got that much experience, and managing is HARD work.

      You can only EARN respect, and you haven?t in a year, you?ll find that termination procedures may put her in check, and quiet the situation, but you?ve lost all chance for respect, and it will be a thorn in your side.

    • #3190418

      Been there before

      by iseriesjunkie ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Looks like you hit a nerve for sure. I also moved into a supervisory position over an existing employee with an attitude. She was younger than me, but it’s not an age thing, it’s a control issue. I found it best to talk with her behind closed doors and to stick to the facts. If “caught” in the open, speak softly, you will seem to be in control. Certainly don’t match the volume or intensity of the other person-you will look like you are reacting and you will be, but let it be on your terms. You can always suggest you discuss the issue at another time to let things cool off. Other employees and your manager are watching your reaction more than the employee’s.

      On the other hand, get over the other person’s lack of formal education and your need to flaunt your education (indicated by the words “highly educated”). I count my 20+ years of experience as valuable as the formal education I’ve had. Although experience doesn’t give us everything, it does show us what has worked in the past and can be used to “shortcut” the diagnostic proceedures to arrive at a solution quicker. Show the person that you value their experience and you will have a team member, not just an employee.
      When they, and you, feel more secure, they will “see the obvious”.

      Good Luck!

    • #3190406

      Tact and Lists

      by ctos ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have been there, but in the opposite direction…a supervisor was younger than me, but was very controlling and mean. Thankfully, I had another supervisor that was over her, who was not mean or controlling. One day, things came to a crisis and we were standing face to face (about 2″ appart), when the nice supervisor came in and broke us up! lol
      I will pass her recommendations to you: first, stall off the situation by telling this obnoxious woman “we will make time to discuss that issue, but it is not the time now. Please write down your comments/problems and I will let you know when we can get together to discuss it”
      This will change the scene by not allowing her to keep yapping, she will have to make an effort to actually write down things AND she will not be allowed to make a “scene” that will harm you. Either she will back down in time (as long as you hold to this method of handling her), or she will like your attention and your listening to her and bring real ideas that could possibly be helpfull to you.
      Overall, making it publicly known that you are not allowing disruptions, but DO listen can do nothing but help you with the rest of the staff!
      Good luck and feel free to email me with the results!

      • #3188991

        that was excellent advice, CTOS

        by jerispringer ·

        In reply to Tact and Lists

        Redirecting her attention is a good tactic.
        However, if she “has it in” for her manager, she might try something else next.

        In that case, the only way to find out what the gal’s real problem is, is to confront her. As tactfully as possible.
        If I were the manager, I would inform my superior what is going on and tell him (or her) how I planned to approach it. It’s important to let your boss know what’s going on so that someone else (like the insubordinate worker) doesn’t claim a grievance. Always let your boss know what’s going on. Also, if you don’t already know, find out what constitutes insubordination. Some companies define insubordination only as not doing what you (as an employee) are asked to do.
        This particular issue might vaguely fall under questioning authority or upsetting the group morale or something, I don’t know. Anyway, find out what your options (corrective actions, etc) are if everything you try does not work. Hopefully someone in the company can mediate if worse comes to worse.

        This is what I would tell my boss about how I planned to approach her situation:
        I would wait until she pulled another stunt, call her into my office (preferably as soon as she returns from lunch so I’m not announcing it in front of the whole group) and tell her that I would like to know if “there’s a problem” and “can we do something to resolve this”.
        If she doesn’t fess up, you have to precisely describe her behavior and why it is disharmonius and disruptive to the goals of your company and how/why the company needs each member needs to be a team player and work together.

        If she acts like she didn’t realize that it came off as so obnoxious, you have to explain that everyone’s input is appreciated and welcomed but that there is a correct manner for doing it as well as a right time and place for it (like writing it down, as CTOS said, or bringing it up in a meeting).
        (I wouldn’t invite her to come into your office with every idea she gets, of course, or you might not have time to get your own work done!)

        If, on the other hand, she acts defiant and is not going to tell you what her problem is (with you or with the company or whatever it is), then it’s time to go back to your chain of command and let them know you’ve got to “go by the book”. Either get the situation mediated by someone else or start taking corrective measures.
        Give her a chance but if it doesn’t work, you’ve got to protect your company and yourself.

    • #3189013

      Put the ball in her court

      by by825 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have also had the unfortunate experience of dealing with persons with less than desirable attitudes. I can tell you that the only way to fight fire is with fire. You are going to have to stand up to her. You will need to pick and choose when the time is right for making your statement. Decide when she has said something that isn’t accurate and call her on it. If she is using the office as an open forum then you will also have to. This is probably the only way to get her attention and to let her know that it is not okay to act in such an unprofessional manner. Of course, I would recommend that you first warn her several times in private and explain to her why she should act differently, if you have not already done so. She will probably not like you much after you do this the first time, but sounds like she doesn’t have much respect for you professionally now, so what the hey. My experience is that once this process begins there will be an initial elevation stage where the person will try to act like they are in control. You must stick to your guns. After a while she will back down. Remember, most importantly, you must be very professional and respectful while under taking such an office maneuver because you have everything to loose and she has everything to gain. Good luck.

    • #3189000

      I have great empathy for you, but

      by ladyjet ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Explain to her that though she has work experience, so do you, and though she’s been with the company for 5 years and you’ve been here for a year, you have found things that should have been obvious to her. Most of all, no matter how loud she gets, stay calm and keep talking to her–don’t let her make you back down–if you’re right, you’re right, no matter how loud she gets. She’s reacting out of fear or she wouldn’t be getting so loud. Have you tried figuring out some way to diffuse her fear? Usually that’s a clear sign that she’s worried about losing her job as well as the fact that she’s always trying to “trip you up.”

      On the other hand, YOU are HER manager/HER boss… You need to take control. You can do this in several ways: 1) take a dealing with difficult people class or 2) talk with your Human Resources person to help you with this problem employee. Take classes on managing people better–that never hurts. Take classes about asserting yourself without getting embarrassed about others’ loudness. These are things you have control over.

      I’ve heard about situations like this from a lot of people out there and if you don’t take control, you’ll be one of those ineffectual managers who usually get the boot. I saw that happen at my husband’s last job. Try having a private meeting with her? If not, now may be the time.

      Best of luck to you.

    • #3188999

      Obnoxious subordinate

      by ed.gonzalez ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      She is affraid of you and and in her mind you are a threat. These types of ondividuals rely on a buddy network to bully around the office.

      First, you need to express your concerns to your manager and HR, to clearly establish that there is a behavioural problem that undermines the performance of the company – be careful of not creating this as a personal vendetta – it is about business performance. Explain the steps that you plan to take (as suggested below) to put you firmely in control of the situation.

      Second, set the tight leash. Every week she needs to report to you on all issues being dealt with, and most importantly how she has dealt with them. Ask her to lead a risk session to see how she is going to deal with those risks – help her be successful at it so she can gain some self confidence and trust from you. If she has any weaknesses (i.e does know something) your “public” commitment to help her and her team to overcome such deficiencies will place you on top of the perception pole that she has been trying to knock you off.

      Third, organize a session to have the IT group establish the desirable attributes of the organization in terms of acceptable values, beliefs and behaviours. In making such a list, the team will indirectly point out that her behaviour is not contributing to good workking relationships. By having set these as the desired outcomes, you and everyone else can remind her of what is not acceptable.

      Lastly, with the help of HR, set performance and behavioural objectives that can be measured at least each quarter. be careful of not doing this first as this will be a salvo for war and in that you may lose.

      Edgardo Gonzalez

    • #3188996

      A couple of suggestions for handling this type of employee

      by bhenson12 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      1. There is a difference between being a manager and
      a leader. From your post, you have been a manager.
      Now its time you become a leader.
      2. Hold a meeting with this person offsite (perhaps a
      lunch or Starbucks} break. I would suggest you do that
      with all your workers, so as to not single out this person
      from the crowd. When you send out your official notice
      to the department that you are having these offsite get
      togethers, lay out the Rules of Engagement: such as a)
      what is said here, stays here, b) You can slam
      processes, but not people..etc., etc.. When you do the
      Starbucks meeting, really listen. You are there to get
      this person to talk about themselves. Maybe there is
      something that you don’t know about this person that is
      making them react the way they do. If this person has
      been there a long time, maybe they feel that no one
      respects their time (In -grade). Ask this person about
      their experience and some war stories. Try to build a
      bond. You both don’t have to like each other, but you
      should both respect each other. What this meeting is
      about is building TRUST, so don’t betray it to other
      3. Remember, there might be a negative feeling toward
      you because you are highly educated, and this person
      is educated “In the streets” and may resent you for it.
      Try to get across to this person that they have talents
      you don’t have and you rely on their talents to make
      everyone win.
      4. Get out of your office and LWA (Lead by walking
      around}. Not to spy, but to build Trust and see what
      everyone is doing and how you can help them
      5. Hold a Department meeting and go over the
      Corporate Mission and Vision and Strategic Vision
      statements – and how each department is critical to the
      companies success – and how each person is
      responsible to make the company successful. Try to
      show how each persons personal job assignment
      contributes to the overall goals of the company.
      6. Give this person a project to complete and give all
      the tools needed to help this person succeed beyond
      their greatest expectation. Mention in the kick off
      meeting that they have all the authority to make it
      happen, and ultimately all the accolades when its
      successful. Mention they get all the blame if it fails.
      then back off and see what happens. Of course if you
      set it up correctly, and help this person to succeed, – if it
      fails, it softens the blow a little. IT departments are
      firemen departments and failure is just a step toward
      7. In a Departmental meeting, stress what is
      acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior. Have
      a HR rep there for back up and to answer any
      questions they may have.

      I could go on. I have spend 20 years in IT corporate
      Desktop Support, Business Analysis work and have
      come to see D.Top support people as very bright,
      extremely overworked and usually underpaid. They
      are great at what they are doing, but need a great
      LEADER to keep them motivated and to bring out their
      strengths. I challenge you to step up to that position
      and help this person and your whole department shine.

      Brad Henson
      Author: Heart Attack Survivor – a field guide

      • #3188980

        i hope someone doesn’t think i copied

        by jerispringer ·

        In reply to A couple of suggestions for handling this type of employee

        off of your post, prof. They were almost identical.
        I don’t have any experience managing but I think it’s always best to put one’s self in both peoples’ shoes- the manager’s as well as the employee’s.
        There are lots of difficult people in the workplace (whether they’re your manager, your coworker or your employee). Making a friend rather than an enemy is a good approach as long as you don’t let people take advantage.

        Off topic here but you had a heart attack? They found recently that elevated levels of homocysteine is the largest factor. Homocysteine can be combatted, believe it or not, with taking folic acid and B6 and B12 everday. I’ll visit your website.

      • #3188908

        Have a Meeting is a good idea

        by rush2112 ·

        In reply to A couple of suggestions for handling this type of employee

        This is pretty much what I was going to post but Brad has put it much more elequently that I would.

        Have a meeting with all team members

        Outline Responsibilities
        Outline Priorities
        Outline who is in charge of each issue.

        Request feedback from subordinates and allow for them to approach in private where the conversations and information exchanges can happen in a less formal environment. Some people are just shy in groups.

        LISTEN to the feedback. (as someone else already noted)

        Include goals of the organisation and resposibilities of the department to provide
        x.y,z,r,q,a,b,t and note that c,e,f,g,p are provided elsewhere within the company(whatever those items happen to be)

        This will help focus on the CORE responsibilities and allow more time to be devoted to the tasks which need to be performed by this department and will allow for other departments to contribute their portions.

        Being a one-person show isn’t easy; and it often leads to disaster when the demands for time from the ONE come from many. When this occurs perception of non-cooperation could result, even though the ONE is doing the best he/she can.
        So it is important to divide tasks among members leaving each a PRIMARY responsibility for this task/issue and a secondary(a backup)

        People get ill, and go on vacation, go away for training and have other reasons to be out of the workplace, why not have someone who can FILL IN during these times to keep the company MOVING forward.????

        As for the LOUD person, make sure that the entire group is given a chance to comment after you explain which are acceptable forms of communication between subordinates and which are INSUBORDINATION. (again contact HR if you are unclear about anything)

        Managers must take charge, and must delegate whenever possible to those who earn the trust of the manager to accomplish the goals of the team.

        Also let the entire team know that you do trust them to do x,y,z,r,q,p,t (or whatever it is) and that you depend on them each day for their efforts and that you appreciate them for the job that they do.

    • #3188988

      managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by psalm2324 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I too had this same problem years ago. I was the Dept. Supervisor at the ripe old age of 25, most of the women were well above my age group. I decided to seek help from the “human resources” Dept. and there is where I found my answers. First they had me sit down with this woman one on one. Sometimes it’s a simple personality conflict which can be resolved with small meetings. Secondly, I had to document everything. This is usually a pain and it does take some time, but, if there is no future working with this person, documentation will become very important. Third, have human resources handle her if all else fails. Don’t swallow her obnoxious behavior, be calm, don’t raise your voice, but most of all don’t back down. You’re in charge! Good Luck to you.

    • #3188983

      Just follow the company procedure?

      by tracyf ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Certainly, there must be a procedure, during reviews & such, to deal with sub-standard work & behavior? You bring them in, tell them the weak points, give them a probabtionery period to improve, review again- I mean, that’s how it’s always been for me? I’ll also add that, when their has been a particularly aggressive employee problem, there would be a 2nd manager sitting in on the review.

      My gut feeling on this- & please- no name calling & such. It is only my personal feeling- which has helped my through a lot of encounters:

      Regardless of the situation, this person sounds like they are creating a less-than-stellar team environment?

      I’d also like to add, after reading some of the other replies, that it seems the OP only mentioned the age difference in order to give the entire situation- not because they are age-biased. The age/experience of the employee does matter- a lot- in how they would react being managed by another, younger w/less experience (in their mind) person.

      It would seem obvious that one issue is likely the employee probably thought they should have the manager’s job. Perhaps the fact that they didn’t get that position stems from their negative behavior issues. If so, then someone else already is aware of it.

      The OP has some managing to do. It takes two for someone to be taken advantage of- time to step up & deal with this, following the company guidelines.

      I wish you luck- this sounds like a terrible situation to be in,


    • #3188978

      non professional atttitudes

      by ntguru ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I understand what you are going through, but you need to remember that no two people are the same and will possibly never get along “perfectly”. I would sugesst possibly contacting HR about the situation, but in all, it might be best to limit ALL conversations with this person.

    • #3188977

      You need to be BOSS

      by jvbrady ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      The choice to get rid of her, or reign her in, starts with needing for her to get a profound appreciation for subordination. You both have a disfunctional set up: you’re meek, she’s obnoxious. Nobody in your open office setting is going to feel comfortable hearing these kind of exchanges. (Interesting, that her department moved somewhere else, but for some strange reason, she got jettisoned to yours.)

      For your own sake and stature, you have to pull her aside and give her as firm a picture as possible that as of right now, you’ve determined that she is insubordinate and without improvement will be released. Period. No mentoring, no qualified collegual this and that. You have to make it all about that one single issue, and you being the single judge. Why? Because she’s coming from a place that many in IT or engineering are prone to, and that is that authority is organically in flux and determined by who is the rightest of the brightest. Great for engineering olypmpics; totally untennable in an organization. Because a really smart boss surrounds his or herself with people who are at least as bright as the boss, so the objectives get met and the org moves ahead. This is all about ego.
      Your temptation will be to let her know that once you get this little problem past you, you want to mentor her, etc. etc. If you do anything like that, you will fail with her at your own peril. She must believe that fair or not, your not going to tolerate her insubordination, and that you are grading her and watching her every single minute for that, and that nothing she does is going to matter until you are satisfied that you can count on her. Because bottom line, she’s not thinking beyond the moment and her ego – nobody cares if she is right or wrong, except her. She’s only making you and your department look bad, undermining confidence among the people who need to count on you for uncomplicated, dependible support. All she is broadcasting right now is that Desktop is not sure of itself.
      So have this talk immediately with her. Don’t justify anything, don’t debate anything, just let her know that her future with the company is going to depend on her ability and willingness to work within the structure, period, thank you , that will be all.
      She’ll resist for a while, and you’ll have to be very frontal with her if you spot her in conspiratorial looking little confabs – just march right up, ask where she is with X, Y, and Z, and give her a new deadline.
      You have only one correct choice if she goes theatrical on you in the office, and that is for you to interrupt her and direct her to your office on the spot. No matte how subtly she starts in, or how loud, your response has to be as boss, NOT PEER.
      If she doesn’t get it, then you need to visit with your supervisor and explain that you are having insubordination problems and hostility. Something tells me this won’t be the first time they’ve heard it about her. Good luck. This is the kind of things companies don’t train managers for, but are absolutely essential.

    • #3188974

      Leader also means excersing authority when needed

      by carlos.garcia.marcano ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I’ll recommend that, within your company HR managing policy you deal firmly with this employee. You do not have to be loud, yet you must let her know in a firm manner and unmistakably clear terms that her behavior is unacceptable, and that it is an area of improvement that will be seriously be looked into when her next performance review comes up.

      Remember that good leadership, among other attributes, requires that conflict be managed, rather than avoided, and that authority be excersiced when there is no other way.

      If let the lady whose behavior you described to continue to get away with it, you could find yourself facing the same problems with other subordinates soon enough.

      Good luck

    • #3188971

      Talk to her about it

      by lexys ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Find somewhere quiet (if possible) away from everyone else and start off by pointing out a positive aspect e.g. her experience. Then explain to her what she does that makes you feel uncomfortable and then give her a chance to say her side of the story. Make it clear that you are not attacking her, you only want to work together more effectively. Tell her what you would like her to do whenever she thinks that you are making a mistake etc.
      Also ask her how you can use a different approach when mentoring her. But there are some things in people we just have to ignore.
      Most importantly, if anyone is doing something you don’t like, you should let them know straight away, nicely but firmly. And give them the alternative behaviour that you would prefer, e.g “can you please come and speak to me properly?” Loud, aggressive people will take advantage of quiet people such as yourself but you don’t need to be loud to be heard and to work together.
      Of course, if nothing works and she wants to continue this way, I would make a formal complaint to the next level up, or your HR.

      • #3188957

        Draw a line in the sand

        by gsymoo ·

        In reply to Talk to her about it

        Everyone looks to their Supervisor for “The Way”, what?s normal, and often the whole atmosphere in a department can hinge around one or two people.
        Often this sort of behaviour stems from a person not knowing where the limit is.
        Some people will push and push to see what they can get away with. The more you give, the more they will take.
        Often a small bark of authority or a quiet word in a closed office will do the trick, but you must come over as her Boss.
        Everyone takes their cues from their supervisor. If you act like you are scared of your colleagues, then liberties will be taken.
        You obviously have confidence in your abilities, so show that confidence.
        When someone behaves unacceptably, tell them. When they do well, thank them.

    • #3188947

      A lot of unanswered questions

      by ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      The issue leaves a few unanswered questions:

      1) Is there clarity of vision within the team? For example, do you have a clear mission? Has it been presented to the team? Have they gotten behind it?

      2) Is there structure? Does each person have a job description? Does the job description lay out the escalation and reporting structure? Does the employee understand their/your role?

      3) Is there a regular review process? Do you set clear and measurable goals and objectives? Quarterly as well as Annually? Do you use them? Is one of these goals or objectives to improve aspects of their behaviour?

      4) Is there a performance appraisal that can be done based on aggregate input from the reviews? If the reviews show a negative trend, is there a Performance Improvement Process that can be leveraged to document the efforts/failures to improve? These PIPs generally lead to HR action.

      5) Finally, why allow this to be continued reactively in the public eye? Can you not have all discussions in a meeting room instead of in the open office?

      If the answer is NO, maybe it’s time to address these items as well.


      • #3188865

        Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

        by anyhelpwouldbegreat ·

        In reply to A lot of unanswered questions

        Thanks, and I agree. There are so many great suggestions here, many of which I will use.

        Many issues are with the ch11. The team is running at 50% the staff level as in the past. There is no future plans to recruit, leaving much analyst work to be done by myself too, and so little time to actually manage / lead / guide.

        I come from a company where there were performance contracts each 3mths. There was a vision and a mission statement for the team. So many of these things (like the staff) have been stripped down with this company. Leaving a yearly appraisal – this is looked upon as a waste of time.

        I hold weekly meetings, where this week I started to introduce some suggestions about managing and being her manager. This worked well.

        There are no job descriptions available to individuals, as the company is recovering, and is starting to get better in this area but negativity is still very much apparent.

        I try so much to speak away from the environment, this mainly works, but as I mentioned earlier there is always blame ready to be handed out openly, when it comes to light – i.e. hardware not being ordered by someone/ software developments not working. Anything to be bitched about gets bitched about – in the open office area.

        • #3188762

          It’s no wonder you have a problem.

          by k1eg ·

          In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          After reading your update of this situation I now see why you are having the
          problems, infact I am surprised that your not having more problems. A company
          that doesn’t have job descriptions and clearly defined job duties is doomed to fail.
          Apparently they didn’t learn too much from the CH11.

          As I see it you have several options. If you have an HR manager I would go to them
          and ask about setting up job descriptions for your department. I would also bring in
          your boss at that point and make it very clear to them that the department cannot be
          run effectively without job descriptions and assigned job duties. You could make the
          point that this is costing the company money which it cannot afford to waste. You
          should be an integral part of setting up the descriptions and job duties since you
          know your people best. If they try to put it off explain that without these in place
          people don’t truly know what their job is and can’t be held accountable if there is a
          failure somewhere.

          If this fails, and I suspect it will, then your best option will be to get your resume
          back out there since this is a company that is doomed for failure. You don’t want to
          gain the reputation of working for failed companies since this will hurt your career.

        • #3189819


          by ·

          In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          Ewww, you have it bad there, mate.
          They are in chapter 11, which generally means that they are restructuring. As part of their re-org, NOW is the time to get those crucial clarifying documents in place! You will be supporting their efforts to bring about an organized change.

          Just be careful not to miss any important areas when it comes to job duties. Make sure that someone (preferably more than one) has the task of Project Management for the team. That way any structured, non-assigned items can be assigned later as projects. Also include the usual “other duties as assigned” where appropriate.

          I would also heed the call to prepare your resume, as if you meet hard resistance, it is not likely to be a swift or successful turn-around.

          Good luck,

    • #3188941


      by travlnbard ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      First I have to say that I agree with amcol’s points but I believe that they could have been stated better understanding that anyhelp is uncertain in his management roll.

      I think that the answer in the short run is to explain the flaws in this employee’s “advice”. And each time remind her that your weekly meetings would be the best forum for these issues. Further down the road, if she insists on stating the issues in an open forum, you can write her up for not following instruction. Make sure that during your meeting that you specifically ask her if she has any issues she wants to address and seriously consider her issues but make your own decisions.

      Do not allow her to trip you up and by all means do not back down. If necessary take long pauses to gather your thoughts so that when you speak it is clearly and knowledgably. Acknowledge when she has made a constructive point (she obviously needs affirmation from others and it doesn’t sound like she gets it from you). She must be right some of the time even if it is presented poorly.

      Finally, I would recommend that you get the training you need to be a more assertive manager. The first thing I would recommend it read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Then read it again.

      Hope this helps

    • #3188934

      Use A Stun Gun

      by gnx ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You need to speak up to her when she gets in her moods. At some point a person under you will do something that you will get the blame for. I don’t know why but it seems the more incompetent some people are the more likely they are to get promoted.

    • #3188928

      Sounds to me…

      by keyguy13 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Like she is an a$$hole and got ditched by her old team too. You said her postion/team was moved elswhere and she got moved to desktop.

      You also imply that she is incompetant by trying to prove she’s right when she obviously isn’t.

      I think the next time she starts to loudly bully you, you should scream at the top of your lungs “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”

      Do that everytime she is loud and obnoxious and she will soon get the hint.

      Other than that, she might just be in need of a spanking, and you could tell her to come to your office and give her one. That might quiet her down too.

      By the way, I’m just kidding… In case you weren’t sure…

    • #3188926

      Benefit of the doubt – but manage

      by david.m.gingrich ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Since you are the manager, you need to turn this around – one way or the other. You cannot allow this person to have a negative influence on the environment and the team.

      My suggestion is to discuss the situation with the individual – giving her the benefit of the doubt on whether or not she know how she is coming off. It is important that she understand that you expect a respectful environment – which is why you are discussing this with her one-on-one.

      You need to try to be as factual and objective as possible. If she still doesn’t get it – or doesn’t care – then you need to do the normal supervisory stuff for someone who is not doing what they ought – document, document, document – and regularly let her know how she is (or is not) doing.

      Hopefully, she will either be appreciative that you bothered to tell her how she is coming across or will be smart enough to tone it down. If not, you still are on the hook for improving your work environment – so do what you have to.

    • #3188920

      It is time to decide who you are

      by tedc ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      It is time to decide who you are. Having suffered from the nice guy syndrome myself, I learned the hard way that you will be walked all over if you don’t take a firm hand. Not only are you letting this lady get away with murder, you are setting a acceptable standard for all of the other people who overhere her interaction with you.

      What I would do it order her into my office the next time she does this (when it is fresh in both your minds) and advise her that that behaviour is unacceptable. Do not get into a discussion about it. It is your judgement,not hers that matters. Advise her that you are noting this conversation on her file. Whenever she repeats this behaviour, pull her into your office immediately and repeat your position. After three occurences, advise her that her position is in jeopardy and, if possible, send her home immediately to think about it.

      If she still doesn’t get it, you may be better off letting her go. If nothing else, this will also send a message to everyone else that you will not be walked all over.

      Good luck.


    • #3188912

      Who’s in charge?

      by nickinsd2004 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You are her supervisor. You need to let her know that. Take her into a quiet room and set her down. Explain that fact to her. Her actions are bordering on insubordination and could be starting an open rebellion in the workplace. After you deal with her I would suggest a department meeting and lay down the law. If anybody has any complaints they should bring them to you. Find out how much support you have from your supervisor in dealing with this. If all you have is responsibility but no authority to deal with it I would recommend getting your resume back out there.

    • #3188880

      Special Team Members

      by zteccc ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Managing people involves dealing with more than technical knowledge. It involves dealing with personalities. Still, the point of anyone’s job is to do the work.

      If a team member does the work better than anyone else, it is generally advisable to keep that team member, but that said, you must keep them in a way that doesn’t damage the rest of the team. Case in point, Dennis Rodman was undoubtedly a great rebounder when he played for the Bulls. He also was disruptive, he didn’t like to practice or be on time. The deal that the Bulls made with him was to allow him to do whatever he wanted as long as he produced the rebounds. If his performance ever dropped, he’d be required to attend practice on time with the rest of the team. The team practiced with a different rebounder in his position and wasn’t negatively impacted by this deal (very important point).
      People like this are worth more than the headaches they are causing. Look at your problem subordinate from a purely analytical point of view and decide if she’s one of these people. If she is, you would be doing the company a disservice by getting rid of her and instead you need to simply place her in an area where she can excel instead of disrupting (her own office instead of a public setting).

      If the team member is not performing, then document everything and work to get rid of them. The old addage that 20% of the people do 80% of the work is very true. It is also true that the bottom 20% of the people do almost no work and yet they require 80% of your management time. If you could cut your staff by 20% (deadwood) and free up 80% of your management time, wouldn’t that be worthwhile? Are you doing it? More to the point, if she’s part of that 20%, then you’d be doing the company a service to remove her based on job performance. Many managers make the mistake of coaching/mentoring/training these people. This is a waste of time. They’re already underperforming, why waste your time trying to make them something that they aren’t. Instead, spend that time where it is better served, with the 20% of your staff that are doing 80% of the work. Underperformers are simply a time and resource drain. Get rid of them.

      Note that up to this point, I haven’t mentioned anything about the complaining and her loudness as a job issue. Frankly, it shouldn’t be a JOB issue.

      If the person is in the middle 60% (e.g. does the work, but doesn’t excel at it). Then you’ve got to decide what kind of manager you’re going to be. First of all, you’ve described yourself as reserved. That is fine and a reserved person CAN be an effective manager, just don’t forget that reserved or not, you are the boss. Many reserved people make the mistake of publicly backing down from a confrontation. This is a huge mistake. All of your staff will see this. Many managers also follow this error with a private conversation with the loud employee. This is a second huge mistake. If you are challenged publicly, you must answer this challenge publicly (you shouldn’t do it loudly however, but put steel in your voice, make it clear that your decision is final). This shows the entire team that they cannot get away with this, and it lets them know that you aren’t afraid of this loud person. It is very, very important to keep it about business. Don’t make it personal. This is work, so personal feelings or attitudes don’t come into play. If you keep it entirely about business, you won’t have to worry about the subordinate complaining to HR because she won’t have a business case.

      Remember you aren’t your employee’s friend, you aren’t there to be chatty. You are there to get a job done and to make sure that they get the job done. Focus on getting the job done.

      If social chatting is leading to bitching, then don’t allow it (you’re the boss, remember?). If the weekly meetings are turning into a free-for-all, then change the agenda and don’t open the floor (you’re the boss, remember?). If being nice isn’t working, simply give her directives (keep it business), and expect her to accomplish them (you’re the boss, remember?). If she acts like she knows things, then give her assignments that require that knowledge (keep it business), and expect her to accomplish them (you’re the boss, remember?).

      Above all, she, and all of your suboordinates need to remember (as do you) that you are the boss. That should carry a certain amount of respect, but it won’t come easy. You have to earn it from some people. Do you work. Show that you can do all of their tasks (if you can’t then learn how), roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty to help out (especially to help her out). Don’t back down on policy or lose face in public (arguing in front of them and don’t try to be their friends (you may have to fire one of them at some point and being their friend first makes it look like you are willing to backstab your friends). It is time to step up and be a manager.

      — Jeff

    • #3188875

      Insecure and Defensive Subordinate

      by hcream ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Sounds like she is going through an adjusting period. In addition of being insecure and defensive, she may also feel like being micro-managed.

      Instead of getting into the trap of proving who’s right and who’s wrong, you should focus on the task and schedule.

    • #3188872

      Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      An impossible employee is always a challenge, granted, but you have to understand coming from a technical area that you are now in a management position, and the company expects you to fulfill your obligations for that position. There are a few steps that you should take when dealing with ?Loud Larry? or, in your case, ?Loud Lisa?.

      First, you have to understand that he or she is an intimidator. These are the people who will air their dirty laundry to everyone to make you look like the bad apple, when you are being as nice as humanly possible. This is the person who can and will disrupt the entire nature within your company. As with any intimidator, they drag a lot of baggage with them such as hate, deceit, trickery, and will disrupt the normal flow if they can. These are also people who tend to get on the nerves of other people, but because the other people are either afraid of being termed the rat, not a team player, or told that it is a problem with them, they just look and not say a word. Their ego is bigger than their education or in some cases their common sense.

      Second, the intimidator is a very ambitious person. It is your job as a manager of this person to understand the reason why they are loud and ambitious by having a formal one-on-one with each person and determine their goals in their career, and understand your role in allowing them to reach those goals. But the intimidator is out for their own good, and not that of the team. I have often told management when I was in that position that you can not play as a team if you are the only one playing on it. When you look at their actions, you will see that their history shows that they have done everything to benefit their own goals and objectives.

      Third, these kind of people attempt to dominate everyone around them, and at some point in time will to some extent, the important part is that you can manage these people. You, being the manager and new, were probably caught like a deer in the headlights and were caught off guard, making yourself an easy target. What they will do is dominate based on becoming the center of attention, having in their own mind that they need to be the center of the universe.

      Fourth, you have to understand that these types of people are the kind who lack self-control needed to keep their impulses in check. They lack the internal controls to keep their actions, or control their actions, the same about compulsive liars, thieves and obsessive compulsive behavior.

      Here is how to manage the people that the intimidator reaches:

      First, observe the interactions between the intimidator and the targeted employee. Determine if this may be a case or teasing, or pulling a chain or if the intimidator is harassing or bullying the target employee.

      Second, listen to the company grapevine. This is the all-out indicator as to what is going on, what everyone is saying, and gives you and idea as to how the other employees feel. This is NOT a place to start taking action, it is only a milestone mark as to where you need to go from now.

      Third, look for signs of tardiness, absentees, or a lack of drive from other employees or wanting to leave, transfer out, or change shifts to get away from dealing with the intimidator.

      Fourth, check to see if people are having problems that they can not explain such as sweating/shaking, feeling/being sick, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, anxiety or depression or even symptoms of withdrawing from the team such as irritability, withdrawn or aggressive or defensive, or signs of alcohol abuse.

      If all of these shows that the person has done something that would be construed as intimidation by the person, then you need to take steps to stop it.

      Have a private meeting with the employee with a peer manager. This meeting can occur at any time, but it is important that you follow these items:

      1. Look the employee in the eye
      2. Talk slowly and surely to ensure that what you are saying is being heard.
      3. Do not raise your voice or conduct yourself in an aggressive manner.
      4. Do not allow the intimidator to become loud or the situation gets out of hand.
      5. Take control over the environment.

      At the start of the meeting tell the intimidator what you have observed and been made aware of through different avenues. This puts everyone on the same level, and it puts the ball in their playing field. Then tell them where you stand or the company stands when it comes to harassment and the possibility of what be perceived as harassment or violence in the workplace and how their actions or their unintended meanings of words fall under those areas. Explain to them that as a leader of the group that you may be forced by the corporate guidelines to take actions such as suspension, demotion, transfer or removal against them to remedy the situation. As the manager you must be straightforward in your approach to the problem, don?t be politically correct and beat around the bush, since that tends to take the edge of seriousness away from the problem. Focus your energies on correcting the poor behavior!!!

      As a manager it is up to you to advise them in how you want to see their attitude change toward a more team focused environment and that you will assist them in getting to sensitivity classes or anger management or other counseling. In some companies, they offer counseling for issues such as this.

      It is important that you keep this professional and not show any emotion such as disgust or anger toward the employee, but talk very firmly. No matter what their excuse is, ensure that you re-enforce that:

      ? Such behavior does not have anyone?s interest at heart
      ? Affects the company?s bottom line by putting undue pressure on others.
      ? Lowers Morale to a point where people don?t care about their job.
      ? People do go postal over situations because of the added pressure
      ? That all employees have the right to dignity, and that everyone has principles as to how they act toward one another.
      ? No one has the right to inject their subjective intervention in relation to their privacy, home, family or employment.

      These items may stick in there for a little bit, but you have to persevere in making sure that at meetings their voice is heard when it comes to how to further the team. You also have to be vigilant in that anyone else in management does not become targets of the intimidator.

      When the meetings are done, then have the peer manager meet with you on how well you performed, have him or her critique what you said and if they have any other constructive comments about your situation. That gives you an idea about how to handle situations later on as well.

      The important thing is to keep it high level and not a shouting match. Then, after the meeting, the person can then decide what their next move is. Then schedule sensitivity training for the entire team, not just for the intimidator. You then build the team.

      If the behavior continues, you can then have the same peer manager come in and sit down to re-enforce what you stated above, and if it is not working out, it is time to get HR involved.

      When it is all done and over with, you will look honest, fair, and someone your employees can look up to be unbiased when other situations come up.

    • #3188868

      Are You A Team Player or Just A Boss?

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      This is what happens when you have a heirarchy that is forcedly enforced. Some people end up alienated. I’ve also seen companies hire people much younger that take over, over a person twice their age that has been there for a few years. It seems that the older people get upset (and in a way you can’t blame them) because they were passed up for the promotion. It’s like being told they are not ‘smart’ enough or ‘young’ enough. In some instances, it even DOES mean they’re about to get forced into an ‘early retirement’ which means a LOT less retirement money than they would ordinarily get. These are all valid, and unfortunately very real concerns with older workers, esp. the over-40 workers who, if they lose their job, will have a very difficult finding another job that will appreciate their years of accumulated skills and on-the-job experience.

      Younger managers should at least be considerate of the older person’s years of service in the company and the possibility that they are reacting (though not actually saying) on their fears of a job loss or loss of appreciation of their years of service.

      Be a TEAM player, not just a manager. Include everyone, young or old, equally in their jobs and make them ALL feel they are appreciated, even the older workers. In fact, even though you don’t like treating people special, sometimes little things that will go noticed only by the older worker but not by the younger workers might make a big difference. A compliment here and there in their presence but not in front of others may even help. Backing away from them like the plague may make them feel even more unappreciated and they will try harder to somehow ‘prove’ their worth to you and the company, fearing that they are not ‘good enough’ otherwise.

      That said, the other side of the coin could be that the reason you’re manager and not her is because of her behavior. Some people naturally are just like that.

      I of course don’t know the whole situation. But if she’s just ‘like that’ then there’s nothing that can be done about it. You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. It’ll only make things worse. But, if it has to do with the fear of a job loss due to age, etc. then maybe the above suggestions of not alienating the employee may also help.

      Next time she says something, say maybe just as loud maybe something like, “You know, I think you may have something there. I was just thinking the same thing!”

      Get into the team spirit. Might make things easier for you and everyone around you. 🙂

    • #3188859

      Take her in back room privately

      by wje_jr ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      This is going to be hard to do for you being a quite type of person. Your going to have to get used to confrontation. Politely take the offending person in a conference room and close the door. Explain to her that any more bullshit like this continues and you will rip her up publicly like she is ripping you up publicly. And end it with “do we have an understanding”
      And then offer her a hand shake and ask “do we start with a clean slate or is the fight on?”

    • #3188849

      Ignore her…

      by wdickerson ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      The following have worked for me in similiar situations.

      1. Why is there a problem if your are the manager? You can let her begin her own downfall. Document, document, document. Emails with date/time. Other incident or events dates, times, names. What you did. Her response. Submit you complaint through HR channels. Follow up.

      2. Kindness also kills the behavior. After a time this person will actually feel bad about the way she treat you. Self guilt, human nature or whatever you call it. Being reserved has its strong points.

      3. Ignore her. Continue your normal routine. If you do not give her the attention, she will really look stupid. Good luck with this.

      • #3188812

        NONONONONONO to 3

        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to Ignore her…

        Ignoring the problem will not make it go away!!!! You must face this or there will only be resentment and backstabbing on the team.

      • #3175964

        ignore ? to risky

        by avid ·

        In reply to Ignore her…

        i think if you ignore it, then you are pretty much condoning it. you can’t let others see her getting away with this attitude. it sets a terrible example for the rest of the staff. this company just came out of ch11. i doubt if morale is very high right now anyway. watching someone insult your boss in public and getting away with it is not very confidence inspiring. besides, if her disposition worsens, she could decide to do something damaging to the company as a whole like accidently lose the accounts receivable file or who knows what. put her in her place.

    • #3188809

      Help from the “other side”

      by timaross ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I am a union steward. What I would do in her case would be to have a private conversation with her and ask why she keeps on undermining your authority in the work unit and disrupting the team. I suspect her problem may be a sense of insecurity, a feeling that you are not as qualified as she believes you should be, or she just may be a toxic employee. If you can work out an agreement with her as to what is and is not appropriate behavior, good. If not, I would advise her that your conversation will be documented and held by you and any further actions perceived as undermining your authority will have disciplinary action taken for insubordination with our documentatin used to support the action. Then when and if she does it again, you would ask her to come with you into a private setting and go to whatever step of discipline your human resource guidelines suggest.

    • #3188802

      “The” IT management problem

      by ellemoj ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I think it is interesting how most IT managers are excellent technical people who are promoted for doing a good job. Unfortunately that usually means they lack the management skills to look after people. Sure managing technical people can often be eaiser as you can all relate, but those with a different outlook can be daunting!

      Sure this woman sounds like a real cow, but I think what you need is a mentor – someone who is not in the IT structure, who can coach you on the people side of management. Someone who has the respect of his peers and his staff. Someone who has had to fire people for not doing their job. Someone who has a good 10 years in management.

      There’s some good advice from what I have read in the posts. Beating up on her sounds like a good option, but just be careful there isn’t a really good reason why she is behaving this way. That’s why I think you should get the advice of someone in your company who understands the culture, HR processes, and what to do.

    • #3188794

      Counsel and if necessary, terminate

      by jcarmona ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You need to counsel this employee on her disruptive behavior. Engage the support of your HR department and document all sessions. If her behavior does not improve, you have no choice to terminate her with cause.

    • #3188791

      Rule of Law

      by rcojuangco ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Do it by the books. If she performs below par, is causing undue stress to others & is not a team player, termination is the best option.

    • #3188790


      by bosston ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Just remember to let her know who the boss is. She may have done things differently at a previous job but your place of employment may be run differently from where she has worked.

    • #3188789

      Position matters more than age or tenure!

      by edward_carpenter ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Sounds like she likes an audience – Change the environment. You have been in the IT world long enough to start using the tools of your trade to your advantage. In an ideal world word of mouth would be enough but in the real world it fosters misunderstanding and daily arbitrations, roadblocks, and frustrations. You say you are the employees (documented) superior – if that?s the case – then take control. First start using written communications. Psychologically the written word (Email) makes people think about what is being conveyed without the verbal babble/battle. The use of email also fosters accountability on both the employee and the supervisor. Care needs to be observed especially on your part ? conveying facts and not emotions should be the rule. Tasks should be assigned as finitely as possible. Rebuttals and questions should be conveyed in the same manner. In addition to the added thought process and the accountability brought on by email use, it also records “at the time facts” necessary should you have to take action, counseling or dismissal, against the employee at a later date. Finally, I worked in government service for nearly 40 years. I that time I worked for and managed both older and younger individuals. I never allowed my personal or professional ethics to be compromised and neither should you. I have been in your position and dealt with the same crap. Keep your motives pure and ?Document, document? Feel free to reply.


    • #3188783

      Who is the manager anyway?

      by stooobeee ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I would like to commend you for restraining your anger; it is easy to want to retaliate. But you are a human being first, who must already realize that you are no better than anyone else. This is a wise and humble attitude to have. Out of respect for each other’s frailities and insecurities, it is important to remember that you too have your own.

      However, along with this given human characteristic, you have also been called to lead in a leadership position. In a sense, you are two people in one, and you must know when to act like merely a man of compassion for someone’s needs and someone who can act the role of manager. As a leader in his field, you have a role to lead, and that is what you must do to gain a subordinate’s respect. Playing the fence because of shyness or ignorance cannot make your role easier, only more difficult. No one is exempt from learning, including leaders.

      Call her aside, and let her know that you will not embarrass her as she has embarressed you. It is important to act like a manager and remain friendly, without the desire to get even. If you do, you will be like her. You must use restraint. Tell her that you are aware of her behavior, and site examples. It is necessary to provide times and dates so that she will see undeniably that she has responded and acted inappropriately. Ask her if there are things about your behavior towards her that are possible causes of any friction. Be open and listen to her; if she is right, you must be willing to make changes yourself—first you, then she—in that order. Next, ask her how she believes she can change her “posture” in the company. Document your meeting—what you observe, the changes agreed upon…etc. Let her know what you are doing and be upfront. Explain that you and she have a chance to be on good terms, and that you would like that to happen, but if there is an unwillingness on her part to implement any agreed upon changes, you must be willing to further address the situation. Thank her for her time and see how she responds. If she does what is right, you have taken a positive step forward. If not, call her back into the office. Once you have acted as a manager, and she as well as others see this, you will feel freer to take the next step.

      Your letter indicates that although you may know your stuff technically, you must also be willing to learn how to manage. If there is a course available, I strongly urge you to take it, and do not keep it a secret. Others will see that you are learning also, that you are willing to do what it requires of your position, and that if you are willing, so must others be.

      You have a real chance to crystalize good relationships. Take it!

    • #3188776

      Irresponsible options from the dark side.

      by martinez ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Do not take this seriously

      -Kill the mother fucker.
      -Get a voodoo doll.
      -When the guy goes home at night, put a bag on his head and nab her.
      -Go near her and fart excessively.
      -Blow your nose and offer to show the contents of your kleenex to her.
      -Stare at her for a while, then announce You’re one of THEM! and move to the far corner of the room.

      • #3188770

        Quit whining…do the job you are paid to do.

        by beoweolf ·

        In reply to Irresponsible options from the dark side.

        Either do you homework better, so that you can address the opinions, procedures that your employee brings up…or…make use of all your resources, enlist her help (before) in forming your plans. Getting her input on a proposal doesn’t detract from your stature…just make sure the final decision is your own, based on input from as many sources as you can gather.

        This will serve several purposes; hopefully you will get a new ally, you will give her some recognition, in a private way, that her opinions are valuable…it will give you the high ground if/when she acts out in a public team meeting. You can rightfully remind her that you gave her an opportunity to review the action, but your decision was not to go that way. If she wants to discuss it further, bring it up “after” the meeting where she can expand on the idea more and offer any reasons that she didn’t mention when you gave her the chance “before”.

        Then explain, that until you have a chance to evaluate any new information…you would like to get on with the meeting and plan on getting things done in the way and as scheduled in the meeting notes. (You are presenting agendas and written outlines for the meeting?) Meeting are not a place to make plans, they are for detailing plans,imparting information and announcing decisions. There should be very few suprises or new/extended discussion in a well planned meeting.

    • #3188744

      Remember who’s the manager

      by rm3mpc ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You’re the manager. Act like it. Take her aside (out to lunch if
      you have to) and explain a few facts of life. Her behavior is
      inappropriate. You’d like to deal with it in the most positive ways
      possible, BUT… let there be no doubt, you’ll be filling out her
      evaluation, deciding her salary increase, assigning her work and
      determining her promotability, and if it comes to that, you’ll be
      the one terminating her.

    • #3188743


      by guardianoz ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      The first thing you need to do is MANAGE.
      Look at the value of the employee and ascertain if she is an asset or liability to the company.

      It will be very easy if she is a liability, because you can simply commence by awarding her with a verbal warning, then written warnings then show her the door.
      Problem solved.

      If she is an asset to the company, than you need to manage her effectively.
      Sometimes empowering staff with more senior duties can make them snap into line. It?s a good way to delegate your work and further enhance your own managerial skills.

      You could also talk with her, explaining that she is a valued employee and that others in the team look up to her for guidance, so you need her to work with you more professionally to help the team develop.

      You could ask her if you have her respect as a manager. You will need to word it in a way that you can only get a yes or no answer (no fence sitting).
      If she says yes, then ask her to commit to her statement, being more professional in her mannerism towards you in public view, as positive and negative actions in front of the team will influence their behavior.
      Also let her know that at any time she can address issues with you privately where you can address these in more detail.

      If she says no, then ask her what you need to do to earn her respect and then commit to earning her respect.

      Whilst it may appear that you are going to be doing all of the work to resolve the issue that she has created, you can rest assured that you are simply managing a situation and then making someone else commit to meeting you half way.

      In the words of a great:
      Dale Carnegie

      I strongly suggest that you pick yourself up a copy of this book (how to win friends and influence people).

      • #3188740

        Hard line only.

        by soupy ·


        It’s all been said already,but I disagree with asking if you have her respect,only in the sense that if she says no,you find out what you can do to earn it,and commit yourself to it.Forget that.I’ve dealt with this type as a professional athlete,coach,sales manager and IT manager,and they all come out the same.Out the door,following HR and other guidelines noted already,and your team’s spirit will soar.
        Should you try to appease her you will lose respect from some of the people that now back you.YOU are HER boss..Don’t let the tail wag the dog.

    • #3188738

      Loud & Obnox

      by saruvindan ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate


      Dispute her casually on her 1×1. Change the context and subject if you think that she wants to show off by raising her voice. Casually put a word to your manager.

      Be asertive. If you think what she does is not the way it is supposed to be, tell her politely, “your idea may be right, but I would like to do this way, and that way I can answer to my higher ups and can achieve our team’s goal”

      The thumb rule usually is; accept in disguise!!

      If things persists and affects your performance, then take things in writings like others suggested. I don’t know if this would help in your situation, but it did for me though.

    • #3188736

      Got it.

      by mcac007 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I understand your problem however sometimes being nice and mentoring is something that doesn’t work so follow the conduct code of your company. If she is being loud than ask her to keep her voice down because of other staff members. However, I caution you once you start go down this path you may run in to sexual discrimination or other issues make sure your treatment is the same for your whole team. Also, as for the jabs at you this may be another issue. My former boss used to say, “If you can’t respect the person, respect the position.” You need to help her understand this concept. Good luck

    • #3188730

      Some suggestions

      by anands ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I would suggest the following:
      -Get her a 360 degree feedback and then coach her on the inappropriate behaviour
      – It is also possible that the way you engage her nay need to be modified. You amy want to set-up a one-on-one counselling session when you can share your expectations and understand her needs in a open and constructive environment.

    • #3188717

      I’m right there with you :)

      by chrispeebits ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I’ve been in this situation on numerous occasions and would love to assist!
      1. You do not have to put up with it…make that very clear to the individual…I normally do this sort of thing in my office and keep my voice in dulcet tones…when they get madder…you get softer with your voice.
      2. Decide with the help of your peers (HR Manager etc) whether or not this person deserves thier job. If YES… then put some time in and show ’em that you care…chances are they have been neglected and never cared for as an employee…they then see someone come into your role…that they think they could do themselves…YEAH RIGHT…but that’s how they think…and they get angry…and sometimes that is bad for you, them and the team…Give them a time frame to get back on track…1 month to turn themselves around…Be honest and tell them youre not happy with their behaviour…etc…
      If NO… put them on the “AEP” (Anyhelpwouldbegreat Exit Program)… work with HR to set goals that are achievable that you know they cant achieve because their behaviour wont allow it! Any slip ups… Get rid of them…
      Just be 110% clear on what you need them to do and that they are clear you, and the HR dept, are watching…

      Anyway…hope this helps


    • #3188716

      Management responsibilities

      by sugadaddy ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I guess most people in management positions have at some stage been challenged by one or more of their staff in some form or another. The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you are management material. The skills required of someone in a supervisory position will determine the actions or behaviour of your staff. If it isn’t obvious to some staff then it is your responsibility to pull them up and make it undeniably clear that demonstrating that sort of behaviour is not welcomed. If your intentions / boundaries are not clear to the person, it will continue. Like others have recommended, it is best done in an area away from the other staff as the immediate environment will impact on the dynamics and the outcome of any given situation. There are ways of addressing this behaviour without having to stoop to a level they are comfortable with.

    • #3188714

      Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      One way is to talk to her directly on her loud voice and explain her your expectation.
      The other is try to speak as loud as she can.

    • #3188713

      Understanding your role

      by rsearson ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      First, you need to understand that your situation is not unique, that it has been experienced by most new managers and some experienced ones too. However, after noting that, it’s time for you to step back and understand what your role is as manager: it is not to be the best or brightest individual worker, but to be the person who gets the highest performance out of those whom you manage. It is your job to address this situation. Thus far you have backed away from this responsibility, only making the situation worse and decreasing the productivity of your team.

      The most effective approach to managing people is to understand your role as “manager as coach.” In that role you hold your people accountable for work results and work behaviors. My guess is that your subordinate with the behavioral problem also has a work performance problem, and that may be the place to start. You should plan a meeting with her to discuss a specific work issue. The meeting should be in your office, not in the open work area. You should focus on the work itself, its unacceptable level, and not on the person (or it will quickly degrade into a “personality conflict,” which is non-productive). Be clear about the outcomes you want from the meeting, and be sure you have her agreement and commitment about how she is going to correct the work issue. Do not allow yourself to be stuck with the next action being yours when the meeting is over. When you have those types of meeting a few times, and you feel more comfortable conducting them, and she is getting the message that you are the boss and you will not accept poor work, it’s time to have the meeting about her negative behaviors. Again, focus on the behaviors and their results on the team and productivity (message is, “you’re not bad, but some of your behaviors are”).

      There are a number of good books about management coaching. I suggest you get one or two and read them carefully as preparation for you becoming a manager coach. Then jump in and do it. Remember, this has nothing to do with age or gender; it has everything to do with understanding the difference in your roles and her lack of performance. If through coaching she just doesn’t get it, then she has to go, another difficult but necessary manager responsibility.

      Good luck.

    • #3188711


      by rolliemerrick ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      There are two types of leaders – ordained and earned. It sounds like your “problem employee,” even after a year, has not “accepted” your leadership. Additionally, she MUST add some value or she would have been caught in the ?rightsizing.?

      Could it be perhaps that YOU have not accepted her apparent “earned” leadership? Feel threatened? Furthermore, it is up to you to maximize the effectiveness of your team. Are you leaving someone out because of her obnoxious ways? If so, you are only hurting the team and your leadership?

      Unfortunately, she is experiencing some sort of ?pain? and it is your job to figure out what is causing her behaviors and helping her. Have you tried inviting her into your ?inter circle? validating her perceived worth? It?s always better having an ally than a sniper working for you.

      If you want job security – become a student of leadership! Some good books (both by Maxwell) are:
      The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
      The 17 Irrefutable Laws of Teamwork
      IT people are now a dime a dozen but true leaders are valued at EVERY company!

      It?s up to you!

      Rollie Merrick
      Corporate Sales Trainer

    • #3188710

      Sounds Familiar

      by bizzo ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      From what you’ve said in your posts, you sound very similar to a manager I used to have (until I left).

      Maybe she just doesn’t like you? Not necessarily a bad reflection on either of you, you just don’t get on.

      So you’re telling us that you “come from an IT background, am used to managing younger peers, and am highly educated”. Are you one of those managers who looks down their noses at people who don’t have degrees or professional qualifications? Remember Dilbert’s “Certification Man”? Our manager was just like that, had all the qualifications, but couldn’t rebaseline a PC to save his life. You also comment on her knowledge as “snippets”, just because she learnt them on the job, does not mean that they are worth less than your classroom learnt material.

      She may miss “obvious things that are staring her in the face”, but don’t we all once in a while? Especially when we’re too close to a problem?

      You’re making your feelings very clear here, you don’t like the woman. Maybe she can pick up on that and resents the attitude you take with her and so trys to trip you up, a bit of public embarrassment?

      In another of your posts you mention that she pulled you up when you were putting memory away, and that you’d been tidying a stock room. Hang on, I thought managers got paid the big bucks to manage people, not to tidy stock rooms and store inventory. I know I didn’t like it when my manager did things like that, especially when I was sat twiddling my thumbs for a day waiting for him to allocate work to me, whilst he was reorganising our stock rooms.

      I apologise for not having any solutions for you, but resolution *might* be within your grasp, because maybe you just have to change your attitude.

      • #3189990

        Not at all

        by anyhelpwouldbegreat ·

        In reply to Sounds Familiar

        I have nothing against learning on the job. I have a number of friends that I respect for gaining experience in this way.

        I think a number of issues are from not having the resource, and this causes stress, and in turn attitudes.

        I took on ordering as, like so many things, I didnt think it fair to load it onto her. And, it was something she said she didnt want to do, due to being too busy.

        • #3176188

          Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

          by bizzo ·

          In reply to Not at all

          I apologise if my post sounded harsh, it’s just that that was very similar to my situation a couple of years ago and I still feel a little bitter about it.

          If your group was created after the troubles with the company, does everyone have a specific role?

          It might be an idea to hold a team meeting to discuss and define the roles and responsibilities within the group. That way, if it’s agreed that you’re responsible for stock, no-one can pull you up on it. Has she lost any authority recently? It could be that she’s resenting having some of her “favourite” work taken from her, and maybe giving her some responsibility back may bring some self-esteem back for her.

          Make it feel to her that she’s not working *for* you, she’s working *with* you.

    • #3188709

      Loud Mouth Subordinate

      by mombasadog ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I assume it is not just a personality clash between you and her. Often longer serving members of a company become embittered when an “outsider” joins especially in a more senior position, they use their inside experiential knowledge to undermine the new guy (You!), it is a difficult time for all concerned. These days its best to discuss the situation with HR ( if you have an HR department ). Highlight her failings and formally construct either a recovery process or ( as I think is more likely in this case…) an exit strategy for her, both need to be fair and based on measurable objectives and I certain this can include work behaviour concerns, which can disrupt team harmony. In my experience the embittered person will either reform or become much worse during the final stages of tenure! Be prepared for a backlash if she is well liked by the rest of the team. Often when the offending person is gone, calm returns quickly and you can build on this.

    • #3188698

      Why does it hurt?

      by mbatty ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      There have been lots of good postings on how to manage this person. Before you start, analyse what she does that pushes your buttons. What is it in you that makes you so uncomfortable? Does this replay some behaviour in your past that makes you back off? Once you understand yourself and your own feelings you will be able to implement the best approach to resolving the situation between you.

      Once you are clear on your feelings, then be clear on what aciton you will take.

      Good luck.

    • #3190000

      Promote Her

      by marc b. ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Tell her that because she is so smart, you have finally gotten her that long overdue promotion. (Put her in charge of a few other team members, but still reporting to you.) But also tell her that since she is so smart, if she makes but one mistake she will be fired.

    • #3189979

      Managing Rude Obnoxious Gits

      by the_m0nk ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I’m a football (soccer) referee, and I have to deal with a load of difficult situations. I’ve recently learnt that some people are just out to be as difficult as possible. In this case why not invite this person along to the next issue that you have and ask them to help you solve the issue, as you “Would like to benefit from their expertise”. Instead of negative critism why not ask for positive feedback, as you want to be better at your tasks.

    • #3189958

      Give her something to own

      by texas_gal ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Give her a project that she can do while her regular duties are slow. Something that makes her feel valued, but that she can’t necessarily do any damage with. Then remember to let her be right in this area. Only discuss other things with her if there is a real problem you can’t avoid talking to her about. Document every conversation you have with her. Don’t let her goad you into any conversations/confrontations you did not initiate, unless she comes to you verbalizing her desire for your help. Keep control of all situations you find yourself in with her. If it takes letting her be right, and there is no harm, let her be right. It may seem counterintuitive, but it makes you look good to do that.

    • #3189950

      so what is the real problem

      by avid ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      you need to find out if her animosity is personal or something else. i suggest simply asking her. maybe she feels like you took the job that she should have gotten. sounds like she has been there longer. also, if you are shoving your education down everyone’s throat, then stop. i am not saying that you are, mind you. but it sounds like you have a degree and she does not. or she has a lesser degree. as far as the “obvious” things she is missing, solutions to problem appear different from different points of view. do not discount her point of view if you want her to consider yours. finally, if this does not work, talk to the person responsible for hiring you. they are likely to have more insight into this persons behaviour than you will have. if she is as bad as you say, this can’t be the first time she has had a problem with an authority figure.
      best of luck,

    • #3189945

      Conflict is inevitable…confrontation is optional

      by jamurray ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You must confront the employee. If not, she will continue to manipulate you. Whether consciously or not, she has a goal to discredit you and maybe even to drive you to the point of leaving. When you know you are right, stand your ground! You don’t have to get as loud as she is. Talk at a normal level. Do your best to remember that any embarrassment in the situation should be hers, not yours. I lived through a similar situation in my first management position. I listened to the position of the person (no matter how trying it was at times) and responded with what I knew to be right. The decisions were mine to make as the manager. That person eventually resigned, not being able to “manage” me. One other thing, do the best you can with whatever evaluation tools you have to document the things she misses. This physical record of performance may temper her outbursts. I wish you the best.

      • #3189871

        Well said…

        by tom.lee ·

        In reply to Conflict is inevitable…confrontation is optional

        This reply is dead on.

        One other thing you may wish to look into is that many HR groups have supervisor training to confront and deal with difficult employees (like that would ever happen).

        It’s better th learn this early in your career instead of later.

    • #3189788

      Look inside and out

      by vvega ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I will try not to sound too “touchy-feely”. Here are my suggestions:

      1) Deal with the insecurity- find ways to sincerely bring the person in for their suggestions highlighting their experience, praise them publicly when warranted. Communicate how much you appreciate their positive contributions and spell them out. Diffuse some of the unmet needs that lead to this behavior.

      2) Look at yourself- sometimes our pride gets in the way (probably not often in the case of this person) and it becomes important for us to look inside to see if we are “encouraging” bad behavior and/or bringing certain poor responses on yourself. Bottom line-don’t give the employee reasons to act badly.

      3) Have a heart-to-heart face-to-face talk with them. Tell them what you appreciate first and then delineate the bad behavior and discuss how the behavior undermines the department. Ask if their are personal issues that may be driving this behavior (be prepared to offer guidance and direction to support services: employee assistance program, social services, etc.).

      4) Unfortunately, this employee may simply want your job, resent you and is determined to undermine you. In this case speak with them about transitioning them to a new department or to a new company. Help them in the process as you work toward replacing them. Make this positive; you are looking at what is in their best interests career-wise as you seek to make their transition less disruptive for the company.

      No matter what you must deal with this quickly and effectively or you will find that formerly good employees will begin morphing into disruptive employees right before your eyes.

    • #3189785

      Be Louder Just for once

      by isha_mehak_83 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Just discuss with them about their attitude in the office and tell them u r the boss. But if they don’t understand then try to be louder than them just for once.

    • #3189772

      Hava a one-on-one

      by gyzmo_13 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Take this person to lunch one day, tell her you value her experience and would like to get her input. However, you need to tell her that there is a time and place for everything, and a way to say things. Tell her you are open to her suggestions, but if she would please make it on a personal level.
      Don’t be afraid to tell her it bothers you when she does the group announcements bit, as long as she believes you value her opinion I think she should pipe down. It’s better than saying nothing.

      • #3176149

        Agree on one-on-one

        by slsb ·

        In reply to Hava a one-on-one

        At some point you need to confront her, whether at lunch or another location. She may not know that she is being a problem. After you have met with her, monitor her progress. If you notice that she is improving, let her know. If she still misbehaves, you will probably want to follow your company procedures and write her up. She may be causing problems for other employees, too. And if you don’t get control of the situation, you may find the good ones on your team looking to move on.

        Good luck on dealing with her.

    • #3189769

      Grow Up!

      by larry_yarmchuk ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      You’re the manager. The company has hired you to perform a job. Quit hiding, do your job or get out of the way so someone else can.

      I’m an older worker and I certainly have no problems with being led by a much younger leader. The point is though, lead, follow or get out of the way.

      Enough said.

    • #3176273

      the bad apple

      by bongy69 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      i wound face her head on ,tell her myway or highway so shout up,tell her that u are her manager and if she dont like it to move on ,as its making bad feeling with the team.

    • #3176231

      Get the Upper Hand by Not Trying to Get the Upper Hand

      by rasn2001 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I don’t know the specifics of the types of things this person is getting under your skin with so this suggestion may not be fully applicable to the situation.

      I have found that the best way to deal with someone who is trying to “Show You Up” is to act interested in what they are making noise about and casually ask them to prepare a document containing their thoughts on what they feel are the most important facts/causes specific to the item(s) they are voicing their concern(s) about. Also, ask them to include, in that same document, the appropriate steps/actions that should be taken to address the concern(s) as well as how those steps/actions would be best implemented.

      If you show lots of gratuitous enthusiasm while you are asking this person to “Help You Find a Solution” to the “Important” Concern they have brought to your attention, you might be surprised to receive some valuable information within the document the person prepares as a result of your request. More likely however, is that you will never get the document you requested, but you’ll probably notice a major decline in the number of concerns being voiced by the person. If the voicing of inappropriate concerns by the person does not decline, you will at least be able to respond to her in a reserved manner: “You know, I asked you for your help to solve a concern you brought up in the past and you didn’t provide with the document containing the steps/actions that should be taken to address the concern(s) you had voiced at that time.”

    • #3176156

      Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by government tech ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      She sounds as if she has no respect for you or your authority. My suggestion is to meet with her and tell her what she is doing wrong and what she needs to do to correct it. Have another lady present from Human Resources to witness the meeting. Get with the HR lady before the meeting to set up what you can and can not say. Document everything. Give her a time period to correct her behavior and have another meeting. The second meeting is to tell her she is improving or go to plan B if she is not. Plan B is whatever HR’s policy is in such matters and was discussed with your employee on the first meeting. Bottom line, either she straightens up or due to following HR’s policies, she will be fired. Hope this helps.

      • #3176151

        Thanks so much

        by anyhelpwouldbegreat ·

        In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

        This is exactly the route i’m taking. Thank you.

        • #3193983

          3 problems

          by cynth113 ·

          In reply to Thanks so much

          In reading through all the replies above, I see 3 basic problems emerging.
          First, it appears that you dislike conflict, enough so that you go to some lengths to avoid it. Not wanting to jump right into confrontation mode can be a valuable trait, but you can’t take it too far. Some people are only happy if they are making waves or loudly and publicly demonstrating their “superiority” over someone else. As a manager, you can’t allow that to continue, particularly when she is challenging someone who is her manager. That undermines management as a whole if allowed to continue.
          Secondly, it sounds like the problem employee is making great use of “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.” You took on ordering supplies yourself at least in part because “she didn’t want to do it.” She gets to choose? Is it cost effective for you to be doing something that does not require your management level skills? Again, sensitivity to the desires of your staff can be taken too far. If the problem employee is perceived as a prima donna who gets what she wants by being loud and disrespectful, you will indeed have a lot of other unhappy employees, and some of the unhappiest may well be those who follow the rules and feel it does not benefit them.
          Finally, you said “if there is anything to be bitched about, it gets bitched about” in the open office area. That cannot continue. It sets a tone of negativity for the entire business. Every time you hear it, you should immediately say to all within hearing that that is inappropriate, unacceptable, and won’t be tolerated. If they have a complaint, they need to bring it to the appropriate person as a concern, minus any invective, not air it in a public bitching session. If you do not personally have the authority to enforce this, then take it to whoever does. If they want to bitch among their peers, they can do it after hours at the pub, but you do not have to tolerate it at work.
          Best of luck with a difficult situation!

      • #3195289


        by cheufte ·

        In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

        I am quite surprised that nobody suggested that much earlier in the thread. Now this is 2:1 situation, if things go hairy, it might be interpreted as intimidation and fall back on you. She needs to be accompanied as well.


    • #3176014

      Take Her to Lunch

      by netgeezer ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Really! Take her to lunch and try to work it out. Tactfully tell her how you feel, and let her know specifically what she is doing that you don’t like. This worked for me once, but I can’t guarantee that it will work for you. At least you can say that you did everything you could to resolve the issue.

    • #3175985

      whose the boss?

      by mikev9 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Using the term “snippets” when referring to her experience seems to indicate you may be showing some insecurity or hostility of your own.

      That said, YOU are the boss and merit respect, AT LEAST INITIALLY.

      However, with that you also get the lion’s share of the responsibility for managing relationships, that is why you are called a manager (no suprise there).

      I would be honest in a face to face meeting where I would be very well prepared to weather a verbal tirade WITHOUT an emotional reaction on your part. That may be all it takes. Let her speak freely and judge carefully what is said. If you can compromise to make the relationship better, “consider” doing it if it is not an outrageous imposition.

      This is the best start, because I have seen this from both sides before and usually there is blame enough to go around.

      If that doesn’t work you have these options:

      Be more politically agressive and let her hang herself with her own mouth by documenting her mistakes and mispeaks in detail. You can point them out to her at opportune moments to shut her up.


      be a good, fundamentally sound, manager by setting general standards of conduct and performance that delineate your expectations and create an environment that matches your style.

      Then, if she doesn’t comply, fire her butt!

      Have fun, and welcome to management!!

      • #3196122

        Positional respect

        by stuffit ·

        In reply to whose the boss?

        The position carries with it authority and responsibility. The position should be respected by those below given the positions place in the organizational heirarchy. The person filling that position has the duty to earn or justify by their actions receiving that respect. This flows both directions and can be called “professional behavior”.

        There is no excuse for “unprofessional” behavior. Inform the loud person that their behaviour towards you is unprofessional and not acceptable using the HR guidelines of your company (i.e. in writing, with witnesses, etc.). Give the loud person an opportunity or a FEW opportunities to correct their behavior. If no correction is forth comming, then document (again!) and take actions to remove them from that environment/office. You cannot change a persons behavior, you can only give them the opportunity or environment to change.

        All of the books cited in previous posts are well and good, but YOU must decide to what level you wish to escalate or what actions YOU feel are necessary to change or correct the environment.

    • #3195935


      by thomas.demonja ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have gone through this many times. You need to counsel your employee, in writing, to ensure that both her rights , your rights and your company’s rights are fully protected. Look for a company policy or procedural manual that may offer you the minimum things you need to say and do. Also, talk with your State Unemployment office. Proper documentation is always a must! Talk with the offensive person is a polit, but firm way. Perhaps this is a sign that your employee needs help. Contact your HR and legal departments to see what Employee Assistance Programs your company offers. Don;t let this get you down. Her behanvior may be masking other emotions.

    • #3193937

      Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by johnesther ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have been in the IT industry since 1965 as student and later Lead/Supervisor/Manager. I would take the person aside and go through standard management proceedure for dealing with that type of employee. Just as you would not want a upper level manager to dress you down in front of the group, you don’t need a subordinate to do the samr thing. So take him/her aside in a private office and lay it out. As a manager you are not there to be liked, but you are there to be respected and as you treat your group with courtesy, you expect the same. As i tell my group, we are all professionals, I expect professionalism from each and every one.

      • #3193634

        Been there, done that

        by nrichards1371 ·

        In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

        I’ve dealt with the same situation. I started a program called “Welcome to my world” where I’d have people like what you described, sit with me for a few days and see exactly what it is that I do and when problems come up, ask their solution, then address the issue with your solution and let them see first hand that you know what you’re talking about. If you want to hit the other end of the spectrum, address them in the same way with your way of dealing with an issue. There are most likely others who are going to posess some of the knowledge you posess and chime back in agree, which will (sorry to say but) make the person feel like and idiot and see that you’re smarter than they take you to be.

    • #3193932

      Document, Document, Document

      by dcbeckster ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I’ve had this type of situation before and the way I finally resolved it was I documented each infraction or outburst with date, time, and bulk of what was said. I then later sat privately with the employee and presented my documentation and explained that this behavior was unacceptable. I then later had to present my documentation to HR and the employee finally realized that if they didn’t change their behavior, they were going to be released. So it worked out very well.

    • #3193891

      Bad Employee Has The Goods on Someone

      by too old for it ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Let’s see: Loud, obnoxious, tries to trip up her superiors, been there 5 years, and stayed on despite Chapter 11 and her department being moved elsewhere.

      She obviously “has the goods” on someone with enough pull to keep her employed there. Company Christmas party photos? Barged in on someone in a compromising position? The CEO’s ex-fling? Major investor’s wife?

      Either way, tread lightly or you will find yourself home reading the want ads while she is making the next managers life hell on earth.

      (Yeah, I know some readers think such things never happen …)

      • #3185952

        This is the one I was waiting for

        by ·

        In reply to Bad Employee Has The Goods on Someone

        You hit the nail on the head. She should write a plan for her dept. and let the loud mouth know her part. Let her know she can be a part of it, just not the leader. Ask for suggestions and give credit where credit is due. listen listen listen

    • #3193796

      She has to change

      by inxale ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate


      I had one, pulled him to one side, explained his attitude is affecting team performance. He never realised. He was smart, intelligent and diligent. Trouble was, he was quite negative.
      After the chat, though he was still negative he was more constructive about what he said.

      But, by the way you have expressed yourself she has been stood on, do not know by whom or why.. But clearly upset and because she is upset she has become unprofessional. Unless she was always like that.

      Being reserved can also be construed as weak.

      Is this team bitching one you inherited?

      If so, kill it. Simple.. Arrange appraisals. Have the one to ones. Identify to yourself who you want. Provide training, make them marketable, they will look and they will leave. Its cheaper to provide training and let them leave of their own accord rather than firing them, and less messy.

      Are the team bored? is the devil playing with the idle mind?

      Do you have a budget for training?
      Identify a tech’s ambitions?
      Is your mentoring, condescending?

      And oh, a big oh.. Just clocked the Ch11 bit. Has there been redundancies? If so, has the redunancies created a dog-eat-dog atmosphere within the company?

      If there was redundancies, I doubt there is a training budget..

      You need to try to get her to express her fears and concerns. If this is a personal issue which you are getting the brunt of then by listening as a Manager you may help her to chill..

      You have to deal with it, or you will suffer. HR is a fantastic resource to use. Use it!

      Ultimitely, she has to change, or you will be forced to make a change.

    • #3186358

      Give what you get and more

      by aaron a baker ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Knock it off with the MR Nice. She’s obviously an abnoxious “Wont’say the word” and so you have to take the bull by the horns.
      When something is blatant and she misses it, then you make it a point of telling her in a very loud voice what she’s missed. Use the same voice that she does. If she doesn’t like it, then tell her to get her mind to the job. We have all learned from snippets of one form or another, but no one has the right to be as she is being to you. If she were on my staf, I’d chew her up in little pieces and leave the cud for everyone else to see. I’m a darned good guy, but I won’t be pushed, ever.
      Even if you really are a nice guy, and I do believe you are, there comes a point when you must acknowledge that yuo’re being taken for a fool and that is unacceptable.Especially in your position. Be nice and the minute she steps out of line trounce on her. When she finally has had enough and asks why, then tell her that all your doing is reciprocating in kind. In this world you get back what you give, “Well most of the time”
      Good luck and remember, Reply in kind, only louder.” Who’s the real Boss you of her?
      Make it a point to let her know and don’t let up.She’ll either smarten up or move on.
      Good Luck, this can’t be easy.

    • #3185847

      Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      by arsnake ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      It boils down to an issue of organizational inertia. Ideally in a situation like this, an employee with that long with the company would be building new skills relevent to the new department or position. However, I’ve worked with people like this before, who don’t understand that someone moved their cheese. Suggestions?

      1. Avoid direct confrontation unless you are ready to write her up. The employee does not respect your leadership and likely needs a stern warning (documented well in your records).

      2. Make her go to some fluff classes on coping with change to get the hint. If she doesn’t, confront her and write her up for insubordination when she bristles.

      3. You indicate there is lots of bitching, which to me says wasted time and productivity. Implement a metric-based performance system where possible and quantify performance where you can.

      • #3052049

        Not an option

        by vltiii ·

        In reply to Reply To: Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

        Avoiding the issue is never an option, period! If the “Manager” runs and hides he/she may as well give up their right to lead/manage. The only thing that comes out of hiding is when she absolutely has to stick her head out again, the proglem is still there.

        Sending the employee to “fluff” classes in hopes that she will get the hint is not a good idea. I don’t know how large this organization is, but many organizations have intervention programs. If the manager feels this is needed, she can recommend the employee attend or check HR policies to see if she can be forced to attend. However she gets there it should be explained and documented before attending the classes why this action has come about. Hoping she gets the hint you might as well put your head in the sand.

        The actions that you have suggested here will have the same impact as the managers reserved personality, and that is the unacceptable behavior will continue.

    • #3185839

      Let Miss Know it all fire herself.

      by cremaster ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Take her to lunch and attempt to discuss the problem with her. Try to bring it up as “You know Miss loud and obnoxious subordinate (who may or may not realize that she has different agendas than you and your company) the office is very open and I would like to discuss an issue with you.” If she does not get the hint then be prepared to offer up “the issue” as a task that she can not accomplish. Give her something she can not do. You win either way. She quits bitching to the whole office or she gets to fire herself.

    • #3185636

      managing people in open environment

      by rakeshdosi ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Since your office has an open environmnt, use it your advantage. List down the activities that this person does. further break tha down int what u think she enjoys and what she doesnt. After having done this exercise start routing work that se likes to someother person.whille doing ths make sure that you make this lady hear that this is going to the other person aslast time it wsnt handled apppropriatly..have a story..
      do this couple of times and this person will come to u for a one on one talk..thn u dictate ur terms

    • #3185536

      Are you kidding….

      by big.papi ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      It is time to take the bull by the horns… and have a one-on-one conversation with this associate. I can relate to your situation, having had the same thing happen (starting out as a new manager). Just remember, it only takes one bad apple…

    • #3194329

      Managing a . . . subordinate

      by cab2 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Reading a paragraph describing the problem, and really understanding the personalities and issues are two different things.
      from a lot of years of experience, including being a younger manager of more senior folks, I have seen/used two solutions to what I *think* your problem is:
      (1) Fire her. If you have the clout and documentation, just get it done. It sounds like you have already tried the mentoring and counselling.
      (2) If you don’t have the clout, find your own mentor or top exec to jump on the person/problem; read her rights to her, tell her the options (straighten out or get out.) I had a 20 year employee tell me he had several managers tell him he had a problem, and he was still there while the managers were gone. I got a 30 year executive who told him he had a choice to make; get with it, or leave. He got with it, and became to good supporter.

    • #3185963

      Some ideas from my own experience

      by bpasp ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      1. take the person to a private room
      1.1 explain that generally accepted professional standards that apply to every company and every positions (cook, soldier, janitor, rocket scientist, IT staff and even clown in a circus) include Never Addressing a Conflicutal Issue or Make Remakrs To Anyone In Public.
      1.2 explain that anyone who would want to be recruited by your firm and who would display your person’s behavior during interview or trial perdio would not stay in the company
      1.3 using the word ‘I’ tell your person that you really want to understand what is/are the issues leading them to display their behavior in the workplace.
      1.4 ask the person to come forward with the problems they may experience either at work or in their life; tell them that agressiveness in the workplace is a sign of a deeper problem, often not related to the workplace, and that bringing in a problem from life to the workplace is leading to unfair burden on co-workers.
      1.5 whatever the conversation turns out to, never start ‘the game’ of entering into the agressive rationale of the subordinate; you have placed the burden of explaining themselves on the person now, stick to asking what is wrong with them; be nice, become their sounding board.
      1.6 you may be surprised.
      1.7 if you have already tried the above, fire if you have the power; if you dot have the power, report to your direct supervisor your efforts and explain how you have tried. if your supervisor does not support you, or says ‘we are aware and there is nothing we can do’, quit yourself: you do not have a supervisor/manager, you have a glorified process team member in front of you!
      1.8 make this your motto:
      “I would rather be a dreamer amongst the humble who have a vision to realize, than a Lord amongst those without dreams or desires” (Khalil Gibran, Lebanese poet and writer).
      Good luck!

    • #3185961

      Old employee and new employee issues

      by cdowner ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      There are a couple of things you should understand when you work on a desk like that you have no friends at work and you are a manager and you should treat everyone with respect but but at the same time stay away from confrontation and people who learn on the job and feel you you should thank them for been there.

      There is a reason why they employed you as a manager and not some one from within the company so when you are at work deal with the issues like how a manager should, dont be too pushy but kind in the ways you go about details on the job and let others be, as a manager you have to understand a couple things you wont be liked and you will be feared.

      Now for that getho trash on the job what you need to do is make her a couple of notes as to what you need to have on the team and if she continue then a second letter to her and forward to management mediator and if that dont work have her remove to another desk or location, you are a manager act like it, it is call dealing with issues and you have to understand as IT personel we are all analyzers and we have to offer a solution to all issues or it is our job on the line.

      Good luck, remember empty barrel makes the most noise.

    • #3185939

      Another approach

      by donweb ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      If this person is the “senior” person as far as time at the company, you may be able to derail some of it by asking their opinion on issues. Who knows? You might actually learn something or get a new idea.

      I’m not saying on EVERY little thing that comes up. But when she comes to you and fusses about something ask her for how she would handle the whatever. Force her into being constructive or looking like a fool.

    • #3182424


      by vltiii ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      It’s most likely because you are younger and newer to the organization that this subordinate is testing her boundaries. You must disregard the difference in age. You are in a senior-subordinate relationship and you both must understand where you fit into that relationship. Everytime you back down from her she as well as your other subordinates that may witness this loses a little more respect for you and the position you hold. Understanding that you have a reserved personality, but if you allow this to continue, you will have lost complete control over all of those you are there to manage which will ultimately affect productivity and efficiency. When this problem subordinate gets into one of those moods you need to take her to the side or your office (if it’s private) and re-enforce your role, her role, and what your expectations are as they apply to those roles. Discipline should always be done in private and praise in public. Your subordinate probably understands this already, but she will test the boundaries as long as you let her. Whenever you have to tighten up on the leash, document… document… document, just in case it continues and becomes counter productive to progress. She may ultimately have to be let go and you want to have your ducks in a row. If you need to keep your seniors informed about what’s taking place. They may be able to offer additional guidance. You certainly don’t want them to get the impression that you can’t/won’t lead or manage. This can ultimately cost you your job and your problem subordinate will still be there until someone stronger comes along.

    • #3195319

      You need to plan

      by bill.affeldt ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Talk to the person and say you feel her actions are not professional and that if she has an issue it should be addressed IN PRIVATE. Then document that discussion with her.

      If it happens again bring out that document and simply say… we have discussed this before and it needs to stop. Document that discussion.

      Now go to HR and say I am haviong problems and I want you to be aware of them.

      If she persists bring out both documents and remind her and do a formal write up. Include those documents.

      If it happens again —- You need to have a 3 way meeting with HR you and her.

      Depending on the outcome of that meeting the next infraction shuold be termination.

      She is obviously undermining your authority, affecting your ability to manage and being a general PITA.

      It is not easy nor is it fun to manage someone like this, but it has to be done and is one of the drawbacks of managment. But you have to do it no matter how much you don’t like it. It is kind of like working with an aggressive dog.,.. if you show fear or hesitation you have lost the battle.
      It is too bad some people insist on making it a battle.

    • #3195242

      Devils Advocate

      by lucyfur ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I think if my manager were to write to this site, he ( and no-one else I work with ) would say much the same thing about me, but in turn I would feel very uncomfortable about writing such a vague criticism about the people who report to me.

      Apologies in advance if anyone gets offended, or some of these points are already dealt with.

      So in her/my defense,
      1) I am loud. I don’t try to trip my manager up, its just that he constantly makes public declarations about things he knows nothing about( never asks first ), and he has to be told he’s wrong before he makes decisions based on the incorrect information. Which he does. Often.
      Without being there, we can’t judge if she is just correcting your mistakes, albeit in a rather public way, the same way that you cant tell if I’m right in my discussions with mine.

      2) “People try to look like they get on with her,” I can see my manager saying that too. Personally I think people get on with me, but he likes to pretend they don’t( mainly cos I dont get on with him ). He thinks they like the endless boring stories about widgets and gadgets and I think they bore others senseless.
      Again, personal opinion which may differ depending on perspective.

      However, if I had started this post, I would not have mentioned that as it is a personal opinion of yours that “People” dont like her, and pretend that they do.

      3) If she’s stayed in a company through bad times, couldnt that mean she is really good at her job? as opposed to her blackmailing someone – a suggestion from another response.

      4) 5 years experience is not “snippets”, plus whatever she learned wherever else she was in the 10 + years before that, I would get very offended by that and say that it is very condescending to say that. My boss says things like that too all of us ( you’ll never be as good as me is always kind of implied, cos he has a phd, and we only have “ordinary” degrees ), and it really winds me up. If you really think like that, it comes across in your posture, and the way you speak, which may explain some of the attitude.

      5) “When I’m being nice”???? Again, I’m, afraid that doesnt come across too well, what you are saying is you only try to mentor her when you feel like being nice to her??? hmm.

      6) Don’t mentor her in things she (thinks she)knows. Ask her what she needs to know, and teach her that stuff, then she can’t shrug it off.

      Try to stand in her shoes for a while. Try to see why she might feel the need to be like this. Maybe you come across as condescending, I do , and I apologise for it as soon as I see its winding people up, but its just the way I speak, and people are OK once I explain that.

      I know I am picking you up on some of the smaller details, but it seemed like a lot of your attitude toward her come out in the post, so i have responded to that, whether correctly or incorrectly.

      Then again, maybe she really is a complete dragon, and you are just as good a manager as me 😉
      But even if I am wrong, it’s still possible that she feels as offended her (mis)perception of your attitiude as I did.

    • #3050753

      spare hard drive

      by andyharrop_11 ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      I have such a person within my section. The good thing is that i am louder. One thing is for sure even though you think you are being beaten. Other people have respect for you as you are a ‘johnny on the spot’ the man that does.
      What i have found is you need to insert a hard drive into the oral pipe that is known as the mouth, of this person! Sometimes actions speak louder than words.
      Good luck and don’t back down!!!!!!

    • #3053362

      It could be a TUMOR!!!!

      by ntguru ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      Sometimes it’s not easy for older people to be under the supervision of someone younger, as there may be some reserved resentment. My sugesstion is to speak firmly to her and move forward!!!

    • #3072246

      Obvious truth

      by jerrym mcse+i / a+ ·

      In reply to Managing a loud and obnoxious subordinate

      you stated the issue right at the start. She’s mid 40’s and you are younger. She’s probably feeling alot of insecurity and likely put in for your job before you got it. She probably feels like she’s “been there, done that” and why the heck did some young punk come in and take “my” job???

      Feeling like she has to prove she’s better than you is definately insecurities…. most people don’t realize that managers don’t have to be technical or have all the answers. They are free to be total dimwits when it comes to technology. Now what managers must be able to do is manage resources, projects, and timelines to meet goals and budgets.

      If she’s good at what she does I’d see about having a Female HR representative sit in with you two and maybe talk about the situation and perhaps offer her an opportunity to see a professional to help her deal with her feelings.