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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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Netiquette please

by ladyjet In reply to

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.

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Oh lighten up...

by keyguy13 In reply to Netiquette please

Please... could you possibly take yourself ANY more seriously?

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I don't understand you

by roxyred66 In reply to

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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?

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Neither drastic nor draconian

by philip.grogan In reply to Neither drastic nor draco ...

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!.

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