Make us your home page
Instagram

Career Q&A: Manager must make amends

Q: "Beth" and "Marcia" both work for me. Recently, I made the mistake of telling Beth that I was unhappy with Marcia's performance. She repeated my comments, and now Marcia is justifiably angry. How can I recover from this screwup?

A: First, kudos to you for recognizing that managers should never discuss one employee with another. But if you also failed to tell Marcia about these issues directly, then you owe her both an apology and some feedback.

For example: "Marcia, I want to apologize for discussing my concerns about your project with Beth instead of talking to you. That was inexcusable, and it won't happen again. However, we do need to figure out why this project is behind schedule."

Your lapse in judgment, while unfortunate, does not exempt Marcia from having a necessary performance discussion.

New deputy feels sidelined at work

Q: After being promoted to a deputy director position in my agency, I initially felt excited and grateful. However, I have now become disillusioned, because the director doesn't include me in any activities. I am supposed to be her back-up, yet I know nothing about her job. She also questions any ideas that I propose.

I have a shy personality and am not very aggressive, so I'm not sure how to gain authority in my new role. So far, this promotion has involved a change in title and pay, but no real increase in responsibility. How can I stop being a token deputy?

A: Although you're feeling intentionally excluded, it's unlikely that the director would choose you for this job, then deliberately sabotage your success. A more probable explanation is that your "shy personality" is keeping you on the sidelines.

While having a quiet temperament can be an advantage, timidity will only hold you back, so you need to display more self-confidence. If you wish to be included in a project, explain why your involvement would be helpful. When the director questions your ideas, don't immediately abandon them.

Because a deputy's duties are largely determined by what the person above decides to delegate, these positions are often poorly defined. Since your current job description appears to have some gaps, take the initiative to draft a new one, then review it with your boss.

People who are afraid to ask for what they want frequently become unhappy and disgruntled. Since resentment never helped anyone's career, appropriate assertiveness is a skill that everyone needs to develop.

Dealing with bullies? Try a new approach

Q: I work with four bullies who constantly harass me and slander me behind my back. One of them is rude, bossy, and openly hostile. I have discussed this with my boss and the human resources manager, but they defended the bullies and refused to take any action.

We recently got a new manager, so I would like to tell him about this problem. I'm not sure how to approach him, however, because none of my other co-workers will complain about these people. What would you suggest?

A: Based on your description, it's hard to know what's really going on here. You obviously feel that you are being tormented by a relentless pack of predators, which has to be extremely stressful. It's hard to focus on work when you're feeling like a target.

On the other hand, no one else appears to share this perception. Your other colleagues refuse to back you up, and your supervisor and HR manager, who are responsible for investigating such charges, have dismissed them. The new boss is undoubtedly aware of this history, since incoming managers are almost always briefed about staff issues.

Since no one else sees this situation as you do, perhaps it's time to consider a different view. So instead of renewing your old grievances, consider making a fresh start by asking the HR manager to help you repair these fractured relationships.

Career Q&A: Manager must make amends 03/16/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 4:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Report slams Pinellas construction licensing agency

    Local Government

    LARGO — The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board mismanaged its finances, lacked accountability and violated its own rules, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the county's inspector general.

    Rodney Fischer, the executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board, resigned in January.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  3. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project

    Health

    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    Construction is underway for the new Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. This view is from atop Amalie Arena, where local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate the first piece of what will be the new Water Street District. The USF building is expected to open in late 2019. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
[SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Tampa Bay cools down to more moderate home price increases

    Real Estate

    The increase in home prices throughout much of the Tampa Bay area is definitely slowing from the torrid rate a year ago.

    This home close to Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa sold for $3.055 million in August, making it Hillsborough County's top sale of the month. [Courtesy of Bredt Cobitz]