Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Business

Career Q&A: Manager needs to be more assertive

Q: As a manager, I always strive to maintain a professional demeanor in discussions with employees. But when critical and judgmental people try to twist the meaning of my words, I tend to freeze and shut down. This ends the conversation and keeps me from achieving my objective. What can I do about this?

A: Losing control of discussions signifies a lack of "management presence," which means being comfortable and confident in your leadership role.

When negative emotions arise, managers who possess this quality simply recognize them, put them aside and calmly continue toward their goal.

The most common emotional distractors are anger and anxiety. While hothead bosses must learn to calm down, timid types, like yourself, need to become more assertive.

So when someone tries to divert you by distorting your remarks, say, "That's not what I meant," and then repeat your comments and refocus the conversation. Although this may feel uncomfortable at first, with a little practice it will soon become a habit.

Employee oversteps his bounds at work

Q: One of my co-workers refuses to act like a team player. "Tony" automatically opposes any suggestion I make to improve operations in our retail store. Recently, he and I disagreed about how to train a new hire. Now I seem to be in trouble and don't understand why.

On the new worker's first day, I told Tony to switch departments with her so she could learn some new skills. He refused and began arguing with me. When we called our manager, he sided with Tony, even though my plan clearly made more sense.

Because I couldn't handle all this dysfunction, I asked to take the rest of the day off. My boss let me go but said we "needed to have a talk." This makes it sound like I did something wrong. I'm feeling betrayed and unappreciated and don't think I can continue working with Tony. What's your opinion?

A: I'll be glad to share my thoughts, but you're not going to like them. Your manager wants to talk because you made two serious errors.

First, you clearly overstepped your bounds by directing a colleague to change departments. As a co-worker, you had no authority to make that decision. Before implementing a plan that affected Tony, you should have gotten your boss' approval.

Second, when your manager overruled this move, you reacted like a sulky child and said you wanted to go home. Now you say you can't work with Tony, obviously forgetting that you don't get to choose your co-workers.

Based on these examples, you feel strongly entitled to have things go your way, a narcissistic trait that could prove to be your downfall in this job. Or any other job, for that matter.

Ex-Marine should be a team player

Q: Regarding the question about the former Marine who said military training made asking for help seem like weakness, I couldn't disagree more. In the Marine Corps, teamwork is instilled from boot camp, and go-it-alone guys are not well-regarded. Marine Corps teamwork is legendary, so this guy's problem is his own. Semper Fi.

A: I appreciate your comment. Transitioning to a civilian job may require some adjustments, but teamwork should not be one of them.

Comments
Pinellas County strikes bed tax deal with VRBO, HomeAway and other AirBnb competitors

Pinellas County strikes bed tax deal with VRBO, HomeAway and other AirBnb competitors

The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office will start collecting bed tax dollars from a slew of home rental apps that operate similarly to AirBnb starting Oct. 1.Prior to the new partnerships with TripAdvisor and Expedia, only AirBnb had set up to pa...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Study: Tampa International Airport ranks fourth best for satisfying travelers

Study: Tampa International Airport ranks fourth best for satisfying travelers

Times Staff WriterTampa International Airport was named the fourth-best large airport in the U.S. at keeping travelers satisfied, according to a study by J.D. Power released Wednesday.Meanwhile, the study ranked Orlando International as the country’s...
Published: 09/19/18
Valet parking? A concierge? Midtown Tampa outlines plans for an amenity-rich office building

Valet parking? A concierge? Midtown Tampa outlines plans for an amenity-rich office building

TAMPA — A sudden boomlet in premium office space is getting boomier as developers detail their plans for the first of three office buildings planned at Midtown Tampa, a $500 million mixed-use development near Interstate 275 and N Dale Mabry Highway.M...
Published: 09/19/18
Home refinancings up dramatically in the Tampa Bay area

Home refinancings up dramatically in the Tampa Bay area

Counter to the national trend, refinancings in the Tampa Bay area increased in the second quarter of this year. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, lenders originated 41 percent more refinancing loans in April, May and June than they did in the same p...
Published: 09/19/18
Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Tapping home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses like groceries and utilities is a recipe for financial peril. It can work for a while, especially if home prices are rising. Eventually the spigot runs dry, bills pile up and your home can be lost to...
Published: 09/19/18
Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

This has to be height of bureaucratic pettiness, especially for a city whose track record in promoting quality public art falls somewhere between stick figures and finger puppets.Richard Gonzmart is a community treasure. As the force behind a number ...
Published: 09/19/18
‘Something fishy’ about sale of a golf-course villa in Seminole

‘Something fishy’ about sale of a golf-course villa in Seminole

SEMINOLE — There were so many unusual aspects to the sale of a certain Seminole villa that it’s hard to know where to begin. Is it with the fact the villa sold for $100,000 despite a cash offer of $128,700? Is it that the buyer was a Realtor in the s...
Published: 09/19/18
New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

COMING SOON: OLIVIAChris Ponte, right, has been a steady and notable culinary leader in our area for more than a decade with his flagship restaurant Cafe Ponte in Clearwater. A couple of years ago he mixed things up a bit by debuting On Swann in Hyde...
Published: 09/19/18
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson steps down after 20 years in driver’s seat

AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson steps down after 20 years in driver’s seat

Associated PressFORT LAUDERDALE — Mike Jackson is stepping down after almost two decades leading AutoNation, the nation’s largest dealership chain. Jackson, 69, steered AutoNation through the economic crisis and shares have increased fourfold since h...
Published: 09/19/18
‘Imminent’ bankruptcy filing for law firm of suspended St . Pete lawyer Mark Stopa

‘Imminent’ bankruptcy filing for law firm of suspended St . Pete lawyer Mark Stopa

The law firm of suspended St. Petersburg attorney Mark Stopa is in such chaos that much of its staff has quit — some after suffering stress-related breakdowns — and a liquidation bankruptcy filing is imminent.In an emergency motion filed this week in...
Published: 09/19/18