Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Business

Career Q&A: Intimidating boss needs to build bridges

Q: I supervise three technicians in a busy medical clinic. These employees recently complained to management that I belittle them, show them no respect and occasionally cause them to leave work in tears. I was told that they greatly admire my clinical skills, but find me to be intimidating.

My boss has said that I must resolve this communication issue so the technicians will feel comfortable bringing me their problems. I need to know how to interact with these employees in a way that does not seem threatening. By the way, none of them has ever given me this feedback directly.

A: At the risk of stating the obvious, employees who feel threatened by their boss are unlikely to provide any face-to-face criticism. Going to your manager felt like a much safer way to express their concerns.

I assume that you have no desire to terrorize the technicians, so you must lack a fundamental understanding of what it means to be a leader. In your current role, relationship skills are just as important for success as technical skills. Leadership is all about motivating people to do their best, but demeaning comments will only motivate them to leave.

To begin building bridges with your employees, meet with each one individually, explain your desire to become a better supervisor and ask how you can be more helpful and supportive. These discussions should provide a road map for self-improvement, but if the changes seem too difficult, ask your boss to arrange for some appropriate coaching or training.

Pharmacist worries career in hot water

Q: Three years ago, I was hired to set up and run a new hospital pharmacy. Everything was going fine until an external audit turned up some problems, and I was blamed for everything. I had hoped to have a career here, but now I'm not so sure.

Recently, management hired another pharmacist who seems to be after my job. She frequently accuses me of not keeping up with my work. It's true that I don't put in as many hours as I used to, but that's only because I need to spend more time at home with my new baby.

Although I previously had a good relationship with my boss, now he and his manager say that I complain too much. Is my career doomed or is there a way to fix this?

A: Your career may not be dead, but it's certainly on life support. In addition to expressing concerns about both your competence and your attitude, management also appears to have hired a potential replacement. So you need to take action quickly.

The key to salvaging this situation is to stop complaining and start implementing a recovery plan. To begin repairing your relationship with management, you must first acknowledge past difficulties, then present a proposal for getting back on track.

For example: "I realize that lately I have not been doing my best work, but from now on, my goal is to make this a model pharmacy. I have outlined specific steps to correct the audit issues and bring everything up to date. As I implement this plan, I would like for us to meet regularly to assess my progress."

If you can live up to these promises, you may be able to resurrect your reputation. But should you find that the demands of this job conflict with the demands of parenthood, then you may need to start searching for a more child-friendly position.

Impossible manager rankles entire staff

Q: Our new general manager is driving the whole staff crazy. She has a bad temper and appears to be incapable of giving us clear directions. She will tell us to do something a certain way, then completely forget what she said and start yelling at us for doing exactly as we were told. She is also very heavy and dresses unprofessionally.

We recently heard that her daughter moved out of the house because of her mother's behavior, so apparently her family can't stand her either. A couple of people mentioned this problem to the owner, but so far he hasn't done anything. What do you suggest?

A: Since your volatile boss is unlikely to respond well to constructive criticism, going over her head may be your only choice. If the owner has ignored previous feedback, perhaps it's time for the entire staff to meet with him as a group. Just be sure to keep the focus on business-related issues when expressing your concerns. Discussing your manager's weight or family problems will only make you sound petty and reduce your credibility.

Comments
Ex-Facebook VP: Social media destroying society with ‘dopamine-driven feedback loops’

Ex-Facebook VP: Social media destroying society with ‘dopamine-driven feedback loops’

Washington PostA former Facebook executive is making waves after he spoke out about his "tremendous guilt" over growing the social network, which he feels has eroded "the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other."Chamath Paliha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Illegal card skimmer discoveries in Tampa Bay double in 2017

Illegal card skimmer discoveries in Tampa Bay double in 2017

State investigators have discovered more than double the number of credit card skimmers in the Tampa Bay area in 2017 than in 2016 — with still a few weeks left in the year. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services found 54 skimmer...
Updated: 2 hours ago
French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion

French group to take over Westfield malls for $15.7 billion

Three Tampa Bay malls may soon be under new management. French real estate company Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy Australia-based shopping mall operator Westfield Corp. for $15.7 billion in cash and shares."Westfield would arguably be the best or ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay’s mortgage delinquency rate crept up in September

Tampa Bay’s mortgage delinquency rate crept up in September

Times Staff WriterThe percentage of Tampa Bay homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments rose slightly in September, probably due to Hurricane Irma. According to CoreLogic, 7 percent of bay area mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days c...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Unusual paddle design earns worldwide market

Unusual paddle design earns worldwide market

Paddling on the heels of the last supermoon of 2017, Phil Hughes navigated an uncommonly low tide off Dunedin through St. Joseph Sound on an effortless but lengthy glide.This is not easy water, nor an easy paddle, and could be especially daunting for...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Nicko's Fine Foods, classic diner and Seminole Heights icon, closes after six decades

Nicko's Fine Foods, classic diner and Seminole Heights icon, closes after six decades

Nicko’s Fine Foods, known as the place Elvis Presley ate following a 1956 concert and Tampa’s last classic prefabricated diner, has shut down after more than 60 years in business. Owners Karen and Nicholas Liakos could not be reached for...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Punit Shah’s Liberty Group building new Channel District hotel with Jameis Winston as limited investor

Punit Shah’s Liberty Group building new Channel District hotel with Jameis Winston as limited investor

TAMPA — Punit Shah’s Liberty Group announced plans Tuesday to start construction in January on a Channel District project that will include a Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites, both by Hilton, plus a Starbucks Coffee.Financing for the $40 million project ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Creating PDQ from scratch: CEO of growing brand came from Bucs’ front office

Creating PDQ from scratch: CEO of growing brand came from Bucs’ front office

Shortly after leaving his job as chief financial officer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to strike out on his own as an entrepreneur, Nick Reader wondered if he’d made the right move. "I probably had one of the coolest jobs in Tampa," said Reader, 42. Si...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Driven by demand, Planned Parenthood opens second clinic in Tampa

Driven by demand, Planned Parenthood opens second clinic in Tampa

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows are heavily tinted and the inside is hidden behind rows of curtains. Security cameras monitor every corner, and only patients with an appointment and valid identification can pass through the intentionally cramped e...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Updated: 11 hours ago