how to get rid of drama on your team

In an ideal world, any team we worked on or led would be a model of professionalism and never get sidetracked by emotions or interpersonal conflict. But in reality, drama and unproductive conflict can creep into teams if you don’t purposely create a culture that’s inhospitable to it. Here’s how to do it.

1. Model a no-drama approach yourself. Team members will take their cues from you. If you gossip, react strongly to difficult news, are often in crisis mode, or regularly have interpersonal conflicts, you’re likely to see that behavior on your team as well. But if you’re calm, cultivate a sense that everyone is on the same team, don’t overreact, don’t indulge in gossip, and take a low-key approach to office politics and interpersonal relationships, you’ll reinforce the behavior that you want to see from your staff. So if you’re seeing drama on your team, the first thing to do is to ask yourself some tough questions about what you might have been modeling for them.

2. Actively discourage unconstructive interpersonal conflict. Too often, when two teams members are having a long-running and unconstructive conflict with each other – one that’s interfering with their abilities to perform their roles effective and which is distracting others around them – managers throw up their hands and let it play out. Sometimes managers figure that these are adults who can manage their own relationships at work and that it’s not their place to step in. And while that’s certainly true for minor conflicts, when something goes on for a while and affects the work or people around them, good managers will call out the behavior and make it clear that it’s not in sync with the culture they want. People don’t have to like each other, but they do need to treat each other pleasantly and professionally, and as a manager you can make it clear that that’s part of the job as much as the work people do.

3. Create an explicit value around people cooperating and operating with good will toward their colleagues. Not only should you call out problematic behavior when you see it, but you should be transparent about what you do want to see. One way to do this is to create an explicit team norm around low drama and assuming positive intent, and discuss it at team meetings, when onboarding new employees, and when you see examples of it playing out on your staff. (For instance, if one of your staff members deals particularly cheerfully and kindly with a colleague on another team who’s prickly and difficult to work with, tell her you notice and appreciate it.)

4. Make sure that you’re setting clear goals and providing enough direction. Often on teams that are full of fighting and drama, part of the problem is that people aren’t spending time on the work they’re there to do – either because they don’t have clear goals with ambitious benchmarks to hit or because their manager isn’t providing them with clear direction. Sometimes in drama-filled situations, managers or their advisors feel they should focus on the interpersonal side of things: communication styles, conflict resolution, and team-building activities. But often those things don’t address the real issues: a culture that allows drama and in-fighting (possibly because staff members are seeing it mirrored from the top), lack of direction, and not enough focus on work and accountability.

I originally published this at Intuit QuickBase’s blog.

{ 62 comments… read them below }

  1. Erika*

    I’m just commenting to say that this is a really prescient post. I totally needed this today.

  2. Jerzy*

    I recently started a new job where, for the most part, everyone is friendly and helpful. There is one team member (a director, unfortunately) who lacks basic people and communication skills and doesn’t seem to think deadlines apply to him. I actually pride myself on being able to deal with difficult personalities, so I slap my “waitress smile” on my face and make it work. I have a colleague, though, who shows obvious dislike for the “Difficult Director,” and he gives that attitude back to her in spades. The tension between these two is very obvious and quite distracting (despite the fact the Director works out of an office several states away!).

    While I really like my job, I am a bit concerned about working somewhere where the upper management refuses to step in and improve the situation. They take a very “hands-off” approach, which I think is the wrong way to go about things, but as a new, mid-level employee, it’s not really my place to step in.

    I wonder if I could just anonymously send out this article to the CEO with the two culprits’ faces taped to the picture…

    1. NJ Anon*

      They are probably aware and choose not to do anything about it. Unfortunately, in my long and not so illustrious career, this is the case more often than not.

  3. Engineer Girl*

    A nice article but it ignores the drama a bully can bring to the team. Bullies are master manipulators and have an uncanny ability to make the victim look like the perpetrator.
    Most managers are sensors Vs intuitors. They take things at face value. When investigating drama you can’t do that. You have to dig down, look beneath the surface, and ask questions. Otherwise you’ll blame the wrong party. And please don’t say it takes two tango. In bullying cases it takes ONE person with an agenda.
    So ask the following: a) what is the past performance record of the employees? b) Is a new employee threatening the status quo (especially if the previous status quo was mediocrity) c) what is the nature of the accusations – are they specific (real problem) or are they soft (she’s being mean to me). You must ask questions and get specifics before you make decisions!

    1. Just Another Techie*

      And all of this goes double if the person being bullied is the only woman, the only LGBT person, the only person with disabilities, or the only ethnic minority on the team.

    2. Muriel Heslop*

      These are fantastic points! Our team bully just transferred to another department but I would have loved to have had this for my boss.

    3. Lily in NYC*

      Our bully is the president’s assistant and oh my god she is so scary and mean. She is only mean to women, and is a master at doing it when no one is around to witness it. She has driven out 3 other admins with her mean girl attitude. But she’s met her match! There’s a new person in her area that she’s tried to mess with and this woman is just not having it. It’s been awesome to watch Mean One try to deal with someone who is not remotely affected by her bullying.

      1. AMG*

        Details, please!! I would love to know how to combat this, especially from someone in a power position!

        1. Lily in NYC*

          I wish I knew! One of my friends sits next to them and mentioned that things were tense and that the assistant was trying to play her usual mind games but I didn’t ask for details because I worry about being seen as a gossip. I think part of it is that the other person is higher level than she is so there’s a limit to what she can get away with. And her demeanor (the new person) is very calm and reserved and my guess is that she just doesn’t react when Meanie starts up. I just had to call Meanie for something – this is her M.O. – I call and say Hi Meanie, it’s Lily. And she ALWAYS responds: “mm-hmm”. That’s it. No hello, or “what do you want”. Just “mm-hmm” said in a tone like I’m ruining her day. And she doesn’t even dislike me!

        1. Malissa*

          I’m guessing she recognizes the behavior and doesn’t feed it. If a person deals with bullies long enough they can spot them a mile away. Once you have recognition, the rest is easy.

          1. Chinook*

            “If a person deals with bullies long enough they can spot them a mile away. Once you have recognition, the rest is easy.”

            Yes and no. I can spot a bully/master maipulator a mile away but I am at a loss for what to do once they realize their usual tactics don’t work and they up their game. I literally called one out for sabatoging a choir I was in (she was our replacement pianist from another choir and she played the wrong song. I have since learned that she a professional choir director elsewhere, so this was no accident) and had her up her whispering campaign against me to those who were awed by her reputation and hadn’t had a chance to get to know me. I walked away from this volunteer experience as it was no longer enjoyable but drama filled. I would love insight into how to stop the escalation without having to walk away.

          2. Mallory Janis Ian*

            Yeah, I’m with Chinook. I can recognize it easily enough, but it’s way harder to know what to do about it, especially if other people don’t catch on to what’s up and think that the bully is okay, or “that’s just how she is.”

            1. StillHealing*

              I’ve heard managers use the “that’s just how she is” excuse in order to wiggle out of taking any action to discipline. Willfully sabotaging someone’s work, taking documents that having nothing to do with their work, stalking, flying into rages…..No one should have to put up with that type of behavior in the work place.

          3. StillHealing*

            I agree. If you fear It – you feed It. If you cater to It in any way – you feed It. If you are “just trying to be fair” to everyone and not discipline a Bully – you empower It. If you take the Bully’s word, choose sides, or outright REWARD a Bully – you no longer have a Bully. You’ve created a Monster!

      2. StillHealing*

        Yay! I love co-workers who don’t get rattled by bullies. When people are at work – to work! and don’t get sucked in to the drama – it has a stabilizing effect on the whole office. The more people can jump on the “I’m at work to work !” Bandwagon, the less influence the Bully has in controlling the office atmosphere.

    4. Mike C.*

      Seriously, this is a great post. I would only add not to diminish or otherwise minimize the damage a workplace bully can do to someone. It stops being “schoolyard drama” when your career, professional reputation and paycheck become involved.

    5. Blergh*

      Agreed! My coworker is a master manipulator. The bully/manipulator is so far up our interim manager’s rear that there is no way he will ever see her behavior! It seems that he sees her as the person who feeds him all of the information that he needs to succeed. I am so discouraged. She has been a problem since about day 30 of my tenure in this position. I have now been in this position for two years. I am actively seeking new employment, as is one of my coworkers, due to this person’s behavior.

      The major problem is that we are the only two women on the team, and she seems to have it in for me in particular. She may exclude the other team members, but they are not bullied by her like I am.

      1. Artemesia*

        I have had the AA who was the boss’s pet undermine me in a new situation. I don’t put up with crap, but she did poison the well with the boss of this division. I had lots of capital built up elsewhere in the organization and had multiple roles so that all my eggs were not in this basket, but she did a good deal to make life miserable. Luckily the thing she had convinced the director that I could not do and was going to ‘damage the program’ and everyone is upset and ‘doesn’t want to work with her’ — luckily that thing came out really well — sort of lucky rockstar well and so I was able to knock down her power to undermine me BUT there was always a bit of taint of it with that group of directors.

        For someone with less capital and power or who is knew, this can be devastating and it is not easy to deal with because bullies are good at spotting vulnerabilities. A good person helps the newbie overcome, the bully uses the information to help the person fail or destroy the reputation. In my case, the task was difficult and I might well have flopped. A mediocre job on this one thing would not necessarily have been the end of the world with good management, but she was primed to take me down at least in that program.It was lucky that I did a stellar job — it is certainly not true that everything I touched turned to gold.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          I always love a good tale that ends in comeuppance for the bully. It is true, as you mention, that even when your social capital is long-standing and abundant, someone who does what this AA did can still taint others’ perception of you (not *all* others’ perception of you, but enough that it can still be damaging).

    6. NewbieBoss*

      I’m extremely high on intuition according to every personality test I’ve ever taken, so hopefully I’m a better manager in this regard! I’ve yet to have a staff member come to me with complaints of this sort, but I’ll keep this in mind for if/when it does happen.

    7. Chickaletta*

      Yes! I worked with someone like this in a small office, she was totally malignant to the culture. She was the only person I ever got into a yelling match with on the job (and not proud of it), and I used to work in used car sales so that should tell you something.

      She got kicked of a roller derby team for being too mean, I kid you not.

      It was unfortunate that the management didn’t know how to deal with her, and unfortunately she had quite a bit of seniority in the office too. I am currently in the middle of a job search and whenever I interview, in small offices in particular, I am careful to try to get a sense whether there is anyone like that working there. It’s a deal breaker for me.

      1. Mallory Janis Ian*

        Wow, I thought being mean was the whole point of roller derby!

        *just kidding* But still, you’d have to be pretty damn mean to get kicked off!

        1. VintageLydia USA*

          Well, most people I know in roller derby are NOT mean outside of a match. At all. You really need a cohesive and supportive team.

    8. Rainbow Snake of Honolulu*

      Ah yes. The potstirrer. Really dangerous work foe.

      Some warning signs I look for:
      1) Although in the past 2 months there have been issues between, Jane & Wakeen, Wakeen & Chris, and Chris & Jane, it turns out that Potstirrer was also involved with each of the projects that resulted in drama even though he was not an active participant in any of the issues.
      2) Potstirrer gives out backhanded compliments masked in pity/concern. She might say something like “Wakeen is such a nice guy … it’s too bad he struggles with the TPS reports”
      3) Potstirrer is apt to publically (and subtly) call out other team members. (Don’t get to distracted if the target employee overreacts to this, instead focus on the destructive behavior of the potstirrer).
      4) Potstirrer tells you that your direct reports are undermining your decisions/not supporting your projects/complaining about your policies.

      In general the only way to identify a potstirrer is to base your opinions only on the facts and not the perception that the potstirrer tries to paint for you.

      1. Engineer Girl*

        Ohh yes. Number 1 especially. You need to look for subtle patterns or you’ll never see it.
        Also, you wee that Wakeen is having problems with both Chris and Jane. A bad manager will blame Wakeen as the common denominator. Turns out that potstirrer is working both Jane and Chris to undermine Wakeen.

    9. bioflyer*

      Another big red flag – someone who insults team members and covers it with some variation of “I’m just a really honest straightforward person!”

      I had a consultant in another department pull this on me repeatedly, including after a 30-plus minute verbal attack of my character. Fortunately, my manager was all over it and told this woman she could no longer have any contact with me. (And that’s just the soundbite, I have so many drama stories I could tell!)

    10. StillHealing*

      Omg, this, this, THIS! I had a manager who catered to a Bully. The Bully could fake cry at a drop of a hat …but there were no tears..all fake. Normal business and our focus on it – was like a threat to the Bully. The Bully demanded everyone focus on her and be involved in whatever drama was the flavor of the day. Instead of truly dealing with the Bully, Manager thought meeting the Bullys’ demands was the best route to go. That manager moved on after four years. He lost several really good employees before and right after he left. As far as I know……the bully is still there.

      At some point, someone needs to have the cojones to deal with bullies and their tactics. It gets in the way of work and business. Thankfully, I’ve finally found a workplace that is bully-free.

  4. Amber Rose*

    At what point is something considered gossip or drama? I was mentioning to a coworker that while our office manager is incredibly smart, she keeps all that knowledge in her head and isn’t very good at teaching others, and I gave an example of a time I asked her how she knew something and was told “I just look at the file and know.” I wasn’t intending anything bad, just explaining why I wanted to get answers elsewhere, but now I’m worried I seem gossipy/whiny.

    1. Petronella*

      Yes, I find the definition of “drama” to be very amorphous. People (most especially women) get accused of spreading drama, being drama queens, etc, for a wide range of behaviors.

    2. LBK*

      Yes, I was wondering this exact thing as I was reading the article. “Drama” is such a vague term and one that often means “A person I don’t like is doing (insert literally any action here)”.

    3. Lily in NYC*

      I think she’s pretty specific in points 1 and 2 in the article. This sounds snarky when I read it back to myself but I don’t mean it that way!

      1. LBK*

        I think for more blatant examples it’s easy to identify, but there’s definitely gray area as you move out of purely personal issues into more work-related conflicts – and there’s always the question of how much something that’s going on between you and a coworker is inherently “work-related” by nature of occurring between people who work together.

        I also work for a VP who just has a giant personality and who I might say fits some of those criteria on the surface – she buzzes around like she’s always in crisis mode and she has strong reactions to big news or changes – but I wouldn’t consider her dramatic at all because that high energy is channeled into productivity.

        1. Lily in NYC*

          Yeah, I think some people are just more animated than others. I had a sluggish boss years ago who thought I was “frantic” just because I move at a faster pace than a snail and talk fast (but this is NY, everyone talks fast!).

    4. A Bug!*

      I agree that it’s a term that varies a lot in meaning depending on who’s saying it. Some people consider “drama” to be anything that causes conflict or offense or hurt feelings, including objecting to boorish or offensive behavior. (“Why did you have to cause a scene? If you had just laughed along and brushed it off then things would be so much less awkward around here.”)

      But I also think that it’s reasonable to come up with a personal definition for drama so that you can use it to gauge your own behavior. For me, drama is more about motivation for an action than the action itself. Something that would be dramatic in one context is completely reasonable or even necessary in another. In your case, Amber Rose, what you describe doesn’t sound drama-seeking to me. It might be, if you were servicing an agenda by telling your coworker why you don’t go to your manager with questions anymore.

      I’ve got parts of my personality that are mean, selfish, and cowardly. These parts act in direct opposition to the parts of my personality that I want to be “Me.” “Meanie-Me” is sneaky, clever, and always on the lookout for opportunities to satisfy itself at any expense. I sometimes have to be very attentive to make sure I’m considering my motivations when something starts to smell off. And ultimately, I think that’s the bottom line: mindfulness.

      1. LBK*

        I agree totally with this comment, especially that motivation determines whether an action is dramatic and that the “drama” tag too often gets applied to victims as much as perpetrators.

    5. Not So NewReader*

      Really good question, I have never been able to nail it down so I wonder, too.
      Technically speaking this could be gossip: “Hey, Bob suffered a big loss in his life, so when he comes in cut him some slack.” But I would want to know that so I can kind of be supportive in at a least a small way. Yeah, I am talking about someone else.

      I tend to look at what is said, how it is said and how often it is repeated. And I also have to look at the person telling me. Some people are right on top of every piece of negative information there is in existence. I think intent weighs in here. The problem is it is so difficult to figure out intent.

      In your example here, you have options- you could not mention it again and/or look for ways to get an expanded explanation for you boss. (Follow up questions are great for people like this. “Okay, I have the file here, now, what do you see that I am missing?”) In order to be gossipy/whiny, you’d have to do it more than once. Once is not a pattern. Also you have to learn who to ask what questions. If this coworker was not helpful then you know to move to others (if there are others).

    6. J-nonymous*

      From what you describe, this doesn’t sound like gossip or drama.

      If the Office Manager isn’t really expected to teach others how to do the particular task you were describing, or if training in general is not part of her responsibilities, this *might* be gossip (then again, it could still be useful feedback for her if she wants to grow – it depends on who you’re sharing this with).

      If you were randomly telling someone who didn’t need to know about the Office Manager’s shortcomings, then this might be drama / gossip.

      If you were adding another example to the roster of Times Office Manager Fell Short, and in particular if you were sharing the story with someone who is in no position to address the behavior with her, then this is definitely gossip.

  5. mina*

    I’m locked into a long running (now) drama conflict with my co worker who sits across from me. Used to be work friends, she decided I wronged her badly – I didn’t, but I will say that I can see where she has justification for resentment and frustration. Most of her problems with me come from the culture we have. I’ve tried to get through to her to re-create a non hostile environment, but she is fine with how things are and sees no need to change. This includes sulks, ignoring me completely, furious muttering to herself and general obnoxiousness. Best of all, when I finally broke down after months and asked the manager to get involved, nothing came of it. I feel completely unvalued and unimportant, and it’s just become bad here. All because the manager just doesn’t want to do anything managerial. What a mess.

    1. Engineer Girl*

      Why are you seeking validation from someone that doesn’t like you? Ignore her sulks, comments, mutterings as though they don’t exist. Without feedback of your reaction the loop is broken. When you start to ignore the bad behavior it will temporarily escalate (extinction burst) but if you keep on keeping on the other person will realize that what they are trying is no longer working. They will then either escalate, where it will get noticed by others, or they will quit.

      1. mina*

        When I *have* to ask her something and she ignores me like we are in 5th grade, that’s a work problem. I say not one word more than than I have to, to her. I’m not seeking validation, just trying to get my work done.

        1. Malissa*

          When you asked the manager to get involved how did you word it?
          Did you explicitly say when I ask her work related things, she ignores me and I can’t do my job with-out her cooperation. Or did you say something along the lines of Jane is being childish and difficult? The first one should get action, the second one, not so much.

          If I were you I’d look straight at Jane and say, “I know you don’t care for me, but we’ve got a job to do here so can we keep a professional relationship?’ Then ignore the sighing, grumbling and other stuff. Always be polite and respond pleasantly to any work related questions. Respond politely to personal questions but be very vague. if she asks “how was your weekend?” give a bland answer like fine and drive the topic back to work. If she still refuses to answer your work questions start emailing her. Get a trail that proves she is actually harming the business flow.

          The idea is to repair your reputation and to be calm, cool, and nice. Soon people will notice and wonder what is wrong with her.

          1. mina*

            We don’t say one word to each other that we absolutely don’t have to. I tried the pleasant and cool but my nerves are getting frayed at this point. I admit I was mad when I talked to my boss about all this, but I gave concrete examples. He just doesn’t want to do anything about it.

            1. Malissa*

              Deep breaths and email is your friend at this point. I’d also suggest the Jane Goodall approach. Observe as if she’s a new (irrational) species.

            2. catsAreCool*

              Will Jane be more likely to answer if you cc your manager? I know some people consider this to be passive-aggressive, but sometimes that’s the only way to get answers.

    2. NewbieBoss*

      Yeah, if you’ve brought it up to the manager in a professional manner as a, “I can’t get Jane to respond to me when I need X for project Y.” and they didn’t act… it’s probably time to move on. I worked for a manager who, while otherwise great, refused to hold his staff up to an appropriate standard of behavior/performance (people refusing to get things done that I relied on, wasting budget, gossiping about how I was getting good projects because I’m an attractive female, etc.), and the only thing you can do beyond that is start applying elsewhere. You can’t change a manager that isn’t willing to manage.

  6. TP*

    How about when the perpetrators are senior managers? I’ve worked at many places where I swear people are addicted to drama and can’t function without it, and in many cases, they come directly from the top. If they’re the ones creating a stir, how do you go about changing by influence if you’re not one of them? I’ve witnessed tons of bad behavior with no recourse simply because of where they sit on the totem pole.

  7. NewbieBoss*

    Any advice for a first-time manager inheriting a fairly dramatic/reactive/immature team? Specifically to a team that does not react professionally to difficult news, and does not take change professionally (complaining, resistance, etc.)?

    The previous boss was a great model of professionalism, but this culture persists despite his years of setting a good example of NOT being dramatic. The two most dramatic employees have already resigned (they were upset that they were not considered for the management position), which I hope helps in time, but I’m new to this and would appreciate advice!

    1. Bun*

      I think you have to retrain your team to react differently, and that’s going to be a process!

      When a change happens or difficult news comes down, you can plan for extra time to hear out the team’s or the individual’s actual concerns. It’s hard, but if you don’t treat them like they’re being dramatic/complaining, you can either get to the kernel of truth about the complaint, or you can get your team to talk themselves out of their drama. :)

      Appear calmly, seriously interested and concerned in their thoughts, ask “What makes you say that?” and “Why do you think that will happen?” Behave in every way as if you’re taking them seriously. Ask follow-up “Why?”s until you get to the real truth. Usually it comes down to fear. Once you’ve reached the core of their fear or concern, then you can start to ask for possible solutions. “In a perfect world, how would you solve that?” or “What would you do about that, if you were in charge?” Real solutions can come out of this method!

      Over time, most people will take this “if you oppose, propose” approach to heart and start doing it themselves.

    2. FD*

      I think you need to think about three things.

      1. What exactly do you mean by not acting professionally? Some complaining is normal, IME, and trying to forbid people from complaining at all isn’t likely to go well (and might be illegal in some cases). You know the ‘feel’ that they AREN’T giving off, but how exactly is that happening. Then you can start addressing it like any other behavioral issue. Example: “Jane, I saw you rolling your eyes when Wakeen was proposing the new teapot handle shape. While it is okay for you to disagree, that isn’t an appropriate way to show it. A more appropriate way would be to say, ‘Have you considered the molding problems? Based on past issues, I’m concerned that this shape won’t come out of the mold easily, so we’ll end up wasting a lot of chocolate.'”

      This is important because you’re addressing exactly what they’re doing that’s not okay, but also crucially you’re telling them what they should do instead. Many teams with immature people on them genuinely haven’t worked in an environment where they’ve been showed any other way to act, and this may help cure a lot of the issue. If it doesn’t, then you’d deal with it like any other behavior problem. A good example is a good start–but many people need to have things clearly explained, when it comes to fairly subtle areas like new (to them) professional norms.

      2. What are the underlying issues that cause them to resist change? Some people just don’t like change, but I’ve often seen that this happens when there’s been high turnover or many changes in policy. After a while, many associates just resist change because they don’t believe it will last, and don’t see the point of expending energy on something that they’ll end up doing differently in two months. Assess whether your employees just dislike change on principle, or if there’s a reason that they’re distrustful. If there is a reason, it might be helpful to have an open discussion of why what you’re doing isn’t working and brainstorm solutions. For example, “We’ve seen that the current chocolate teapot handles break 25% of the time, which results in a wastage of $1,000 per month. We need to come up with a better solution so that the breakage comes down to 10% or less. What could we try?” This helps because it shows you’re not just changing things to put your mark on them, and lets them have input into the process. Sometimes, this may also give you insights into why they don’t like certain things–like maybe the new mold release spray makes their skin itch.

      1. Jillociraptor*

        I think this is really smart. I work with a team that struggles with this, and a huge part of beginning to help them change was modeling and setting a clear expectation for another method of engagement. We have a big eye-rolling issue on our team, and all it really took was “Wait a minute–I can tell by your face that that doesn’t seem like a good idea! Tell me more.” Forcing them to verbalize their arguments took us from a constant culture of “put-upon-ness” where everyone was always complaining about this or that and oh-woe-is-me, to one that was much more productive and willing to work on issues rather than just complain about them.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Some suggestions:

      Make sure they have what they need to do the job. Is their stuff crappy? broken? Start pulling in stuff that works.

      Ask them what they need- but make no promises. Tell them you will check into it and it may take time.

      Check the systems in place. Does it make more sense for Jane to do her part first THEN pass it to Bob? Or should Bob remain doing his part first? Sometimes little tweaks in workflows can make a huge difference.

      Refer to your group as “we” and “us” when talking with your group.

      Tell them that you expect a supportive environment, where people help each other. And this includes finding solutions for difficult situations. Explain that there is a difference between saying “There is an on-going problem with X, I think we need to look at it closer.” and saying “Oh, X is all screwed up AGAIN.” You expect the former type of approach, not the latter. It’s okay to have expectations and it’s okay to say what those expectations are.

      You are their information pipeline. Make sure you stay active in this role. Provide company information, customer info, supplier info and anything that is relevant to them. Not much ticks people off more than if they feel they are being kept in the dark.

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