Comments on: how to support a struggling new manager https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html Sun, 10 Jan 2021 15:26:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: INFJedi https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3240389 Sun, 10 Jan 2021 15:26:49 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3240389 In reply to Sandiera.

Thank you!

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By: jolene https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3239594 Sat, 09 Jan 2021 17:04:24 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3239594 In reply to Mongrel.

I have an *extremely* risque friend with a very glamorous and sexy life who’s in very high level corporate PR: hedge funds in the UK. If she finds the right berth, she might do very well indeed!

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By: Ermintrude https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3238384 Fri, 08 Jan 2021 17:43:52 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3238384 In reply to Dust Bunny.

Damn. Sorry you went through that, Dust Bunny.

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By: TardyTardis https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3237439 Fri, 08 Jan 2021 03:59:07 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3237439 In reply to Ripley Jones.

I suppose the person isn’t a werewolf…?

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By: Sandiera https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3237281 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 22:31:11 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3237281 In reply to Joan Rivers.

Syncing periods is a myth.

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By: Ripley Jones https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3237104 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 20:52:50 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3237104 In reply to Minocho.

I am surprised Allison suggested the LW say it might be worth talking to a doctor – I feel like that’s over the line too. I would leave it at “I notice this is happening at regular intervals and it can’t continue…” and stay on the behaviour and the impact it is having. The rest is none of anyone’s business. This only changes if the employee comes back with “this is a medical issue,” then you can ask how to support them.

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By: Ripley Jones https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3237093 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 20:49:07 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3237093 In reply to Anon for Now.

I would like to add, THANK YOU, LW#1 for being a good manager and wanting to help Jane to become a good manager.

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By: Joan Rivers https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3236729 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 18:55:20 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3236729 In reply to pcake.

It’s tempting to “diagnose” but you’re right there are numerous reasons it could be.

LW: Focus on the behavior! You’re straying from how wrong it is. Focus and document!
Even if it were PMS, that’s a cliche and seems sexist.
Aging men can have behavior that seems related to age, hormones, etc. But we don’t speculate about that unless they leave wife and buy a Porsche.

B U T it is true that women in, say a dorm, can synch up their cycles — it’s good info. to be aware of even if you don’t discuss it.

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By: Captain of the No Fun Department https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3236079 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 15:09:36 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3236079 LW2, I think the exact wording suggested is really good. I also faced a similar issue personally (which my partner brought up to me as potentially PMS related in the moment, so that DID NOT go over well) but it turns out that it kind of was PMS related. I was diagnosed with PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoria disorder). It is treatable and knowing what I have and what to do about it has 1) made each month easier to manager and 2) given me what I need to ask for accommodation at work. It may not be PMS related but it certainly could be a medical condition.

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By: JB https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3236014 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 13:52:25 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3236014 In reply to Well….

It honestly could also be a miscommunication.

I walked into this issue on my last job. Small department – me, one long-time coworker, and a boss who had taken the department head position only a few years ago (as opposed to coworker’s decades in the position). Coworker and boss had a very bad relationship. Coworker thought boss was constantly asking stupid questions, boss thought coworker was refusing to follow his directions.

It took me only a couple weeks to figure out what was happening.

Boss would want to make a change to procedure. He would approach coworker and, every time, would phrase it as ‘why don’t you do it XYZ way?’

He was saying ‘let’s discuss trying it this different way’. Coworker was hearing ‘justify to me why you’re doing things the way you’ve always done them rather than this other way’.

So coworker would say something usually along the lines of ‘because this is how we’ve always done it’, boss would say that’s a bad reason, the conversation would devolve, and coworker would never get the message that boss wanted her to try the other method. It was a stupid problem between two stubborn but otherwise wonderful people, and once I started getting involved in the conversation and breaking the pattern they got along much better, but they had been doing this for years (years!).

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By: Mongrel https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235972 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 11:08:19 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235972 In reply to shannanigans.

Probably worse is wanting to get into corporate PR and not understanding why some publicly available social media stuff would be detrimental.

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By: RebelwithMouseyHair https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235961 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 09:28:22 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235961 In reply to NotAnotherManager!.

I have flat out ignored instructions from several different bosses when I know I’m right and they’re wrong. The good boss congratulated me, the others all just hated me.
Should I have followed their instructions? I’m pretty sure I’d get all the flack for everything that went wrong…

Now I’m a freelancer and it’s much better like that.

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By: RebelwithMouseyHair https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235959 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 09:24:19 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235959 In reply to Team Rose and Lisa.

Mind you, given that Rose and Lisa have been moved from another department, it’s possible that they are being shunted around because they are such curmudgeons, never doing anything out-and-out fireable, just being obstinate and unpleasant, at the kind of place it’s difficult to get fired from.

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By: KateM https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235943 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:17:32 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235943 In reply to Myrin.

What she herself did – maybe her usual work?

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By: Grizabella the Glamour Cat https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235937 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 07:37:22 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235937 In reply to Cat Tree.

The only instance where I’ve ever noticed anything cyclical like that with another person was when my daughter was still living under the same roof with me. The only reason I was aware of it with her was because she would mention feeling cranky because it was that time of the month, and I gradually started to notice a connection with certain behavior patterns occurring at the same times. So I’m not even sure if I can really take credit for noticing! I have definitely never picked up anything like that with a coworker.

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By: allathian https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235924 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 06:37:39 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235924 In reply to Zephy.

Yeah, me too. It’s entirely possible she ended up building a social media presence for an organization that doesn’t care about a risqué social media presence. They probably don’t exist in the corporate world, but I could easily imagine her working for some sex-positive non-profit. I assume they exist.

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By: LadyBridgerton https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235880 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 03:56:36 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235880 In reply to pcake.

As someone who has just started to have symptoms of peri menopause, I can report a very alarming mood shift – we’re talking severe lows and anger – for a few days at a certain time every month that has just surfaced in the last year.
My doctor has told me it’s quite common. I track it so I have a hope of staying on top of it and trying not to let it affect my work relationships. It can be very challenging to do so I really sympathize if that’s the employee’s issue.

I don’t think I’d mind if my boss sensitively pointed out the monthly timing as long as it framed as “is everything alright?” but I have a very real talk-type relationship with him. It would maybe feel strange if the employee wasn’t used to that type of discussion from their boss.

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By: Formerly Ella Vader https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235849 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:52:02 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235849 #5 – about not taking on the former employees as volunteers.

I can see a bunch of potential problems.

Depending on their personalities and those of their successors, “Oh, sweetie, we tried putting the sign in table in the lobby a few years ago and everyone ignored it. Let’s just move it back onto the convention floor, that won’t take me a minute.”

“Oh, welcome Mx Delegate. So glad you could join us, this is always a great event. I’m Bellatrix Lestrange, and I’m now with Big Competitor, here let me give you my card, and steer you away from this organizing group that would like to talk to you.”

“I’d be glad to answer your question. [ followed by outdated information because they didn’t bother to pay attention at the briefing for new volunteers]”

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By: Formerly Ella Vader https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235848 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:47:20 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235848 In reply to Myrin.

Or the OP could address it as if it was a misunderstanding about when she would be back at work. Like “That won’t be necessary, as I’m back on duty as of today as scheduled.”

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By: Not So NewReader https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235833 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 23:39:02 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235833 OP #1. I had a subordinate tell me, “I don’t have to take orders from you! You are not my boss!”
So I went to my Big Boss. And Big Boss explained, “No. She IS your boss. You either follow her instruction or you will be fired.”
Bosses get their authority from the higher bosses. If subordinates reject their boss’ authority the next higher boss can step in and explain it to them.
Or just write them for insubordination. It feels harsh. But remember your ultimate goal is to HELP them keep their jobs. A fair and reasonable boss tells people what they need to do to remain employed this week/month/year.
I understand that these are seasoned employees. But all the institutional knowledge in the world is worthless if the employees are slackers/saboteurs/unproductive.

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By: OrigCassandra https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235823 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 23:15:02 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235823 In reply to pcake.

Hi hi hello, I do have very conspicuous (to me myself) mood deterioration during late luteal phase. It’s like clockwork. I track timing largely for this reason — I need to engage the ol’ self-control earlier and better at this time.

So with that in mind, I agree with Alison’s advice. Point out the temporal pattern, do not opine further.

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By: MassMatt https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235820 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 23:03:02 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235820 In reply to pcake.

While PMS is definitely a thing, I would be leery of going anywhere NEAR any kind of suggestion hinting at that.

It’s basically the most gendered possible thing to say, with a terrible history. And may I add that it’s ridiculous to think that MEN don’t have mood swings, some brought on by hormones?

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By: Anon just because https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235809 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 22:23:37 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235809 #1. I wonder if the OP, or someone, ever evaluated Jane’s directions? I usually have managers that know nothing about my job and it takes a while for things to start to function. The worst was the guy I had to continually tell that his great idea was illegal, against many regs and would piss off our partner agencies. After a month I just ignored him. Fortunately he didn’t last long.

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By: Minocho https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235776 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 21:00:25 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235776 In reply to pcake.

I was going to post this. Flagging the pattern in timing could be useful for the employee, but it’s probably best to stop there, and let them use the information to examine what the cause might be.

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By: Cat Tree https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235772 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:54:07 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235772 In reply to pcake.

Yes, there are a million things that happen on a monthly schedule. Heck, it could even be that it’s just how long her frustration tolerance lasts and then it gets reset after she vents.

I honestly don’t think I have ever noticed a cyclical mood pattern in any woman or suspected PMS, and I’m a woman with plenty of female friends. The few times a friend has specifically mentioned that she has PMS, I wouldn’t have even suspected. This situation feels uncomfortably like they were looking for it specifically so they think they found it.

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By: Uranus Wars https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235763 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:30:00 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235763 In reply to Reality Check.

I was thinking this could be my dad. Every month my stepmom told him she only bought the groceries and gas on the credit card. And then he’d get a $3K bill he had to figure out how to pay and was pissed for dayyyyyyyyyyyyyysssssssssssssssssss.

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By: Myrin https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235743 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 20:09:27 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235743 In reply to Cj.

That’s the one part I found a bit unclear but since she calls those tasks “the tasks normally assigned to me” and her first suggestion is to send an email saying that she’s got it/will take over, I assumed this part just seemed unclear to me (and you) because I don’t know what kind of work exactly it is she’s doing.

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By: KayDeeAye https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235710 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 19:43:20 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235710 In reply to pcake.

The plain fact is that while severe PMS is definitely a real thing, it’s also fairly uncommon – particularly PMS that’s severe enough to cause the massive mood changes the OP describes. It’s just as likely to be something else that happens every 4 weeks (unless it’s a coincidence, which is also a possibility).

My own husband gets cranky and moody every October, November and December because he knows he’s entering that magical time of the year when he’s about to start having to spend a bunch of time with his mother, which is for him a very stressful and even painful thing. I can assure you that if there was something required him to interact with his mother every four weeks (like if he had to go over bills with her or something), he would be cranky every four weeks. He’d try to suppress it because he’s a wonderful person, but there it is.

There are a lot of possible reasons why Kristine is hard to get along with every four weeks, and her menstrual cycle is only one of them.

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By: RC Rascal https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235686 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 19:25:11 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235686 In reply to pcake.

My thought was it could be financially related as well. Certain bills show up at the same time every month. I have previously lived paycheck to paycheck and remember the tension the end of every month when rent was due.

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By: Cj https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235676 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 19:21:09 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235676 In reply to Myrin.

I’m not sure that the OP does usually do all of these tasks, since she asks if she should send out a new e-mail reassigning tasks herself.

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By: NotAnotherManager! https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235645 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:48:26 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235645 In reply to Well….

I think LW#1 left the door open for pushing back in situations like this (“They are at a level where they work very independently and it would be appropriate for them to push back a little on managerial suggestions if they have good reason to, but this is going too far.”), but that that is not what she’s seeing happen.

I fully (FULLY) appreciate the challenge of having someone less knowledgeable try to direct one’s work in a less productive or infeasible way, but, I also know that flat-out ignoring instructions from your boss is not a good way to deal with that.

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By: Team Rose and Lisa https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235643 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:45:45 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235643 In reply to Well….

That was my thought as well, maybe don’t go blaming those two just yet. They just be patiently trying to deal with an incompetent manager giving incompetent orders all while knowing there’s no one to support them.
Or maybe Jane is, in reality, condescending and rude.

Not that I’d know firsthand or anything!

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By: General von Klinkerhoffen https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235639 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:43:51 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235639 LW2 – “Kristine […] periodically has very strong emotional reactions to work situations.”

picard face palm dot gif

Please get out of the habit of speculating about other people’s menstrual cycles. Alison’s advice is perfect.

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By: Aquawoman https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235638 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:42:54 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235638 In reply to Dust Bunny.

I like both of those euphemisms and am also glad I have no need for them anymore! Dust Bunny, you have my sympathies.

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By: Katrinka https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235631 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:39:20 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235631 In reply to Well….

If that were the case, it still doesn’t excuse the employees’ attitudes. They need to tell Jane that that is the issue, not just ignore her. And if Jane persists, they should tell her boss (OP). But given that OP is not a new manager, I’m pretty sure that’s not the issue.

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By: Zona the Great https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235624 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:32:39 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235624 In reply to EPLawyer.

The thought that personal behaviors shouldn’t impact work is odd to me. I managed shuttle drivers in a small resort town. I fired several for drinking excessively in public houses, speeding or driving unsafely in their personal cars, or for their public social media posts. Why would I want a passenger to see you at the bar getting trashed? I wouldn’t want to ride in their car the next day. I just wouldn’t know enough about their judgement. Adult or not.

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By: Dust Bunny https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235613 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:21:25 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235613 In reply to Ermintrude.

We use “shark week” within one of my friend circles.

Seriously, though, I used to get borderline suicidal due to PMS. I never melted down at work but there were some rough days.

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By: Anon for Now https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235612 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:21:17 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235612 LW #1 – I love Alison’s advice. I think it’s really critical to make it clear what is acceptable in her reports behavior and then help Jane manage the issue. I know I’ve had a manager try jump over me when she didn’t like something, and all it did was compound things. I think once and awhile it’s fine, but if it becomes a pattern all it does is undermine the manager, and the manager in question never learns how to manage these types of reports.

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By: Ermintrude https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235607 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:17:09 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235607 ‘Monthly book club meeting’ needs to be a menstrual euphemism now, I reckon.

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By: Reality Check https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235606 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:16:51 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235606 #2 I used to work with a man who had angry emotional outbursts every 4 weeks (yes we all began marking our calendars)… so there’s that.

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By: tanklizard https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235604 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:16:17 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235604 LW#3: You should consider going to your manager first and asking if these changes came from them or if your co-worker made this decision without management’s approval. You may find out your manager approved the change in responsibilities and hasn’t let you know yet (I’ve had that happen far to often.) or you may find they didn’t and are already taking steps to address the situation.

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By: Well... https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235597 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:09:49 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235597 #1
I’ve had to explain to my manager 6 times why can’t I can’t do a thing I’ve always done the way he’s decided he wants me to. He’s frustrated. But it literally WILL NOT WORK the way he thinks it can work. Not even a little bit. If the two staff members each have more experience than both of you, is there a chance you should consider listen to them?

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By: pcake https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235594 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:07:26 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235594 To letter writer 2 who is SURE that their employee’s issues are hormone-related, there are other things it could be. They could get a once a month call from an aged parent whose monthly check is beyond their ability to deal with, they could have a monthly bill that goes wrong every month, a monthly doctors appointment for the employee or a family member for something scary or that isn’t going well, a monthly treatment, a spouse who can’t pay the mortgage/rent each month that leads to an argument and money fears… I could keep going…

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By: EPLawyer https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235592 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:06:44 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235592 #4 — oh heavens.

I remember graduating law school when social media was starting to be a “Thing.” I told all my classmates to be careful what they posted (lots of drinking, risque poses, etc). The general reaction “I don’t want to work anywhere that would judge me based on my private life.” yeah, you are going into law, good luck with that.

Honestly people don’t believe what they post on social media can harm them — until it does.

You can try explaining to her, but if she won’t listen, there’s nothing else you can do.

#1 — Jane needs to stop trying to be the “nice” boss and just be the boss. You can explain to her that part of being a manager is making the hard decisions — like putting someone on a PIP then having then not like you. The job is not to be liked, its to get the job done as professionally as possible.

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By: Weekend Please https://www.askamanager.org/2021/01/how-to-support-a-struggling-new-manager.html#comment-3235588 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 18:03:12 +0000 https://www.askamanager.org/?p=20784#comment-3235588 In reply to Myrin.

Yeah. It sounds like she was under the impression that these tasks were permanently reassigned to her and redistributed the new tasks to make the workload manageable.

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