Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hard days

Yesterday was an odd day. I met with my two new bosses, which was fine except that the big boss had clearly not told them that a) I could very, very probably stay on and b) my team was very, very likely to stay together. They told me that the realised the need to make a decision very soon and would get back to me.

Anyway, my team then met with the new bosses and that went well and at one point someone in the team said what a great manager I am and they all then gave me a round of applause. I was rather touched and the new bosses asked me afterwards how much they had paid me!

It all went downhill from then on. I spoke to the woman in my team who had upset someone else in the team. She was utterly shocked by the news that she had upset someone and couldn’t understand why what she had said might have been upsetting. We talked about that for a bit. But she was also upset that the other person had come to me rather than spoken to her about – as if it was the other way around, she would have spoken to the other person. I said that not everyone deals with things in the same way and that there was nothing wrong with me being the one who was told, and that it as a manager I then needed to do something and failing to do so would have just been sloping shoulders on my part. I did explain that I wasn’t accusing her of anything and that I was talking to her raise the concerns and to listen to what she had to say. But I did say that perhaps I should have encouraged the other woman to consider talking to her directly, even if she then declined to do so.

It didn’t really go very well and I just felt that I should have dealt with it differently, even though I’m not really sure what else I should have done. She was very upset by the whole thing and after we had finished speaking she then spoke to someone else in the team to say how upset she was (by the situation rather than with me). That person then spoke to me at the end of the day and said that they were going to speak on the phone last night, at which point she would say that she thought the (original) person who was upset actually deserved an apology and intended to say so on the phone in as tactful a way as possible. But it’s a mess and I am now concerned that the team might start to unravel and all the good things we have achieved will get lost or at least seriously overshadowed by this. *sigh*

Then while I was eating dinner, my mum phoned to say that my sister was having a crisis and she was going to drive over and see her, but could I phone and talk to my sister while she was on the way there. So I spent a while talking to my sister, who was not doing very well at all, and trying to help her piece together some even very vague thoughts about the way forward.

It was a hard day yesterday.


anothercookiecrumbles said...

Ouch! That sounds like a hard day!

Conflicts, no matter how minor, in a team can be awful. I don't get on with one of the guys on my team at all, for he goes out of his way to make my life hell, and so... each time he's involved in something I'm doing (which is a lot, considering he's much senior), I immediately feel that my inclination to do a good job, and productivity levels go down. :(

Hope your sister is doing better now as well :)

Random Reflections said...

anothercookiecrumbles - I am hopeful they have sorted out their differences by now, even though neither of them have been in the office since.

I'm sorry you have such a rubbish colleague. We spend so much time at work that it is important to feel as though it is somewhere that we want to be.

My sister is ok, but could be better.

Kahless said...

I am sorry that it was such a hard day. Maybe you could have encouraged the woman to speak to the other woman herself, but you didnt. You dont know all ends eh. You took your course of action with full good intentions. I guess I am going to find out what happens when I read the posts above this one!

I am sorry your sister is having a crisis. Younger or older?

Random Reflections said...

Kahless - Thanks. I actually spoke to the woman who made the 'complaint' on Monday and she said that now they had patched up their differences she realised that had she spoken to her directly she actually would never have got her point across and so was glad I had done it as someone who was neutral. So I think it was the right thing to intervene, even if it did cause some initial upset.

My sister it two years older than me - and we are absolutely nothing alike in many ways, apart from both being thoroughly nice* people of course.

*nice is such a nondescript word...