Just How Involved Should a Manager Be?
Ultimately, managers that have no people skills have no business managing others.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I had difficulties with a coworker when accounts were changing hands. This individual gave me such a hard time that all my other work (the new accounts) were getting tied up since this person made me spend all my time walking them through the old stuff.
It got to the point where I was receiving extremely detailed emails/memos about what needed to get done (didn’t this person have ANYTHING else to do???). In these emails were elaborate embedded images of files, cut and pasted information, and bullet-pointed questions, problems, and instructions on how to split the atom. Since there was no talking to this person, I went to my manager to make him aware of the situation. After some back-and-forth, he agreed to hold a sit down meeting with myself and this other coworker to settle these affairs.
While I knew that my manager was behind me (and I really did have every reason to believe this based on the faces he made when speaking about my coworker [which indicates other issues of course], he certainly wasn’t on their side!), he gave me absolutely no help. The meeting was a forced face-to-face in which he said nothing. Yeah… Hi: YOU’RE THE BOSS AND THIS IS HOLDING UP WORK SO YOU NEED TO PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN AND MAKE A DECISION. This is where your managerial skills come into play. Remember what those are? Oh no? Not acquainted with how to manage people? Then step aside and let someone who does get involved.
I mean, I get it: coworkers should be able to work through stuff on their own and the boss really should not have to deal with these types of conflicts. But I got news for you: when it starts to prevent work from getting done you need to step in! I recently heard a story from a friend who had a whopper of a dispute with another supervisor (not her supervisor). Her boss knew and did NOTHING. It was so bad, she up and quit her job.
My point is, if want to play at the managerial game, you need to learn some of the rules (I know, some are meant to be broken). But you must – MUST – know how to deal with people.
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