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Old 06-14-2019, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,156 posts, read 41,752,473 times
Reputation: 82881

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For the record, the OP wrote that she wanted him to walk with her to the CAF, or cafeteria, not her car.

 
Old 06-14-2019, 08:52 AM
 
Location: U.S.
1,615 posts, read 4,907,170 times
Reputation: 1145
Well this took a turn LOL - let me see if I can answer some of the questions....

First, I know the difference between empathy and sympathy. In my opinion as a manager, I can offer guidance as best I can and offer up my opinions on how to best manage a situation. There is no manual that I was given to deal with these guys. I do not believe I need to show her empathy because of her stubbornness and inability to get along with someone else. In that case I should also be empathizing with the male since she was jumping down his throat during the noted interaction. How is that benefiting either of them or solving the situation? I'm not there to fix or stroke egos. I'm there to get my job done and do it the best I can and ensure those who work for me are doing the same. These were my initial thoughts, but I posted on here to get others insights. There are obviously differing opinions on here and we'll have to agree to disagree.

Yes, I am a male. Save the gender BS for someone else. I generally get along better with the male because she is in my face and at my desk to complain about EVERYTHING. All the time, everyday, there is something bothering her or something that she does not agree with - most often things that are completely out of my control being dictated by upper management. There is a certain point in a work environment when you just need to suck it up and get your job done. I can't control policies and procedures in a company with over 40K employees.

I can't believe some of you take issue with me asking her why she needed me to walk down to the caf with her? Seriously? For water, for food, for a snack, for afternoon coffee??? To review some work? How am I suppose to assume it's for a private conversation? All I asked was why. And yes, my response to the male would have been the same. I barely have time to pee during the day. If someone wants to pull me away from my desk, I would like to know why.

She shuts down with anyone anytime they don't agree with her so please don't assume that its because I "flipped it back on her" that she shut down. This wasn't a unique situation. She pulls that BS with everyone then gives them the silent treatment for days/weeks.

Thankfully at least 2 of my 4 team members aren't driving me nuts.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,156 posts, read 41,752,473 times
Reputation: 82881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post

Well this took a turn LOL - let me see if I can answer some of the questions....
Yeah, I knew you wouldn't be able to reply without being defensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post

I'm not there to fix or stroke egos.
You may know the definition, but you don't seem to understand that empathy is not "stroking egos." It's a basic requirement for getting along with people - the ability to stop and see a situation from their point of view.

It doesn't mean you agree with their point of view, or disagree, and yes, you should have empathy for the man here as well. Why would you not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post

Save the gender BS for someone else.
This one dismissive comment ^^ tells me everything I need to know about why you're having a problem. Are you this dismissive with all conflicts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post

I generally get along better with the male because she is in my face and at my desk to complain about EVERYTHING. All the time, everyday, there is something bothering her or something that she does not agree with - most often things that are completely out of my control being dictated by upper management. There is a certain point in a work environment when you just need to suck it up and get your job done. I can't control policies and procedures in a company with over 40K employees.
Nobody's asking you to do that. Just with these four, and you apparently can't even do that, but you don't REALLY want advice about why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post

She shuts down with anyone anytime they don't agree with her so please don't assume that its because I "flipped it back on her" that she shut down. This wasn't a unique situation. She pulls that BS with everyone then gives them the silent treatment for days/weeks.
So if she's SUCH a problem, why is she still there?
 
Old 06-14-2019, 09:03 AM
 
2,780 posts, read 2,017,869 times
Reputation: 2708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post
Well this took a turn LOL - let me see if I can answer some of the questions....

First, I know the difference between empathy and sympathy. In my opinion as a manager, I can offer guidance as best I can and offer up my opinions on how to best manage a situation. There is no manual that I was given to deal with these guys. I do not believe I need to show her empathy because of her stubbornness and inability to get along with someone else. In that case I should also be empathizing with the male since she was jumping down his throat during the noted interaction. How is that benefiting either of them or solving the situation? I'm not there to fix or stroke egos. I'm there to get my job done and do it the best I can and ensure those who work for me are doing the same. These were my initial thoughts, but I posted on here to get others insights. There are obviously differing opinions on here and we'll have to agree to disagree.

Yes, I am a male. Save the gender BS for someone else. I generally get along better with the male because she is in my face and at my desk to complain about EVERYTHING. All the time, everyday, there is something bothering her or something that she does not agree with - most often things that are completely out of my control being dictated by upper management. There is a certain point in a work environment when you just need to suck it up and get your job done. I can't control policies and procedures in a company with over 40K employees.

I can't believe some of you take issue with me asking her why she needed me to walk down to the caf with her? Seriously? For water, for food, for a snack, for afternoon coffee??? To review some work? How am I suppose to assume it's for a private conversation? All I asked was why. And yes, my response to the male would have been the same. I barely have time to pee during the day. If someone wants to pull me away from my desk, I would like to know why.

She shuts down with anyone anytime they don't agree with her so please don't assume that its because I "flipped it back on her" that she shut down. This wasn't a unique situation. She pulls that BS with everyone then gives them the silent treatment for days/weeks.

Thankfully at least 2 of my 4 team members aren't driving me nuts.
Considering all of the drama that is happening with 2 of your team members, and the problems it is causing, I would be looking to transfer to a different department or find a new job if I was on your team.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 09:17 AM
 
Location: U.S.
1,615 posts, read 4,907,170 times
Reputation: 1145
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
Yeah, I knew you wouldn't be able to reply without being defensive.



You may know the definition, but you don't seem to understand that empathy is not "stroking egos." It's a basic requirement for getting along with people - the ability to stop and see a situation from their point of view.

It doesn't mean you agree with their point of view, or disagree, and yes, you should have empathy for the man here as well. Why would you not?



This one dismissive comment ^^ tells me everything I need to know about why you're having a problem. Are you this dismissive with all conflicts?



Nobody's asking you to do that. Just with these four, and you apparently can't even do that, but you don't REALLY want advice about why.



So if she's SUCH a problem, why is she still there?
You question why I don't have as many issues with the male, making the assumption that I am male, but then ask me not to get defensive.

Sorry after a few days of reflection and speaking to other managers and my direct lead, she needs thicker skin not empathy.

No, I'm only dismissive when sophomoric behavior occupies my time at work. What's at play here is stubbornness and an "i'm always right" attitude by 2 of my 4 employees. It creates awkwardness, but like I already stated, they are both good workers and get the job done.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 09:22 AM
 
Location: U.S.
1,615 posts, read 4,907,170 times
Reputation: 1145
Quote:
Originally Posted by snugglegirl05 View Post
Considering all of the drama that is happening with 2 of your team members, and the problems it is causing, I would be looking to transfer to a different department or find a new job if I was on your team.
Just as a side note, I asked my lead a few months ago for a new role which would not include managing a team. She recently mentioned that we are going to be going through some org changes soon so I am hopeful I can switch to another role, but stay with her as my current lead who I get along with quite well (been with her for 5 years now). Here's hoping.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 09:40 AM
 
817 posts, read 1,430,215 times
Reputation: 1476
Having managed people before, a group of about 35 individuals, none of this comes as a surprise. I've seen just about every personality type, have had people try to manipulate me, people who want me to play favorites, people who stir up drama just for fun, people try to go over my head, and just about every other petty thing you can imagine.

The comment about "when an employee..." reminds me one such employee I had myself that would play games like this. She was good at her job, but she would toy with that line of disrespect with anyone in charge of her. She was like that with the previous manager and she was like that with me too. One common ploy was to say that wasn't sure if she was going to continue working at our place and was thinking of doing something else. She'd keep waving that around when she felt like it. She'd demand "meetings" with me instead of requesting and respecting my time as a manager. If I made a decision she didn't like, she would stop talking to me for several days. I learned to stop caring, as long as she did what I told her.

During the course of the year, there were always situations where one person had ticked off someone else. Each employee wanted me to back them up and take action against the other employee for silly things like the tone of voice they used in a conversation.

I guess my point is that this is all part of management. I managed people on different levels and different places and there were always issues like this. I've helped manage people directly underneath fantastic managers and they still had to deal with issues like this. My first job in charge of people was underneath someone that everyone raved about and people would tell me how this person had completely changed the organization and made it into what it is today. As soon as I started working for her, I had several individuals come to me in private and ask if the head manager was really making a good decision about certain issues. Essentially they were trying to get me to undermine her and agree with their point of view.

Being a good manager doesn't mean all these issues will just magically go away, it means dealing with them in a professional manner and keeping the focus on the task at hand. I'm not sure how empathy would affect this particular situation or where it really comes into play here.

I did have 3 individuals one time who just did not get along. Two of them were friends and they were constantly bickering with the third and having "situations." One day I called all three in there and just let them have it a little. I said I didn't know who started it, I don't know why they didn't get along, and I didn't care if they got along or not, it wasn't a requirement for completing the task. As far as I was concerned they didn't even have to talk to each other, just complete the tasks they were given to do and if I heard any more about them gossiping or arguing, I was going to write them up. At the end of the year, I did let one of them go. I think drama was just her thing and I didn't see that changing any time soon. I also caught her a couple of times lying about things that had happened. My previous mistakes in this situation were trying to work things out between these individuals instead of just communicating that this type of behavior was not acceptable. I wasted a lot of time thinking that they were going to get along and I could fix all their little instances of disrespectful behavior towards each other by working it out.

There is a time for empathy and a time to be a little hard-nosed. If you allow her to, this employee will continue to manipulate you. I think you just need to put your foot down. During the middle of the work day, employees should not just be able to tell you what to do and when. She should request time to speak to you according to your schedule and at your office or preferred location. You have to set boundaries and have no tolerance for someone trying to manipulate you.

A manager should have empathy for their employees. However, this can lead you into getting manipulated. You have to learn how to balance these and set boundaries. When I first started managing, I ran around trying to fix every little thing and ended up feeling that employees were the ones calling the shots and dictating my daily schedule. I learned to set my schedule and set a protocol for how employees would request my time or assistance.

I also learned that I couldn't and shouldn't fix every little problem, sometimes an employee just wanted to be heard even if there was no immediate solution to the issue.

I don't know the full situation of your job, but the way you talk about it seems like you are not being biased and trying to find a solution. This is what a good manager does, but there may not be an easy solution to this situation. The observation that you tend to get along better with the male is not bias, it's an observation. It's important to notice observations like this, so when you meet with these two individuals, you can make sure you are not making biased decisions. You will always get along better with some employees rather than others, you just have to make sure you don't let this affect the decisions you take.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 09:48 AM
 
2,780 posts, read 2,017,869 times
Reputation: 2708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uconn97 View Post
You question why I don't have as many issues with the male, making the assumption that I am male, but then ask me not to get defensive.

Sorry after a few days of reflection and speaking to other managers and my direct lead, she needs thicker skin not empathy.

No, I'm only dismissive when sophomoric behavior occupies my time at work. What's at play here is stubbornness and an "i'm always right" attitude by 2 of my 4 employees. It creates awkwardness, but like I already stated, they are both good workers and get the job done.
Seems to me that you & your higher ups want to keep her. So if she continues to cause problems, she, you & your higher ups are all part of the problem.

I would leave the company or transfer to a different department if this happened, & I was one of your employees.

I have no tolerance for that.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 10:01 AM
 
2,780 posts, read 2,017,869 times
Reputation: 2708
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
Having managed people before, a group of about 35 individuals, none of this comes as a surprise. I've seen just about every personality type, have had people try to manipulate me, people who want me to play favorites, people who stir up drama just for fun, people try to go over my head, and just about every other petty thing you can imagine.

The comment about "when an employee..." reminds me one such employee I had myself that would play games like this. She was good at her job, but she would toy with that line of disrespect with anyone in charge of her. She was like that with the previous manager and she was like that with me too. One common ploy was to say that wasn't sure if she was going to continue working at our place and was thinking of doing something else. She'd keep waving that around when she felt like it. She'd demand "meetings" with me instead of requesting and respecting my time as a manager. If I made a decision she didn't like, she would stop talking to me for several days. I learned to stop caring, as long as she did what I told her.

During the course of the year, there were always situations where one person had ticked off someone else. Each employee wanted me to back them up and take action against the other employee for silly things like the tone of voice they used in a conversation.

I guess my point is that this is all part of management. I managed people on different levels and different places and there were always issues like this. I've helped manage people directly underneath fantastic managers and they still had to deal with issues like this. My first job in charge of people was underneath someone that everyone raved about and people would tell me how this person had completely changed the organization and made it into what it is today. As soon as I started working for her, I had several individuals come to me in private and ask if the head manager was really making a good decision about certain issues. Essentially they were trying to get me to undermine her and agree with their point of view.

Being a good manager doesn't mean all these issues will just magically go away, it means dealing with them in a professional manner and keeping the focus on the task at hand. I'm not sure how empathy would affect this particular situation or where it really comes into play here.

I did have 3 individuals one time who just did not get along. Two of them were friends and they were constantly bickering with the third and having "situations." One day I called all three in there and just let them have it a little. I said I didn't know who started it, I don't know why they didn't get along, and I didn't care if they got along or not, it wasn't a requirement for completing the task. As far as I was concerned they didn't even have to talk to each other, just complete the tasks they were given to do and if I heard any more about them gossiping or arguing, I was going to write them up. At the end of the year, I did let one of them go. I think drama was just her thing and I didn't see that changing any time soon. I also caught her a couple of times lying about things that had happened. My previous mistakes in this situation were trying to work things out between these individuals instead of just communicating that this type of behavior was not acceptable. I wasted a lot of time thinking that they were going to get along and I could fix all their little instances of disrespectful behavior towards each other by working it out.

There is a time for empathy and a time to be a little hard-nosed. If you allow her to, this employee will continue to manipulate you. I think you just need to put your foot down. During the middle of the work day, employees should not just be able to tell you what to do and when. She should request time to speak to you according to your schedule and at your office or preferred location. You have to set boundaries and have no tolerance for someone trying to manipulate you.

A manager should have empathy for their employees. However, this can lead you into getting manipulated. You have to learn how to balance these and set boundaries. When I first started managing, I ran around trying to fix every little thing and ended up feeling that employees were the ones calling the shots and dictating my daily schedule. I learned to set my schedule and set a protocol for how employees would request my time or assistance.

I also learned that I couldn't and shouldn't fix every little problem, sometimes an employee just wanted to be heard even if there was no immediate solution to the issue.

I don't know the full situation of your job, but the way you talk about it seems like you are not being biased and trying to find a solution. This is what a good manager does, but there may not be an easy solution to this situation. The observation that you tend to get along better with the male is not bias, it's an observation. It's important to notice observations like this, so when you meet with these two individuals, you can make sure you are not making biased decisions. You will always get along better with some employees rather than others, you just have to make sure you don't let this affect the decisions you take.
Yet both of them get the job done, & so the OP & his higher ups still keep them employed. They are just as guilty.
 
Old 06-14-2019, 11:36 AM
 
Location: U.S.
1,615 posts, read 4,907,170 times
Reputation: 1145
Mod cut: Orphaned (quoted post has been deleted).

Since the other 2 don't act like children, I'm sure we will all be fine, [snip].

Last edited by PJSaturn; 06-15-2019 at 12:39 AM.. Reason: Orphaned (reply to comment which has been deleted).
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