Tag Archives: Management

Dealing with Difficult People – Three Ways to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

 

123Dealing with Difficult People

Three Ways to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague

It can be very frustrating when someone you work with agrees with a plan of action and then goes off to do their own thing. This can have a number of results as well as not being good for harmony in the team.  But it is frequent and it can mean that you do not achieve your own goals. When you have to deal with someone who says one thing and does another, try this:

  • Talk to them Explain to your colleague what you’re seeing, hearing and experiencing. Describe the impact of their behaviour on you and provide your suggestions for how they might change.
  • Focus on work, not the person. You need to get the work done despite your peer’s style, so don’t waste time wishing they would change. Concentrate on completing the work instead.
  • Ask for commitment. At the end of a meeting ask everyone (not just the troublemaker) to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task.

Adapted from “How to Deal With a Passive-Aggressive Peer” by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins.

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Managing People – An Introduction to Performance Management

preparation

Managing People – An Introduction to Performance Management

This is an introduction to a series of videos which appear on YouTube but it also a good introduction to the subject.

You can find the rest of the videos at this link http://www.youtube.com/user/AgCareers?feature=watch. But I’ll be post them the rest of the series here anyway over the next few weeks on a Tuesday.

Thanks to http://www.agcareers.com/

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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Management: Is exploiting your team in your long-term interest?

bossManagement: Is exploiting your team in your long-term interest?

As a life and career coach I sometimes have clients who are unhappy at work. This can be for all kinds of reasons.  They may be in a job that doesn’t give them an opportunity to use their knowledge, skills and experience and they feel frustrated.  Or, perhaps,  they have been promoted to a new role that is a stretch too far and they are struggling.  Having too much to do and feeling stressed is a regular..  And of course we have all encountered difficult colleagues, to say nothing of unpleasant and demanding bosses.  But there is a point when an unpleasant and demanding boss can slip over the boundary into something much worse; the boss becomes just plain cruel.

Most of us have read about the vile over-seers in the factories of the industrial revolution. Certainly, in the UK, employment law has made their kind of cruelty a thing of the past.

No, what I’m referring to here is a new kind of callousness!.

The economic conditions of the last few years have put great pressure on organizations. For many, the ability to survive in the market place has become the overriding priority.  And the values of the organization become the values of their key employees.

Hard decisions have had to be made!  It can be difficult to hang on to your finer feelings when you have to grapple daily with who to keep and who to let go. For some, feelings for the staff they manage have coarsened.

Treating the team as something to be exploited to ensure your personal survival sounds pretty outrageous when put into words.  And there are lots of ways you can avoid facing up to what you are doing . But that is what I am hearing about from some of my clients.

People are being asked to cope with larger and larger workloads in often more unpleasant conditions.  For example, what started out as poor but passable accommodation for a call center now houses as well much of company administration including HR.  For some, natural light is becoming a luxury!

When you complain or ask for help, the manager or supervisor doesn’t want to know – they have their own problems keeping senior management happy.  You risk finding yourself on next week’s hit list of people about to leave.

But it is short sighted really! Bad times will come to an end. When the good times come, what do you, oh mighty manager, think those employees are going to do? Well, they are not going to hang around when they have other opportunities, are they?

At the very least give your employees a hearing and if you can’t do anything right now, have the grace to apologize. And next time you are about demand something from  an employee you know is outrageous, stop and think!  Is the short term gain really in your long term interest?

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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Career Development – the FT Guide to Business Training really delivers

Career Development – the FT Guide to Business Training really delivers

Do you deliver training for your organization?  Then I think you will love this!

The Financial Times Guide to Business Training shows you how to develop, design and deliver outstanding business training.

Written by two of the UK’s leading business trainers and based on extensive research into what the best trainers say and do, this book:

· Is a single reference for anyone involved in business training whether you are newly qualified or experienced, a freelance trainer or already embedded in learning and development departments

  • Provides a comprehensive resource of ideas, tools and approaches
  • Will help you improve the quality of all aspects of your training needs, including analysis, planning and delivery
  • Reveals the secrets of outstanding business training so that you can improve your reputation and results
  • Answers commonly asked questions
  • Offers support on your training journey via www.ftguidetobusinesstraining.com


“I see this book as being an invaluable resource for anyone involved in providing HR support, L&D, CPD and In Service Training, and would certainly help the next generation of business professionals to create and provide more interesting and effective training” 

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How To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

the virtHow To Manage A Virtual Team of Employees (And Be Successful!)

Do you really need to be in the same building as your employees? Unless you serve customers face-to-face, there’s no compelling reason not to have virtual staff. But virtual arrangements can be fraught with pitfalls. This video from Denise OBerry provides some really useful tips.

If you enjoyed this video, you can sign up for Denise’s free weekly small business advice at http://www.deniseoberry.com/tips

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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The Secret Art of Being A Good Boss

The Secret Art of Being A Good Boss

the boss

In this video from Stanford University  Professor Robert Sutton draws on his new book, Good Boss, Bad Boss, to describe the mindset and moves of the best (and worst) bosses. He will weave psychological and management research together with instructive stories and cases to help you be a better boss (or deal with a difficult one).


If you are having problems with your boss, please get in touch.  Working with a career coach really can help.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

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Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Politics – A definition – “activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization” Oxford Dictionaries

This is a re-post, with some slight amendments, of something I wrote a while ago. But I think it is useful and I hope you will agree!

I don’t play chess.  I admire those who do – for me the game is too slow to enjoy.  But I do know the rules!

For me, Office Politics is just like that.  You may decide not to ‘play’ but you do need to know how the game works.

This is true in most work situations but particularly if  you lead or manage a vital project or programme.  If you don’t manage your stakeholders, your initiative may be shot down in ways you never expected.

Stakeholder management (managing those with an interest in what you are doing) doesn’t work if you don’t make sure you understand the politics of the organisation and your particular part of it.

Wherever you have a group of people, you will have a degree of politics operating.

People will usually jockey for position, form alliances, decide who they do like and who they don’t!  They will come to the group with different personalities, sets of values and opinions. Over time a group/team develops a set of norms or standards and ways of working. They develop a pecking order – a hierarchy of status and influence.  This may not necessarily reflect the organisation chart.  For example, the person who controls the stationery cupboard can have quite a lot of power to disrupt their colleague’s day, if they choose to do so, in lots of offices!

If you don’t understand the influence-hierarchy you can find it difficult to get things done, particularly if you are new to an organisation.  And the hierarchy will change over time, as people strive successfully and unsuccessfully to achieve greater influence.

You need to understand the office politics, even if you find the concept distasteful. And, you will be very lucky indeed if someone actually tells you the rules of the game! It is far better to understand what is going on and  adopt a strategy to keep the negative effects of office politics on you and your work to a minimum.

In reality, it is useful to be regarded as inside the influence group, rather than outside looking in. What you are probably best to aim for is to manage any effects of office politics that directly relate to you!  Then turn them in your favour, or at least minimise any possible harmful e effects on you and your work.

Office politics in its crudest form usually occurs when one, or more than one, person holds (or is seen as holding) a significant amount of power within the office.  This may be formal power – the CEO’s private office is usually a hotbed of office politics – or informal power. Formal power is pretty easy to read. And, for example, PAs to top managers, who may all wield considerable power,  are fairly easy to discover.  Informal power is generally much more difficult to identify and work with. 

Informal power can arise in a number of ways! Someone with depth of knowledge of the organisation, the key subject matter expert, can accrue significant amounts of informal power.    And sometimes this informal power can be abused; for example, the ‘office bully’ or those in a relationship with someone holding formal power who are unscrupulous players of the office politics’ game.  You need to listen and observe the group you work with and its surrounding organisation to find out more about these!

What can you do to make office politics work for you?

  1. Try to get to know the politically powerful within your organisation.  Don’t be afraid of them – they are often much, more receptive to people who aren’t intimidated by them!  
  2. Make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve.  Deal with their reservations and make sure they understand that you are taking on board their views.   
  3. If someone does try to undermine you, don’t get drawn in. Simply be bold and assertive, but not aggressive.  Make your points clearly and offer good will.  If their negative behaviour persists, then ring-fence them – make sure they have as little as possible to do with your work.
  4. People often play office politics because they are unsure about their own abilities and achievements.  They try to conceal what they believe are their shortcomings behind a façade and to make others feel they are less worthy. Don’t let them undermine your self-esteem – be proud of your own accomplishments and make sure that your efforts are recognised by those who matter. 
  5. Don’t get into direct competition if you can avoid it – it’s a waste of your time! If people know you are doing a good job consistently there is far less opportunity for you to be undermined. 
  6. Forming alliances with senior managers and using them as sponsors and champions for your work can increase your own informal power.  If you have a formal sponsor, make sure they are well informed and really up to date with your project or programme and can talk about it fluently to their colleagues.   As with all stakeholder management – targeted communication of  good quality of information is key to you and your project or programme’s success.

If you want to know more or do want to play the office politics game then here are some books that might be useful!

‘Office Politics: How work really works’ by Guy Browning   http://amzn.to/efTzjO

‘100+ Tactics for Office Politics (Barron’s Business Success)’ by Casey Hawley   http://amzn.to/hkBR6r

For the really evil!

’21 Dirty Tricks at Work: How to Win at Office Politics’ by Mike Phipps, Colin Gautrey http://amzn.to/fFMHQ4

I have started a new Career Development Group on LinkedIn where you will find lots of tips and other resources in due course – you can join it by clicking here 

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

CV review and interview preparation and coaching to improve your confidence and self esteem are a speciality

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