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    lily65's Avatar
    lily65 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Mar 22, 2011, 05:07 AM
    My co-workers are ganging up on me
    Hi I'm an assistant manager and my co-workers have complained to my dm that I'm intimdiating and unapproachable I've been in my role for over 7 years, however have worked with one person for over 11years . And that person is manipulating the other 2 staff I feel like I;m the victim and they are ganging up on me I have changed so much that I don't know whether I can change to what they want me to be. They say that when they arrive at work that I'm not bubbly and cherpy like them my job has been so stressful in the last couple of months that I always acknowledge them however I know that I'm not cherpy I'm at my whits and don't know whether I should get a transfer to another branch . I feel that I always have to justify myself all the time. What should I do
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Mar 22, 2011, 05:26 AM

    There is something going on behind the scenes you aren't aware of.

    Or you just haven't said WHY they are doing this... there is always a reason for everything.

    If you manage via intimidation you breed contempt and people won't go an extra inch for you much less an extra mile. They will do only what their job description says and nothing more.

    On the other hand... if you can earn respect people will follow you to the ends of the earth. That's not easy to do. In 30 years I've had two Managers that earned that sort of respect. And had several more that I wouldn't have taken the time to pee on them if they were on fire to put it out. And a few fell somewhere in the middle

    There is a big difference between a BOSS and a LEADER. Even if they have common duties.
    I wish's Avatar
    I wish Posts: 5,292, Reputation: 2029
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    #3

    Mar 23, 2011, 06:17 PM

    Defending yourself may not do you any good as arguing with each other only escalates the tensions.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Instead of telling them, just do it. Make things less stressful at work by feeling less stressed out. Try your best to find a way to make life easier on yourself so that your stress won't transfer to others.

    Lead by example.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7691
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    #4

    Mar 23, 2011, 06:42 PM

    First if these are employees that work UNDER you, they are not "co workers" they are workers that report to you.

    Next who says you have to change to be what they want, personally if you are a good manager, doing your job, who cares what they want. If being perky is part of the requirements, then be perky, but if you don't want to be perky and want to be growling because all the work is not being done, then be yourself.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #5

    Mar 30, 2011, 12:03 PM

    Three people have complained about you, and I understand your argument that one has manipulated the other two, but frankly, if there was no truth to the complaints I don't think that would be possible. It's difficult to complain about a supervisor because it can result in losing a job or other repercussions, so don't diminish what they said about you - they all meant what they said. My guess is all three think you've been rude and unapproachable, but complained together so none of them would be singled out for retribution and blame. Since you are yet blaming just one of them, they had good reason for doing so.

    Nobody's perfect and this can really help you move forward in your profession - just fix the problem and you will look like a hero to your boss because you accepted the criticism and implemented corrections. Some people never change - be someone who can and does change as needed. Being able to change on request is a huge asset in an employee.

    You can be courteous, polite and approachable and still be in control, and that's what you need to learn how to do.

    Set some rules for yourself:
    1. Greet everyone personally with a smile and a "hello" daily and use their name "Hello, Mary". Be genuine, not sarcastic.
    2. Never correct anyone in front of other staff or customers. If someone requires correction, wait until it's a good time and ask to speak with them privately. It's helpful to start with what they are doing right, then mention what you'd like them to change. "Mary, I noticed you're really friendly with the customers - keep that up, it's well appreciated. At the same time, sometimes you talk with them a bit too long when other people are waiting, so perhaps try to be a bit more aware of the people who are waiting and be pleasant like you always are, but don't get into discussions beyond the transaction when we're busy".
    3. Never raise your voice or say things in a nasty or rude way. If you are angry in the moment, it's the wrong moment to talk to your staff - talk to them tomorrow.
    4. Compliment people on what they do right. Don't nitpick everything - not everyone will do things your way, and if they are constantly nitpicked, they will be nervous and make more errors.
    4. When something is serious and not the first incident it's fine to be all business such as, "Dave, this is the third time you've been late. It's not considerate to your coworkers and cannot happen again. Is there a reason you have trouble getting here on time?" Then really listen to his reason. If it's a legitimate concern, be sympathetic and work with him if you can, but if he "overslept" just tell him, "well, it's hard to get up in the morning for most people, but that's what's required so please be on time moving forward." If the problem continues, fire the person.
    5. Be aware of who you are talking to and what they need from you as a manager - if someone's really slow to get a hint, be direct. If someone cries easily, butter them up and gift-wrap the criticism. It's worth it in the long run because you'll keep good people.

    It's also important for employees to feel heard, trusted, respected and acknowledged. Ask for their ideas and use some of them, and when they make suggestions seriously consider them.

    Another thing that really disarms people when they are ganging up on you is to thank them for the criticism. "I had no idea but thank you so much for your feedback - I'm going to work on that. Please know I certainly didn't mean the way I came off".
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #6

    Mar 30, 2011, 12:32 PM

    And remember there are different personality types... there isn't a one size fits all answer for each employee. You have to tailor a response to that person.

    While you can manage through fear and intimidation... you will get better results and productivity with respect and trust. And end up with a lower employee turnover rate too.
    Bermuda's Avatar
    Bermuda Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    May 10, 2011, 09:01 AM
    I am a bit disapointed that people are just assuming that she 'leads by fear and intimidation'.

    I am very friendly to my co-workers until they start wasting my time at which point my chirpy switch breaks. Why is it that I become the bad guy because I am asking people to leave me alone because I am trying to get actual work done instead of socializing. A closed door does actually mean something yet people just barge in anyway. If I were a guy instead of a girl that would not be considered intimidating and unapproachable, it would be considered a great work ethic and signs of a good businessman.

    I hate that they are all friendly to my face telling me that they like the work I am doing for them and then when it comes time for my review they all throw me under the bus and hide like little children in their offices.

    I feel for you lily. Unfortunately I am not in a good place to be able to offer any help as I apparently am in need of some myself. Good Luck!
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #8

    May 10, 2011, 09:12 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Bermuda View Post
    I am a bit disapointed that people are just assuming that she 'leads by fear and intimidation'.

    Um... because they actual say as much in their post?

    And if more than a few people say it... then there is usually some truth to it. And it isn't uncommon either. Many people let the power go to their head and start marching around dictating... while a real leader can get results without intimidation... because its human nature to push back when you are pushed around enough. It happens easy enough when you shut yourself off from listening to what everyone else has to say.

    And I have worked for several managers and directors that never stooped to power trips.

    While I give 110% for someone that see's me as their peer and offers guidance on needs when they shift.. and lets me do what I already know how to do my own way.. I also slow down when someone starts getting pushy and dictates what SHALL be done, and how it SHALL be done. Particularly from someone who can't even do what I do themselves... and that HAS happened several times.

    Just because someone manages to get themselves promoted doesn't mean they alone know how to do something better, or that they are the only one that knows what's going on. Quite the contrary is true in many cases. The manager is rarely better than all of their subordinates at a job... just that they happened to be in the right place at the right time or were better liked by whoever was in charge of promotions, or just because they were better at sucking up to the right people. Yeah, they MIGHT have just been better... but personal experience has shown me its not what you know... but who you know when selections for promotions are made.

    There is a well known joke that is well known for a reason... it is true so much of the time. And it goes...

    " People get promoted to their own level of incompetence".


    Now is there any magic formula or secrets? Nope... You either have it or not. But what is common in good leaders... is they all inspire others to exceed their goals. Then you have those the breed resentment by how they talk down to others.

    The key to managing is making sure everything is getting done... and pointing out where some things are getting behind... and shift priorities off those that are ahead of schedule to those that are behind schedule. Otherwise all a manager has to so is their reports and shuffle their papers. The people know their individual jobs... let them do them. If they can't why were they hired?

    I assume however, the OP isn't a "MANAGER" of a fast food Kiosk at the mall that hires high school students part time as workers. But that its an office environment and nobody is entry level.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #9

    May 10, 2011, 10:26 AM

    I agree Smoothy... and as for why people take it the wrong way, Bermuda, you think they are "wasting your time" and it's evident in your attitude toward them. Why would they be positive in return about you?

    I think it's important to plan some time responding to other people's priorities and concerns as a given unless you work alone and have no customers.

    Whether they want to show pictures of their new puppy or talk about their pet project, which you think is a waste of time and stupid, part of working with other people is understanding that you have to work at cooperating with them, being available and fitting their needs into your schedule.

    That's not to say you have to let them run your day - for example, you can certainly say in a meeting, "hey, guys, I just wanted to ask for your help - I'm working on the audit and will be closing my door - if it's closed, I can't be interupted, please. What you can do though, if I've locked myself away, just send me an email and I'll check a few times a day and do my best to get back to you quickly". Then do make an effort with the emails - even if just to say, "Mary, I can't get to this until the Audit it over...I put it on my calendar to address on Tuesday of next week."
    Bermuda's Avatar
    Bermuda Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    May 17, 2011, 01:46 PM

    @smoothy - she didn't admit to that. She said that that they are complaining to her boss that she is intimidating and unapproachable (which can actually be different than intentionally acting intimidating to instill fear in order to get your way). Obviously you were never picked on in school or you would know full well that people will gang up to get their way. And example is quiet people - they are not always perceived as socially friendly because their body language is different than those who are very outgoing.

    @don'tknow - by wasting my time I am referring to something being written in their task and they chose not to read it before coming to ask me to answer the thing I had already specified for them. It's like asking someone who is busy what time it is when your already wearing a watch and could have checked yourself.
    As for the closed door - at my work the rule of thumb is that if someone's door is closed you are to email them or if it is urgent knock and they will decide if they have a moment for you or not. My door seems to be the only one that people have forgotten this sense of common courtesy for. If they were to do that down the hall they would have had 'a talking to' about appropriate office behaviour.

    But back to lily's problem she is probably going to be screwed unless the people ganging up on her happen to slip up in front of the boss. Most places I've worked didn't put up with gossip and when someone was caught causing drama they were given their walking papers.

    For all you know the person who has been there the last 11 years wants lily's position and will go out of her way to ensure she gets it. If lily had intentionally been trying to intimidate her peers then I would be reluctant to believe that she would come on here looking for help.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #11

    May 17, 2011, 05:15 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Bermuda View Post
    @smoothy - she didn't admit to that. she said that that they are complaining to her boss that she is intimidating and unapproachable (which can actually be different than intentionally acting intimidating to instill fear in order to get your way). obviously you were never picked on in school or you would know full well that people will gang up to get their way. and example is quiet people - they are not always perceived as socially friendly because their body language is different than those who are very outgoing.

    @don'tknow - by wasting my time i am referring to something being written in their task and they chose not to read it before coming to ask me to answer the thing i had already specified for them. it's like asking someone who is busy what time it is when your already wearing a watch and could have checked yourself.
    as for the closed door - at my work the rule of thumb is that if someone's door is closed you are to email them or if it is urgent knock and they will decide if they have a moment for you or not. my door seems to be the only one that people have forgotten this sense of common courtesy for. if they were to do that down the hall they would have had 'a talking to' about appropriate office behaviour.

    but back to lily's problem she is probably going to be screwed unless the people ganging up on her happen to slip up in front of the boss. most places i've worked didn't put up with gossip and when someone was caught causing drama they were given their walking papers.

    for all you know the person who has been there the last 11 years wants lily's position and will go out of her way to ensure she gets it. if lily had intentionally been trying to intimidate her peers then i would be reluctant to believe that she would come on here looking for help.
    That's exactly what intimidating and unapproachable means to 99.9% of the people in the workforce.

    And a person doesn't have to set out to doe that... to be that way. Some people seem to have people skills and others don't. Just because you can do the paper work, doesn't mean you should be a supervisor. If you inspire your reports to revolt rather than work.. that's a good sign you fit that description. A supervisor should inspire their reports to exceed and not just meet their goals.

    Intimidation breeds contempt.

    I've been in the full time workforce for 30 years now since I graduated college, I have an Engineering Degree. I've worked for over 7 different companies and have had 3 times that many bosses over those years. A couple were horrific as was described... most a lot better, and about three where people I was proud to work under. One a long time ago to this day was so incompetent... I have yet to figure out how he ever got to be in that position. He was eventually removed from it... but not before driving a lot of very good people to competitors and other companies.

    And being I am in a VERY highly skilled trade, I am even LESS likely to have to deal with that than comparatively unskilled people. And certainly a fraction of what the unskilled workforce where you could train any fool that can follow directions to do the job would have to deal with. Because I'm not as easy to replace as an unskilled worker with few if any skills.

    And I've learned, where you find smoke... you usually find fire.

    While I do not know they OP... I get the impression they genuinely may not want to be this way... but they appear to come across that way to their workers.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #12

    May 23, 2011, 02:26 PM

    Burmuda, you know, I work in a field that's loaded with details - law. Every day I get calls and inquirites from opposing counsel, their paralegals and other staff, and clients, and the attorney I work for, asking for information I've given them before, or questions I've emailed answers to before. There's no sense being rude about it - I don't say anything at all about them wasting my time or let on that I think they are. I recognize that even working on the same case, we have different priorities and are attentive to different details. I might re-send an email that already answered their question but I'd even be careful to perhaps just make it look like a new email so it doesn't feel like I'm trying to make a nasty point.

    If the same issue repeats, by all means, say, "Let me show you this form - my practice is to always put the type of information you're looking for in this section here". If they come back again, remind them, "remember that form we reviewed - take a look there and if it's not on there, come back". If they do it a third time, you can then be stronger and say, "Jane, you need to look on the form for the information before you come to me in the future, please".

    Whether the person has a bad habit, isn't famliar with the process, has never been trained on the form, or just forgot, there's value in being courteous and winning their future cooperation with kindness instead of being nasty about it, or acting like they are an imposition.

    I'm sure people are annoying and don't follow policy at times, and do lazy things and everything else you said -fact remains, that's human nature and you can respond to it in a way that will win supporters, or respond to it in ways that will alienate others and come back to haunt you when they complain, or simply decide you're a pain and they don't care what you think.

    I truly work with some people in my line of work who have so often been snippy with me, I just figure its how they are - I don't even try to make them happy because they are never satisfied. There are other people who go the extra mile with good attitude, and I'm very careful not to inconvenience them and also to make sure they know I appreciate their efforts.
    bokchoy's Avatar
    bokchoy Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    May 18, 2012, 01:46 PM
    Some people are just troublemakers. You can be kind to all but there are rotten apples everywhere. Sociopathic types who love to lie and to get over. I have one who lives in my apt complex. She just makes up stuff and is very convincing. Ppl have turned on me and one time she spoke her accusations loudly enough that I heard them. Not one iota of what she said happened was true, not even close.

    It's how some people get their kicks and I don't think the mgr who started this post is one of them. Take it from one who knows. Maybe she's working with a bunch of thugs, that's what thugs do you know. Simply put, they're s**t disturbers with no class or shame. Eventually they're found out, on the other hand birds of a feather flock together. I have often wondered how they find each other.

    Take care, chin up. Don't get too friendly but you can be cordial. Never feed into the baloney. Eventually they'll turn on each other if you are not enough fun to pick on. Don't look scared, never let 'em see you sweat. When they come running to you to complain about the others that's when you take on your managerial voice and counsel them. Guide them to find their own solutions or those words could come back to bite you in the you-know-what.

    Linda

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