Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an interesting work issue maybe I can get some opinions on.

I'm a manager of three people in a web design dept. We handle mostly the usability and creative side.

The other dept, the tech side is managed by a guy who is my equal. He also manages three people.

The issue is, he likes to step on my toes and try to tell my people what to do. We do have a bit of cross over in the departments where I can use his people and him mine, but he really likes to play "the boss" sometimes.

Example, tonight he sent out an email after I left to all my people and his asking them to do something a certain way, something I feel he absolutely should have consulted me on first when telling my people I manage to do something. I feel it undermines me and they lose respect for me as a manager.

I emailed him back and kinda flipped a little saying don't ever do that again.

I feel I need to bring it up to my boss, the owner, but don't want to seem like a tattle tale.

Thoughts?
 

·
Shirtcocker
Joined
·
60,639 Posts
Morris Buttermaker said:
I have an interesting work issue maybe I can get some opinions on.

I'm a manager of three people in a web design dept. We handle mostly the usability and creative side.

The other dept, the tech side is managed by a guy who is my equal. He also manages three people.

The issue is, he likes to step on my toes and try to tell my people what to do. We do have a bit of cross over in the departments where I can use his people and him mine, but he really likes to play "the boss" sometimes.

Example, tonight he sent out an email after I left to all my people and his asking them to do something a certain way, something I feel he absolutely should have consulted me on first when telling my people I manage to do something. I feel it undermines me and they lose respect for me as a manager.

I emailed him back and kinda flipped a little saying don't ever do that again.

I feel I need to bring it up to my boss, the owner, but don't want to seem like a tattle tale.

Thoughts?
pee discs under his office door.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Morris Buttermaker said:
... I feel he absolutely should have consulted me on first when telling my people I manage to do something. I feel it undermines me and they lose respect for me as a manager.

I emailed him back and kinda flipped a little saying don't ever do that again.

I feel I need to bring it up to my boss, the owner, but don't want to seem like a tattle tale.

Thoughts?
Talk to him directly and say this stuff in person. Clear the air with him first before going to the owner. If that doesn't work and you can't find common ground then go to your boss. Your boss doesn't want to get in the middle of two adults that can't work it out themselves. Trust me...
 

·
Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
Joined
·
27,035 Posts
brandtw said:
Talk to him directly and say this stuff in person.
Completely disagree. Better to have things like this in writing.

If he does it again, you can cc the big boss when you email him.
 

·
2 busy workin' 2 hang out
Joined
·
12,638 Posts
DrRoebuck said:
Completely disagree. Better to have things like this in writing.

If he does it again, you can cc the big boss when you email him.
I agree with this. CYA.

Or do this:

 

·
Back from the dead
Joined
·
20,626 Posts
I think you made your point for now. Consider it possible, or at least pretend that he didn't know that what he was doing was stepping over your line, and now he knows. And if he does it again, you have better standing to complain to your boss. If you were to complain now, all he has to say is, I didn't know. Now he knows, and next time he doesn't get to use that defense.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
The mistake was using email to tell him that.

You need to tell him straight up that he cannot direct your people without talking to you first. Explain that it causes problems for them when they get conflicting priorities and that your position on this is non-negotiable.

If his actions have caused problems, give examples. If he gives you any grief, tell him that the two of you will sit down with the owner and agree on boundaries and procedures.

I had a boss once that did this, thought it was fine to drop by my report's office and ask them to do things. It never occurred to him that his action would be interpreted by the employees as a more important direction.

Your friend isn't getting that either.
 

·
haole from the mainland
Joined
·
5,962 Posts
He should never have a need to e-mail all your peeps like that. He should have consulted with you and then you could have e-mailed them, if necessary.

I think you have to be careful about not being one of those bosses that just wants things to go through him/her for the sake of a power trip. You do want your underlings to have some flexibility to handle small issues that may pop up from the tech side without wasting the time to go through the whole chain of command thing. Try and educate them so they can tell the difference between the other dude blowing smoke where he shouldn't or something that should get their immediate attention.
 

·
No hero that's understood
Joined
·
6,100 Posts
What caught my eye first was that you left before your employees. This may not send the right signal. I don't know any of the circumstances, but if office politics are at play, not being there can hurt.

As Terry said, put nothing in e-mail that you wouldn't want someone else to read later. Forwarding e-mails is far too easy.

I'm not sure I understand the reporting relationship. The other guy can manage your people some of the time and you can manage his people some of the time? The system seems flawed to begin with. People have trouble when they aren't sure who their boss is. I'd go to your common supervisor and explain that the reporting relationship seems to cause trouble with prioritization. Don't blame or name names, but let him understand why this is a problem.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
q_and_a said:
I'm not sure I understand the reporting relationship. The other guy can manage your people some of the time and you can manage his people some of the time? The system seems flawed to begin with..
Yes, if that's the case then they really need to get together on a mutual way of setting priorities. Multiple bosses without an agreed to priority setting plan is a path to chaos.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
DrRoebuck said:
Completely disagree. Better to have things like this in writing.

If he does it again, you can cc the big boss when you email him.
The very first thing I ask my people when they come to me with guidance on how to handle a problem with another person is "Have you sat down and talked to them?"

Email is such a bad way of handling turf battles and personal conflicts. And I can promise with 100% confidence that when their email discussion devolves into a pissing contest and the owner gets involved, the first thing he will ask the two of them is "WTF didn't you just talk to each other?"

You cannot get anyone to take you seriously when you ask for it via email.
 

·
No hero that's understood
Joined
·
6,100 Posts
I agree with Terry.

E-mail is too passive and allows problems to fester. It also leads to misunderstandings due to lack of non-verbal communication.

I'm not sure when we stopped talking to each other and face to face communication became "confrontational", but I find that a good old fashioned chat seems to clear up a lot of stuff.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
q_and_a said:
I'm not sure when we stopped talking to each other and face to face communication.
It was 1984 and I was working at DEC in Hudson, Massachusetts. It happened when they installed a VT120 terminal in my office that allowed access to VaxMail.
 

·
Shirtcocker
Joined
·
60,639 Posts
terry b said:
It was 1984 and I was working at DEC in Hudson, Massachusetts. It happened when they installed a VT120 terminal in my office that allowed access to VaxMail.
I like email because I generally hate most of my co-irkers. :D
 

·
Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
Joined
·
27,035 Posts
terry b said:
The very first thing I ask my people when they come to me with guidance on how to handle a problem with another person is "Have you sat down and talked to them?"

Email is such a bad way of handling turf battles and personal conflicts. And I can promise with 100% confidence that when their email discussion devolves into a pissing contest and the owner gets involved, the first thing he will ask the two of them is "WTF didn't you just talk to each other?"

You cannot get anyone to take you seriously when you ask for it via email.
I've had completely different experiences and, based on those, always like to have stuff in writing.

"Wha? You never asked me about that!"

"ORLY?"

I'm also a good writer (no really, I am) when I try, so I can communicate my thoughts well enough to limit misunderstandings.
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
DrRoebuck said:
I've had completely different experiences and, based on those, always like to have stuff in writing.

"Wha? You never asked me about that!"

"ORLY?"

I'm also a good writer (no really, I am) when I try, so I can communicate my thoughts well enough to limit misunderstandings.
There is another path grasshopper and we use it all the time.

  1. Talk to the person
  2. Follow up with an email "we discussed these things and reached these agreements"

I'm sure you are a good writer, but most people are terrible readers. Especially when they're reading what they want to read.

There is no way a big organization can function if everyone relied on email to settle disagreements. Or most small organizations for that matter. Too many misunderstandings, too many unknown grudges.

Getting it in writing is a good plan, it's just not a complete plan.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top