We all know micro-managers who need to back off. But just as often, I see employees who refuse to accept accountability and supervision. They want absolute control of their turf and will resist, sabotage and badmouth any supervisor who wants to integrate them into an effective team. For example, Rita, a high-ranking professional, goes over Tom, her direct supervisor, to complain to a senior manager that Tom is micromanaging and wasting her time, so she can’t complete her tasks. Rita also complains that Tom doesn’t inform her of meetings, springs deadlines on her without warning and talks down to her.
To read the rest of this article from the Memphis Business Journal, see: Don’t let turf controllers undercut authority behind the scenes http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2008/09/29/smallb2.html
We found that Rita simply didn’t want any oversight. There were records of calls and e-mails documenting timely announcements of meetings, requests for her to attend meetings, and clarity in expressing tasks and timelines that she pretended she didn’t know about. She also hadn’t return calls so she could say later that she misunderstood assignments and timelines, had good-sounding excuses to avoid meetings where she’d have to report progress and had never brought her issues to Tom. Instead, she had badmouthed him behind his back to other managers and employees.
- Realize he was in a battle with a person who was out to be her own boss by undercutting his authority. Every attempt he’d made to accommodate Rita was met with more demands from her to be in total control of her own work. She didn’t want to report to him or the team. He’ll never make her happy.
- Document every request to her and every action plan developed by the team.
- Shine a light on her bullying behavior to the team and especially to the senior manager.
- Express his dissatisfaction with Rita’s performance and behavior in writing in order to counterbalance her complaints.
- Ask the senior manager not to listen to Rita in secret, but to bounce her complaints back to him or to hold meetings with both Rita and Tom together to discuss both their complaints.and-say-no/
Call Ben to learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of turf controllers’ low attitudes. All tactics are situational. Expert coaching and consulting can help you create and implement a plan that fits you and your organization.