How not to impress the boss

I was in a team meeting today when one of the team, seemingly unimpressed with a reorganisation, made his views crystal clear. To spare the blushes I’ll call him “Jamie”. And before I comment on both what he said and the wisdom of saying it, a few other thoughts.

Foot in mouth

It seems that Jamie was not too impressed with the way that certain parts of the reorganisation outcome was announced at the team meeting – essentially the structure of the management team.  Whether Jamie felt slighted or simply disliked the process I am afraid we shall never know because once he said to the boss “your man management style leaves a lot to be desired” the conversation took a very different path.

I don’t have any problems in disagreeing with my manager, nor in having someone disagree with me.  It’s normal and can promote a healthy discussion – but I don’t agree with personal attacks in a public forum.

Professional disagreements can be raised and discussed professionally, although I try never to back anyone into a corner in public – far better to leave them a face-saving way out and make a friend than the other way round and create the opposite.  And if I were to have an issue that’s any worse than professional then it must only be aired in a private environment.  I believe these concepts to be self-evident common sense, observed by all.  But it seems I was wrong.

(Readers in the US will wonder why Jamie still has a job – the UK laws would take far to long to explain, so let’s say it’s the equivalent of having tenure.)

The unfortunate part is that Jamie is great at what he does, but unhelpful outbursts don’t help win friends and influence people – and I suspect that Jamie’s card is marked. I think he needs to chow down on a very large helping of humble pie – and what happens next is entirely in his hands.

So two questions (if you’d like to comment, openly or privately): do you agree with my stated concepts, and what do you think he should do to redeem himself?

I found the image on Kate’s blog, and I think the credit is due to Linda Moran.


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