Question: I’ve been out of school for two...
Posted by Anonymous on August 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM
She always asks me for help in how to respond to emails, but I am uncomfortable to do so because I don’t want to be involved. How can I help her without being implicated if something goes wrong? I am actively looking to get a new job, but the market is slow and I with my student loans, I can’t be unemployed. How would you handle the situation? Would you bring it up with your boss?
From the Expert, Ellen Ericson:
Unfortunately, you have gotten a taste of what a poor management style looks like in your first job. On a positive note, you will really appreciate a good manager when you have one in the future. Also, you are learning how to handle a difficult personality. Acquiring that skill is invaluable.
As for your friend, I know it is hard to watch her suffer but this is her battle to fight, not yours. You are smart to keep out of it. She is equally learning a great lesson of how to manage a difficult personality and I am sure each day you both are learning ways to better the situation, whether you realize it or not.
One suggestion though, is to figure out the best way to communicate with your manager. Email is such a difficult medium to use, as many times messages are misinterpreted or not meant to come across in a particular way (although the ALL CAPS is hard to misunderstand). Instead of penning a reply email, when appropriate, you should think about getting on your manager’s calendar to speak about the project or situation in person. Hopefully, this will cut down on the miscommunication and may even result in a positive interaction.
If your boss is solely a poor manager and not crossing any lines that would be an impetus for your friend or you to report him/her to HR, then unfortunately, staying in the situation until you can find a better position inside or outside of the company is probably your best bet. If you think of this situation as a puzzle that you need to crack to succeed in your job, then instead of feeling overwhelmed with negativity you may feel challenged to figure out the best ways to interact effectively with your manager. This manager will not be the last time you will work with someone difficult so take advantage to learn as much as you can about how to make the most of the situation in order to apply it to future experiences.
Ellen Ericson is a certified business etiquette and international protocol consultant. You can connect with Ellen on her Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/EricsonConsulting) and Twitter (@EricsonConsult).