'Step Up to Leader' Post > Tangential Question

Subject: 'Step Up to Leader' Post > Tangential Question
From: Agnes Starr <zigrocstarr -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:00:34 -0700 (PDT)

Further to the post about stepping up to a leadership position, I have a question.

In my last jobs and in my last life in another field, I was in a leadership position at various times, various titles.I have a question - something that each time it happened I didn't know how to handle it.

What do you do if you ask an employee to do something and they refuse to do it? Suppose for example you request an item via email and the subordinate shoots back and email that says "No, I am not going to do it that way. " - and it happens repeatedly. Or you make requests and they continually ignore them, and you know they are doing it intentionally to be defiant.

This may sound like a silly question, or maybe it doesn't. But it happened to me in 2 jobs, and I was at a loss for handling it. If you insist, you sound like you are pulling rank like "I am the boss and you must do what I say." If you go to your boss with the problem - unless it has gone on for a while, they will say you should handle it before escalating it, or at least that is what I was told. If you ignore it, the message gets out that you are a pushover and a chicken-little supervisor/manager.Writing them up seems too harsh to do so on the first offense, or even second. If you do write them up, how soon do you do so?

Years ago in a seminar I was "taught" that refusing to handle a reasonable request is technically grounds for immediate dismissal; however, in reality most co's won't do that because they want to watch their backs, make a paper trail, make it look like a layoff whatever.

This happened to me in two instances with, obviously, "problem" subordinates, and frankly I was at a loss for the best way to handle it. How much is too much "force"? What is too soon to escalate it? What is too long?

I think a corrollary to this question is, and the reason I "amended" the "Step up to leadership" post is, I have learned to beware of "pseudo-leadership" positions. These are usually titled "Supervisor" or "Group leader" but they can have other titles as well. What effectively happens is, you are said to have the power but you really don't, so that one problem subordinate, who is a problem with everyone, everywhere, all the way around, figures out that s/he is reporting to someone with pseudo-authority, and takes complete advantage of it. You effectively get turned in a whipping girl or boy. I have seen this happen to others as well. Perhaps this is the key to the whole thing - having "true" power versus not? Or perhaps I just didn't know how to handle it.

I would be interested to hear your stories and thoughts and suggestions. In the meantime I will stick with being a "drone" who makes equally as much as I did in those "leadership" positions.



Tonight's top picks. What will you watch tonight? Preview the hottest shows on Yahoo! TV.

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit http://lists.techwr-l.com/mailman/options/techwr-l/archive%40web.techwr-l.com

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwr-l.com/ for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Re: Microsoft Word Questions
Next by Author: Step Up to Leader' Post > Tangential Question
Previous by Thread: Techwriter on Jeopardy
Next by Thread: Re: 'Step Up to Leader' Post > Tangential Question

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads