Career advice

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jmw
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Re: Career advice

Post by jmw »

Is "special review" another phrase for PIP? If you are in a union, I would let them know what happened right away. If you are in California, I would assert Skelly.

If it is possible to transfer to a different department in the same government agency, I would do that or move on to another employer. This type of thing is not salvageable until the higher ups move to greener pastures or retire, which may take many years in a government employer.

If you are not in a union and only protected by civil service rules, depending on the rules it may be difficult or relatively easy to push you out the door.
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NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: Career advice

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

Supurdueper wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:56 am Well all. It was an ambush. I’m on a special review, still in shock. 3 petty employees think that I don’t listen to them and now I’ve created this hostile place where I use my seniority to dominate and I have anger issues. Whoa, I’m stunned. Oh and one of my employees was not feeling well this past Friday and i didn’t know about it. I didn’t realize I’m supposed to check in everyday on someone’s health?

Good times. It was tough for me not to quit right there.
This too shall pass. Apparently a 'special review' means you are being reviewed for performance out of sequence.

Some people complained about you. If I were in your position I would take a deep breath and relax for a day before doing anything.

These employees concerns are likely real. Your use of 'petty' as an adjective isn't helpful.

What evidence did they give for you dominating or having anger? They'll need a lot of evidence to go after you for that.

If the employee wasn't feeling well, did they go to work? Are they working from home? Did they ask for special accommodation?

If I were in your position I'd work to address these complaints. Management will appreciate someone who works to be appreciate by their staff.

It appears the picture they are trying to paint is that you are not a good manager, because some people are complaining about you. Management is often evaluated in different dimensions:
  • popularity
  • inspiration
  • decision making
  • delegation
  • employee improvement
  • efficiency
  • effectiveness
  • achievements
How are you on those dimensions?

Is there talk that you are creating a risk of lawsuit?

The threshold for 'hostile work environment' is pretty high - recommend identify what it is and how their complaints measure against it.

The game above the game here does seem to be that your petty boss has instigated complaints in 3 of your employees to damage or eliminate you as competition or troublemaker.

But you work in a fantasy land of state employment, so short of you murdering someone, you'll likely keep your job.

You haven't commented on your Union representation - do you have it? Are they helping?
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
Mudpuppy
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Location: Sunny California

Re: Career advice

Post by Mudpuppy »

Supurdueper wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:56 am Well all. It was an ambush. I’m on a special review, still in shock. 3 petty employees think that I don’t listen to them and now I’ve created this hostile place where I use my seniority to dominate and I have anger issues. Whoa, I’m stunned. Oh and one of my employees was not feeling well this past Friday and i didn’t know about it. I didn’t realize I’m supposed to check in everyday on someone’s health?

Good times. It was tough for me not to quit right there.
Someone does not end up on this sort of review at my state agency based on a few unfounded complaints from people trying to throw someone under the bus. To get to this point at my state agency, there has to be enough evidence for the agency to be concerned about violations of state or federal laws with regards to the workplace. If the investigation reveals more benign and correctable causes, such as generational differences in what is considered professional behavior, the employee is given an opportunity for improvement. Other causes may lead to termination.

I would take some time for personal introspection to try to see things from their perspective. Take this as an opportunity for personal growth, rather than lashing out in anger. For example, not knowing an employee was feeling ill during a pandemic is really not a good thing. When we were still working on-site, I didn't personally go around to everyone's desk every day, but everyone knew they could ask for a sick day or to work from home that day and I'd approve it. My boss wasn't always thrilled about that, but I'd rather they work from home with mild symptoms than come in and infect everyone.

Of course, when accusations are involved, you should avail yourself of your employment rights, such as having a personal union representative if you are in a union-protected position. But also don't just discount everything out of hand when there might be a kernel of truth that could be used for further professional and personal growth.
Topic Author
Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

I’m not part of the Union. And I work in a right to work state. I can take criticism if it comes to a process I’ve done wrong or could have gone a different way. The steps I’ve done are setting up the department for future success, which if one doesn’t know the history can assume a different decision. Elevated positions for when transition happens.

I guess it’s not a PIP plan but not officially, it’s technically called a Special improvement plan.

And as a govt job you’d think this is safe but this new boss isn’t shy to fire.

I talked to my former boss about it and he says it’s total BS. He’s going to do some background work. Not sure how one can go from excellent down to this in such a short time. You’d think I had a sexual harassment case against me.
Stick5vw
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Re: Career advice

Post by Stick5vw »

Sounds like the new boss may have an axe to grind and feels threatened by you, ie she beat you to the post and views you as a rival who needs to be moved out of the picture.

Obviously the dynamic may be different from your perspective but as best I can see it, she is now trying to push you out. New sheriff in town. Second level boss has her back so you may not have much wiggle room. Time to move on IMHO.
Normchad
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Re: Career advice

Post by Normchad »

I would recommend you think long and hard about the criticism about you. There is probably some truth to,it, and therefore an opportunity to learn more about yourself and improve for the future.
toocold
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Re: Career advice

Post by toocold »

Supurdueper wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:58 pm I talked to my former boss about it and he says it’s total BS. He’s going to do some background work. Not sure how one can go from excellent down to this in such a short time. You’d think I had a sexual harassment case against me.
Do you think your former boss can help you move into a different department? That might be the best short term path for you. Great job of keeping level headed.
Topic Author
Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

Normchad wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:26 pm I would recommend you think long and hard about the criticism about you. There is probably some truth to,it, and therefore an opportunity to learn more about yourself and improve for the future.
I’m all for constructive feedback. However I reread the write and a lot is false assumptions and decisions made and agreed to by my former boss who also ran it by the second level boss.

And yes there are a few things I may agree with and things to work on, but not warrant of an ambush and a pip plan.

It’s unfortunate they consult with only 3 on my team and not the entire group. And all these items were under my previous manager.
Normchad
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Re: Career advice

Post by Normchad »

Supurdueper wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:44 pm
Normchad wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:26 pm I would recommend you think long and hard about the criticism about you. There is probably some truth to,it, and therefore an opportunity to learn more about yourself and improve for the future.
I’m all for constructive feedback. However I reread the write and a lot is false assumptions and decisions made and agreed to by my former boss who also ran it by the second level boss.

And yes there are a few things I may agree with and things to work on, but not warrant of an ambush and a pip plan.

It’s unfortunate they consult with only 3 on my team and not the entire group. And all these items were under my previous manager.
I’ve probably put about a dozen people on PIPs over the years. They are meant to be a wake up call, and to clearly articulate what needs to change. About half the people wake up and turn things around. The others exit the business.

It’s very likely that it isn’t just 3 people bitching about you. Lots of people don’t want a confrontation. It’s possible your bosses have talked to the others and either heard confirmation, or not heard a refutation.

Regardless of all that, if you want to succeed big, you need to figure out how to work well with people. All people.

I’ve seen people’s careers fizzle out and they have no idea why. In a lot of cases, it’s because nobody wants to work with them, and avoid them and their projects at all costs. Of course, nobody ever tells them this is going on......
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Kenkat
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Re: Career advice

Post by Kenkat »

Normchad wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:05 pm
Supurdueper wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:44 pm
Normchad wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:26 pm I would recommend you think long and hard about the criticism about you. There is probably some truth to,it, and therefore an opportunity to learn more about yourself and improve for the future.
I’m all for constructive feedback. However I reread the write and a lot is false assumptions and decisions made and agreed to by my former boss who also ran it by the second level boss.

And yes there are a few things I may agree with and things to work on, but not warrant of an ambush and a pip plan.

It’s unfortunate they consult with only 3 on my team and not the entire group. And all these items were under my previous manager.
I’ve probably put about a dozen people on PIPs over the years. They are meant to be a wake up call, and to clearly articulate what needs to change. About half the people wake up and turn things around. The others exit the business.

It’s very likely that it isn’t just 3 people bitching about you. Lots of people don’t want a confrontation. It’s possible your bosses have talked to the others and either heard confirmation, or not heard a refutation.

Regardless of all that, if you want to succeed big, you need to figure out how to work well with people. All people.

I’ve seen people’s careers fizzle out and they have no idea why. In a lot of cases, it’s because nobody wants to work with them, and avoid them and their projects at all costs. Of course, nobody ever tells them this is going on......
I have seen this happen but I have also witnessed new management come in and clear out good performers so that they can open up head count and bring in their own people. PIP, position eliminated (but new position created a few months later that is the old position with a slightly different name), you name it, it happens. And not infrequently in my experience.
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Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

The most frustrating thing is that all these accusations occurred during the time of previous management who approved of a majority and understood the situations. This person has been my manager for 6 weeks and has only met with me twice never setting clear expectations.

I would not think hr or my current manager should be allowed to use past prior management instances against me when they had been discussed. Some of them were process items, or reorg items, all approved.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Career advice

Post by Mudpuppy »

Kenkat wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:16 pm I have seen this happen but I have also witnessed new management come in and clear out good performers so that they can open up head count and bring in their own people. PIP, position eliminated (but new position created a few months later that is the old position with a slightly different name), you name it, it happens. And not infrequently in my experience.
Clearing out existing employees just because a new boss has come along a lot more rare in government and state employment though. It's one of the reasons public careers are considered more stable than private. You can just focus on the job and weather the storm when a bad boss blows through the agency.
tnr
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Re: Career advice

Post by tnr »

Sorry for the unpleasant meeting. Kind of thought it might be something like this. Did they provided you some documentation of the complaints against you? Are you able to respond in writing to put in your HR file? If so, I would do that. But before I did so, I’d ask your old boss to read/critique it plus maybe someone not familiar with your situation that you trust to do the same. It won’t change your new boss’ opinion but a response will document your side.

Keep looking for another job. Stay professional in your current position especially with the people that were mentioned. Don’t let them get the satisfaction of seeing you blow up. Yes, some self-reflection is always good, but I wouldn’t beat myself up doing so. Good luck.
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Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

tnr wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:25 pm Sorry for the unpleasant meeting. Kind of thought it might be something like this. Did they provided you some documentation of the complaints against you? Are you able to respond in writing to put in your HR file? If so, I would do that. But before I did so, I’d ask your old boss to read/critique it plus maybe someone not familiar with your situation that you trust to do the same. It won’t change your new boss’ opinion but a response will document your side.

Keep looking for another job. Stay professional in your current position especially with the people that were mentioned. Don’t let them get the satisfaction of seeing you blow up. Yes, some self-reflection is always good, but I wouldn’t beat myself up doing so. Good luck.
Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it.

I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
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NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: Career advice

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

Supurdueper wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm
tnr wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:25 pm Sorry for the unpleasant meeting. Kind of thought it might be something like this. Did they provided you some documentation of the complaints against you? Are you able to respond in writing to put in your HR file? If so, I would do that. But before I did so, I’d ask your old boss to read/critique it plus maybe someone not familiar with your situation that you trust to do the same. It won’t change your new boss’ opinion but a response will document your side.

Keep looking for another job. Stay professional in your current position especially with the people that were mentioned. Don’t let them get the satisfaction of seeing you blow up. Yes, some self-reflection is always good, but I wouldn’t beat myself up doing so. Good luck.
Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it.

I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
Perhaps you will win this battle. How will the war go?

If I were you, I'd include the new boss and refute the charges in front of them. I've heard it said that if you're going to a (metaphorical) knife fight bring a (metaphorical) gun.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
mike_in_ny
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Re: Career advice

Post by mike_in_ny »

I would not involve my former boss in any meetings with my current management, nor try
to "litigate" this by dredging up email "evidence" to try to prove or disprove a particular point.

These issues are not point - counterpoint type of discussions. I'd directly ask my boss' boss
if the best solution for everyone would be to find a new job for you internally. You can state
that you don't necessarily agree with it all, but it may be the best solution for all -- It would
give you a fresh start with a new team, and they could bring in who they want.

I have always said, "I don't want to work for someone that doesn't want me working for them."
I think your upline manager should be smart enough to take the deal, even if it take a few
months to work out. Until then they'll just keep you on ice as they try to broker a deal.
Sahara
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Re: Career advice

Post by Sahara »

These types of work issues can be so unpleasant and challenging to understand, especially when one contributes 100% for the greater good. Sometimes they are a result of misperceptions which grow into labels if the behavior that’s being misinterpreted is not identified and corrected. Especially at times of shifts in leadership/allegiances. Have you considered speaking with an executive coach, therapist, or someone In employment law/labor relations? Professionals are often able to frame unfamiliar situations in a manner that makes sense to us. I experienced something similar in education, and a labor specialist helped me understand and even predict the administration’s tactics. As a result, I was able to respond in an appropriate professional manner and things calmed down.
Normchad
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Re: Career advice

Post by Normchad »

Please be sure to post back with any updates. very interesting.....
Annabel Lee
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Re: Career advice

Post by Annabel Lee »

Supurdueper wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it.

I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
From experience, take your intuition and begin to do exactly the opposite.

- As you rise in management, it’s important to be the same guy every day. Perfect outcome on a project? Great, on to the next thing. Special review with new boss? Great, take it with a grain of salt. I do understand “too emotional to come in” to an extent - but you’ve got a big team reporting to you. Don’t take a day off. Show up. Lead. Same guy every day.

- Taking advice from your old boss? He’s not there anymore, right? You can solicit and receive advice but organizations are dynamic and he’s coaching you on what he understood reality to be when he was there... not on what it is right now.

- Inserting HR? I mean, you could do that. But as mentioned several times up thread, HR is there to protect the organization, not you. Here’s an example that should bring this to life. My HR business partner thinks of me as her client.

- Leaving your new boss out? Nah. While previously a peer, she has to sign off on whatever your strategy is. Are you trying to re-open the succession process? Leaving her out of this is a great way to further undermine trust.

In the future, here’s the dialogue that keeps you out of this mess: “Hey XYZ, congrats on the promotion! I know that when Oldboss was here, we agreed on this approach, but I wanted to run this by you for your perspective and to get your take on how this plan could make our team more successful. Do you have time to catch up later this week? I’m including the draft plan for your review before we speak.”

- Finally don’t trust your wife to write your response. She loves you and is partial to your side. Commiserate (or not, really) when she wants to listen but I promise she’s not better at understanding your situation and organizational dynamics than you are. Who’s your closest ally that still works at this place now that Oldboss is gone? Ideally it’s a peer in a different division. Run your plan by them.

Good luck. Do the opposite.
Annabel Lee
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Re: Career advice

Post by Annabel Lee »

mike_in_ny wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:18 pm I would not involve my former boss in any meetings with my current management, nor try
to "litigate" this by dredging up email "evidence" to try to prove or disprove a particular point.

These issues are not point - counterpoint type of discussions. I'd directly ask my boss' boss
if the best solution for everyone would be to find a new job for you internally. You can state
that you don't necessarily agree with it all, but it may be the best solution for all -- It would
give you a fresh start with a new team, and they could bring in who they want.

I have always said, "I don't want to work for someone that doesn't want me working for them."
I think your upline manager should be smart enough to take the deal, even if it take a few
months to work out. Until then they'll just keep you on ice as they try to broker a deal.
+1. Great advice.
kimura king
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Re: Career advice

Post by kimura king »

Supurdueper wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm
tnr wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:25 pm Sorry for the unpleasant meeting. Kind of thought it might be something like this. Did they provided you some documentation of the complaints against you? Are you able to respond in writing to put in your HR file? If so, I would do that. But before I did so, I’d ask your old boss to read/critique it plus maybe someone not familiar with your situation that you trust to do the same. It won’t change your new boss’ opinion but a response will document your side.

Keep looking for another job. Stay professional in your current position especially with the people that were mentioned. Don’t let them get the satisfaction of seeing you blow up. Yes, some self-reflection is always good, but I wouldn’t beat myself up doing so. Good luck.
Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it.

I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
I am sorry to hear that the situation has caused you stress, take it all in stride and you did a good job not quitting. I do think I see what is going on. This lady is attempting character assasination. If she was the strong individual she projected herself to be, she would discuss her concerns with you privately. I enjoy some of the "HR style" responses you have had to your post, but I am not sure they are accurate. If they are accurate, you may be better suited for another role than government leadership (wouldn't be the job for me either, too political).

Take it all in stride, stockpile cash right now and keep the linkedin/resume sharp.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Career advice

Post by Mudpuppy »

kimura king wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:42 pm I am sorry to hear that the situation has caused you stress, take it all in stride and you did a good job not quitting. I do think I see what is going on. This lady is attempting character assasination. If she was the strong individual she projected herself to be, she would discuss her concerns with you privately. I enjoy some of the "HR style" responses you have had to your post, but I am not sure they are accurate. If they are accurate, you may be better suited for another role than government leadership (wouldn't be the job for me either, too political).
Alternatively to character assassination, an old grudge (on behalf of either party or perhaps even mutual) from when they were peers is manifesting in different fashions now that the power dynamic has shifted. The OP has stated up-thread that there were disagreements with this former-peer-now-boss over decisions in the past. The nature of those disagreements was not disclosed, but any bad feelings, bad behavior, or burnt bridges could be coming back to haunt the OP.

I'm sure we have all had co-workers who would try something similar if they got into a position of higher power. I know I could name someone in my team who would try it, although that person's grudge is entirely one-sided despite my best efforts to mend fences. The important part is to take the higher road and move beyond the grudge to continue working professionally. Those who are able to do so are remembered more favorably by management than those who are not.
Annabel Lee wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:40 pm - Leaving your new boss out? Nah. While previously a peer, she has to sign off on whatever your strategy is. Are you trying to re-open the succession process? Leaving her out of this is a great way to further undermine trust.
Agreed. That's a sure-fire way to both obliterate any remaining bridges and to tell upper management that you're not willing to take the higher road and continue in a professional relationship with the former-peer-now-boss. If the OP wants a continuing career at this state agency, there has to be either a pathway to working with the former-peer-now-boss or a pathway to transfer to another team. Cutting the now-boss out of any meetings with HR will destroy either pathway.
HornedToad
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Re: Career advice

Post by HornedToad »

I would encourage you to try to do two things.

1. Protect your job as best you can
2. Accept that there is an element of truth in the complaints and do some soul reflection and what you can do better. The Manager might have a grudge and that is why she is raising it with HR immediately. But regardless of that, 3 people on your team raised the complaints with the manager and said they have this problem. That's not insignificant and should provide an opportunity to learn, understand what the root cause is and improve while at same time protecting your job.

There's plenty of fast charging managers that are very successful, get the job done but break a few eggs in the process or can be short tempered with employees/etc. With the current climate, and even in general, how you do the job can be just as important as what you get done and these complaints didn't come out of thin air.

You could argue that the manager is *duty-bound* to raise it with her boss and HR if she took over the department, had skip levels with everyone to understand their role and feeling and 3 of your team members said they felt diminished by you or that you treated them unfairly. That can't be brushed under the rug.

I wouldn't try to line by line defend yourself and go on defensive with HR, that's a losing approach. I would take it as listen to the complaint, try to understand how they feel and that you were getting the job done, some of the accusations are incorrect, mistaken or taken out of context but you recognize that you, like everyone, can improve and here is what you will do going forward to rebuild a relationship with the 3 disgruntled team members
toocold
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Re: Career advice

Post by toocold »

Supurdueper wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it. I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
I think you are letting your emotions run away from the situation. Unless you are very close to your boss's boss, the natural instincts with be for them to support your new boss and potentially validate what has been written about you. If that happens, it will be an easier glidepath for your new boss to push you out of the organization.
toocold
Posts: 167
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Re: Career advice

Post by toocold »

Supurdueper wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it. I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
I think you are letting your emotions run away from the situation. Unless you are very close to your boss's boss, the natural instincts with be for them to support your new boss and potentially validate what has been written about you. If that happens, it will be an easier glidepath for your new boss to push you out of the organization.
Colorado13
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Re: Career advice

Post by Colorado13 »

Annabel Lee wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:40 pm
Supurdueper wrote: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:52 pm Thank you. Yes. I called in today a little too distraught And emotional to work. I reread and worked on a response and will run it by my former boss. I will set up another meeting with the head HR director and my new boss’s boss and my old boss. I will not include the new boss. I have verified a lot of the claims and have email or other support to disprove a majority, the rest heresay and I found something I had marked against one of the individuals that might prove substantial. My wife who is better at this than me did most of the drafting. I’m all for self reflecting, but I am not for false accusations and criticism to a prior business plan when I had the 3 upper levels sign off on it.

I will not go quietly into the night! Lol.
From experience, take your intuition and begin to do exactly the opposite.

- As you rise in management, it’s important to be the same guy every day. Perfect outcome on a project? Great, on to the next thing. Special review with new boss? Great, take it with a grain of salt. I do understand “too emotional to come in” to an extent - but you’ve got a big team reporting to you. Don’t take a day off. Show up. Lead. Same guy every day.

- Taking advice from your old boss? He’s not there anymore, right? You can solicit and receive advice but organizations are dynamic and he’s coaching you on what he understood reality to be when he was there... not on what it is right now.

- Inserting HR? I mean, you could do that. But as mentioned several times up thread, HR is there to protect the organization, not you. Here’s an example that should bring this to life. My HR business partner thinks of me as her client.

- Leaving your new boss out? Nah. While previously a peer, she has to sign off on whatever your strategy is. Are you trying to re-open the succession process? Leaving her out of this is a great way to further undermine trust.

In the future, here’s the dialogue that keeps you out of this mess: “Hey XYZ, congrats on the promotion! I know that when Oldboss was here, we agreed on this approach, but I wanted to run this by you for your perspective and to get your take on how this plan could make our team more successful. Do you have time to catch up later this week? I’m including the draft plan for your review before we speak.”

- Finally don’t trust your wife to write your response. She loves you and is partial to your side. Commiserate (or not, really) when she wants to listen but I promise she’s not better at understanding your situation and organizational dynamics than you are. Who’s your closest ally that still works at this place now that Oldboss is gone? Ideally it’s a peer in a different division. Run your plan by them.

Good luck. Do the opposite.
Excellent advice! Do these things!

I have empathy for your situation and recommend that you talk to a coach or trusted mentor to help you get control of your emotions. Taking a day off is not ideal as it shows lack of leadership, but may have been the right decision if you are too emotional/angry. Now you may have an understanding of why/how a claim was made regarding your ability to manage anger. The advice to ask to be assigned to another team is good advice.

It's frustrating for sure, but not unheard of for a new manager to want to bring in a new team. Unfortunately, you are the target of this approach, it seems.Take a deep breath and consider a cooperative rather than combative approach. The adage "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar" really is true. And remember that this situation may not be fair, but set any hopes of fairness aside. Trust me, I've fought the "it's not fair" battle at work and it gets you/me nowhere.

Best wishes.
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Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

I’m still weighing my approach. I had to call out the last 3 days. Couldn’t get sleep and have very high anxiety, had a Dr appt and now getting meds. I can’t focus either.

It’s tough, I’m talking to an attorney before I do anything on a course of action. I’m going to gather as much information as possible. At minimum I’m going to defend myself on all false accusations and statements, but will do so in a professional manner.

Admittedly i know this place is not long term so it might be best to negotiate a severance. It’s definitely a hit when someone’s character is challenged.
Topic Author
Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

And FYI. I can’t get the image that she wore the red jacket to the meeting for the power play and was forcibly pointing hitting the pen on the table or fingertips to make her point.

I felt like a child getting scolded.
Tool-Time
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Re: Career advice

Post by Tool-Time »

Sounds like your new manager may want to make the department more diverse. Seen it before.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Career advice

Post by Mudpuppy »

Supurdueper wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:47 am And FYI. I can’t get the image that she wore the red jacket to the meeting for the power play and was forcibly pointing hitting the pen on the table or fingertips to make her point.

I felt like a child getting scolded.
Or, alternatively, she really likes that jacket and has a nervous tick....

But please do discuss this reaction with your doctor, along with what you said in your previous post. Along with consulting an attorney, you may also want to consider a therapist and/or career coach about how to cope with and grow from this situation.
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NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: Career advice

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart »

Supurdueper wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:44 am I’m still weighing my approach. I had to call out the last 3 days. Couldn’t get sleep and have very high anxiety, had a Dr appt and now getting meds. I can’t focus either.

It’s tough, I’m talking to an attorney before I do anything on a course of action. I’m going to gather as much information as possible. At minimum I’m going to defend myself on all false accusations and statements, but will do so in a professional manner.

Admittedly i know this place is not long term so it might be best to negotiate a severance. It’s definitely a hit when someone’s character is challenged.
Hopefully you will learn from this. If this happened to me, at my next job I would learn to value the opinions and criticism of others, and show up with a calm confident face after difficult situations.
-- | Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts - Einstein
stimulacra
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Re: Career advice

Post by stimulacra »

Writing's on the wall, you're being put to pasture… IMHO.

If you're interested in how to become an advocate for systemic change… check out these two books:

“How to Be an Antiracist” Ibram X. Kendi
"White Fragility" Robin J. DiAngelo

I don't necessarily agree with everything being said but it gives me new insights into the current zeitgeist and organizational reckoning that's taking place in many places.

I think it's possible to both take the measures you are currently taking to secure your own self interest and to also take the opportunity to learn and grow as a manager of a team, a direct report to a new regime, and as a human being.

Be better today than you were yesterday :)
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Thrifty Femme
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Re: Career advice

Post by Thrifty Femme »

Tool-Time wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:56 am Sounds like your new manager may want to make the department more diverse. Seen it before.
Based on what evidence?
tnr
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Re: Career advice

Post by tnr »

Supurdueper wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:44 am I’m still weighing my approach. I had to call out the last 3 days. Couldn’t get sleep and have very high anxiety, had a Dr appt and now getting meds. I can’t focus either.

It’s tough, I’m talking to an attorney before I do anything on a course of action. I’m going to gather as much information as possible. At minimum I’m going to defend myself on all false accusations and statements, but will do so in a professional manner.

Admittedly i know this place is not long term so it might be best to negotiate a severance. It’s definitely a hit when someone’s character is challenged.

Your health is the most important thing. Everything else can wait. You are under a great deal of stress and it is always best to avoid making large decisions when under a large amount of stress. I have struggled with depression at times so I know. I wish you the best.
jmw
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Re: Career advice

Post by jmw »

Bringing in HR is a huge mistake. You want to help the employer load an extra bullet into the gun being pointed at you? Then go right ahead....
Afty
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Re: Career advice

Post by Afty »

I wasn't in that room, and I don't know any more than what you've posted here. I could be way off base. Take this for what it's worth.

I suggest you take some time to cool down before taking further action. I also encourage you to deeply consider this feedback from your employees. If 3 of your 13 employees have had a strong enough negative experience that they were willing to go on record about it, it seems to me there is probably something there that you could improve on. You mentioned that the 3 disgruntled employees brought up "anger issues." What do you think they meant by that? Be honest with yourself about how you behave toward your employees and how your behavior might affect them.

I would expect a manager to be able to gracefully take negative feedback. If not, how could you ever expect your employees to do it?
bayview
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Re: Career advice

Post by bayview »

Afty wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:16 pm I wasn't in that room, and I don't know any more than what you've posted here. I could be way off base. Take this for what it's worth.

I suggest you take some time to cool down before taking further action. I also encourage you to deeply consider this feedback from your employees. If 3 of your 13 employees have had a strong enough negative experience that they were willing to go on record about it, it seems to me there is probably something there that you could improve on. You mentioned that the 3 disgruntled employees brought up "anger issues." What do you think they meant by that? Be honest with yourself about how you behave toward your employees and how your behavior might affect them.

I would expect a manager to be able to gracefully take negative feedback. If not, how could you ever expect your employees to do it?
+1
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri
Topic Author
Supurdueper
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Re: Career advice

Post by Supurdueper »

Thanks all. I’m taking a few days to get my mind right. When it’s a character assassination it’s tough, i know the person i am and have always been and it’s not what got painted. Sometimes people clash for whatever reason, when one ignores a hello in the hall and when one never even attempts to understand your thought process behind a project it’s not going to matter. I wish I could give all the details but it’d be too much for this board.
olliema
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Re: Career advice

Post by olliema »

Listen and make it very clear to your manager that you are willing to change.
Do not make any excuses or explanations. Just listen and accept.

Next, ask your manager what exactly you need to do to get on the right track.
Put dates and timelines to those things with your manager.

Ask your manager that they will 100% support you, and ask them to be honest.
They will have to say yes. Then ask for a 2x a week check-in for the near term.

If you do all of this you will likely catch your manager off guard and get them to open up.

You have to get your manager to flip and become your advocate and once they are then they will stand behind you.

Also find someone your manager likes who is competent and get them to be your coach / mentor. It is a way to put an objective and neutral voice who can help you grow - and speak up for you to your manager.

Whomever it was that is complaining, just get them whatever they need and if you can't ask your manager for help.

Parallel to all of this get your resume going and get interviewing.
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