I took a new job ten months ago with a team that I had worked with previously, and knew the expectations of the role quite well. Since joining, I've been given several commendations for my work performance. One of the few downsides is that I'm on my fourth manager in ten months, but performance-wise, it's been going great!
There's really only one aspect of my new role that hasn't been going so well: My 'team lead' has been absolutely atrocious when it comes to being inclusive. When I was brought on board, I was introduced as 'new girl' to several important stakeholders rather than by my name and role (I'm a professional, and haven't been referred to as 'girl' in several years in a formal setting). While trying to learn the latest processes and procedures, it was incredibly difficult to get the team lead to tell me anything about the processes and systems used. Around the 6-month mark I found myself being on a call where a someone in the C-suite was thanking our team for recently completing a project - that was the first time I learned about our 'team project'.
I tried several methods to solve the issues I was facing on my own, especially since we had changed managers three times over 8 months. My previous attempts to reconcile the situation included informal chats, team conversations, and direct confrontation about the communication issues we had been having . . . Unfortunately, I exhausted all the tools in my book with no resolution. Ten months in, after finding myself in several similar situations and constantly being talked over, interrupted, or flat-out ignored, I decided to take action. I finally realized I needed extra help from my (very new) manager and reached out to them. . . and I'm so glad I did!
While meeting with my new manager, I tried to phrase the situation as professionally as possible (even though I'm completely fed up with my team lead at this point) and focused on the fact that my team lead was not being inclusive, and that we were not performing at our best because of the situation. I gave several examples of situations that had occurred along with approximate dates. Luckily, my new manager has observed some of the same problem behaviors and agreed that it's time to step in based on the fact that I've tried problem-solving on my own several times and am still not being included.
While we are still in the beginning of implementing a new inclusion strategy for my team, I'm positive that things will only get better from here. I sincerely hope that anyone else out there who is struggling to be included can read my story find some helpful hints of how to deal with a similar situation. If you're facing an inclusion problem and need help, keep records and try to problem-solve, but most importantly - speak up! There are wonderful people out there who can help ensure you are given a seat at the table where you belong.
Has anyone else successfully (or unsuccessfully) navigated through a similar situation? I would love to hear more tools and techniques I can potentially use while I work to develop a relationship with my new manager and work through issues with my team lead.
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Struggling with new team member not being the right fit and having a bad attitude towards feedback
My team needed additional support in the form of an assistant to help with administrative tasks that were overflowing on our plates. Some of these tasks include submitting expense reports for the team, onboarding our independent contractors, editing presentations, and other ad hoc administrative tasks. Pretty standard executive/administrative assistant tasks. We were clear about this in the JD.
I didn’t hire her personally but our shared manager did. It’s been a few months since she’s started and it’s not going well. Our team gets along very well and when we’re on our calls, she’s always just staring at us with a stone cold face not saying a word. We make an effort to include her and she just stares at us. She’s made a lot of mistakes and continuously forgets the same tasks over and over again despite having a manual of those tasks to reference for all the steps involved. She lies to cover up making those mistakes pretty often and it’s obvious because the story will change frequently. She also has a very negative reaction to even the most minor feedback. I suggested realigning a bullet point on a presentation so it better fit alongside the image and she wrote me a paragraph about her work clearly not being up to my standards and that my suggestion completely disregards all of the hard work on the presentation. It was one suggested edit on one slide out of 20 slides. She does this a lot to me and my team members where if we ask her to correct something or provide constructive feedback in conjunction with positive feedback, she lashes out and only hears the one piece of feedback over all the positive things. She’s made it pretty clear she has no interest in feedback on improvement and just wants only praise all the time. I have a very collaborative team that fosters professional growth. I’m constantly looking for areas of improvement for myself and demonstrate that in front of her by taking accountability for my own mistakes and areas of opportunity I have for growth. Her negativity is really bringing down the team and she’s unpleasant to work with on top of not meeting expectations.
Our company makes it difficult to terminate team members unless they do something severe like violate confidentiality rules in the handbook. I have had several conversations with my manager about these issues and he has agreed with me and we’re all kind of at a loss on how to manage her.
Does anyone have advice on how to manage someone who reacts very strongly and negatively to any kind of necessary feedback and learned any techniques that seemed to work?