Does anyone here work on a team with dual reporting lines?
I am a front-line supervisor on a small team. I work with a co-manager (same title and duties, different areas of focus). Each of us have one direct report. We report to a mid-level manager, who in turn reports to the head of our department.
The co-manager and I are responsible for both employees, even though we have only one direct report on paper. We pair up on projects with both of them. The employees have been in their roles for some time, the manager and I are new hires who were brought in around the same time.
My question for this group is around establishing a good working relationship with the co-manager. Seeing this person in action has made me realize a few things.
1) I take giving and taking credit seriously. In meetings, he will start off by saying "Amy (me) and I were talking about blablabla topic, but he quickly shifts to freely and repeatedly using "I" to relay both his and my ideas to the group. Some of it could be unintentional, it happens A LOT. He is a good speaker but I fumble when he does this type of thing and it affects the quality of my communication.
2) I take teamwork quite literally. If there's something we need to figure out together for our employees, I will try to schedule time with him, not make decisions without him, give him the chance to weigh in on emails, etc. His approach is different. He will either come up with how he wants to handle something, or if I reach out first, he develops the solution using my ideas (without meeting me), then crafts the communication (in my absence), runs a quick "got anything to add" type of check with me and then take the reins by either sending out the e-mail, or taking charge during the follow up meeting. I will edit, or suggest changes but I have not expressed my frustration about he has handled things.
3) I don't market myself well. I work hard, give my team kudos and have the attitude that as my expertise in this role grows, my internal and external team's reliability in me will grow as well. He is a good communicator and competitive, and has a pretty slick way of showcasing himself, embellishing upon his work, and positioning himself as the go-to person even if he would have to come to me or one of the employees to get his answers.
4) I need to work on my emotional IQ.
I have developed a good bit of insecurity around these concerns. Some examples below:
1) He's going to become the face of the team to other departments.
2) The employees will start treating him as the "lead" manager, e.g. when we have to prioritize projects for our respective focus areas with the employees
2) The employees are going to get frustrated dealing with two very different managers
3) My manager is going to conclude that only one front-line supervisor is needed (I know that's a dramatic thing to say, but there's some history on this in my group although it happened years before I joined)
I have tried to set up weekly 1:1s with the co-manager; he often reschedules, shows up late or cancels with some or another excuse. I can see that he's competitive, but I'm starting to feel like he's figured out that I hang back out of respect for his position, and he's using it to hold me back and position himself favorably with my team, our manager and the other groups we work with. He is NOT a straight shooter. He says he values openness and transparency, but it feels one-sided. My point is that I'm not sure being straightforward with him will be helpful.
I really like the role I'm in, and recognize that professional growth comes with dealing with office politics and different personalities. I think I may be too conscientious for my own good, and don't know how to play the game.
How do I hold my own against this person and succeed in my role?