This morning, I was told by my boss that the time spent on one-on-ones and coaching was not justified and that neither I nor he had the competency to be coaching. 

Briefly, I spend maximum one hour per week per person (2) on a one-on-one and a coaching of listening skills and micro-behaviors and communication.  I do not go into grave detail as I am not an expert but I back up my coaching with documentations from manager tools and other known sources.  I must add that I have seen an improvement in communication as well as in motivation of my directs as they interpret the time as ‘we’re important because someone is actually taking time with us’. 

This angered me on several levels, however two stand out.

One:  I believe that managers should motivate, coach, guide and give a sense of importance to their directs.  To know that MY boss does not value the same vision makes it difficult, as his employee, for me to accept.

Two:  It’s a respect and trust issue.  It feels as though there is no trust and respect on his behalf in my regard as he seems to believe that I would ‘waste’ time on a useless project.

I am a high D with I and normally do not hesitate to communicate my disapproval however with this issue simply gave the objective of the one-on-ones and the coaching but did not defend my point-of-view because he does not share the vision and I did not want to be in a position where my true and unfiltered opinion would fall out of my mouth before I could catch it… 

I am presently digesting this new information and assembling a new objective and action plan.  I thought some outside input could help.


rwwh's picture
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There has been a rather similar case of a boss disagreeing with O3s not too long ago on the forum. You may want to find that discussion and revisit its conclusions. I think the answer was: just call the meetings differently and continue doing them.

My own questions to you:

1. Are you meeting his goals? If yes, what is he complaining about?

2. Are you sure you are coaching? Your description sounds like you are training rather than coaching your directs. You may or may not be qualified for that, and it also costs you much more time.

Angie_D's picture

Thanks RWWH - I will look on the forum for the past post.

for # 1 - yes, he admitted that I am meeting and surpassing his goals... 

# 2 - That was a rather breif description...  I am encouraging them and giving them tools to recognise that there is a way to listen and to communicate (which was not happening and creating conflicts). 


ashdenver's picture

Are you concerned with how to proceed with your boss or how to proceed with your two DR's?  

If it's how to proceed with your boss, I'd follow the M&M advice on "boss updates" and continue essentially communicating with him on a regular basis. 

If it's how to proceed with your DR's, does he really have that much of an issue with how you manage relationships with your team that he has forbidden you to continue the O3s?  Cuz you could apply the above theory to your DR's and stop referring to one-on-ones with your team (to your boss) and make it less formal ... "when I was chatting with Steve earlier this week" or "when Bob brought me up to speed on how things were going for him" and that way (as far as the boss is concerned) it's less about coaching and motivating, less formal, more about the exchange of information. 

Wow, your boss is quite a gem, eh?!  His stance on this stuff is hideously archaic and completely clueless, in my opinion.  I empathize with your situation  - working for a bad boss really stinks. 

mikehansen's picture

If you boss gives you an explicit order not to do them, that is a bit more difficult.  However if it is just a statement that it is not time well spent, I would agree to disagree and continue on. 

I had a boss a few years ago who when first heard me describe O3s blurted out "what a complete waste of time!"  I continued with them and eventually my boss was at least neutral on the topic.

Hope that helps.  Good luck,


Angie_D's picture

Thanks Ashdenver and Mikehansen!

My question was how more to deal with my boss in regards to my DRs.  I wasn't forbidden to do O3s however he 'frowns' upon them.

hrjen's picture
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I'm not sure I understand your exact question, however in regards to  your statement of "how to deal with my boss in regards to my DRs", I wouldn't change anything. 

Your manager has at least had the good sense not to forbid anything and has said that your performance is good.  All your DRs need to know is that your team is meeting/surpassing goals and where you can keep stretching.  Not that I would ever want to hide anything per se, but if you and your manager have a disagreement on management styles there is no reason for your DRs to know that.

Turning the tables, with your manager just keep the communication lines open - not necessarily calling them One on Ones, but surely he expects you to stay connected to your team in some manner, so just focus on that. 

Hiding gold is rough.  When you find something great you want to tell people (especially people that should care deeply about what you found).  Unfortunately the goal here is effectiveness and it appears as though diclosure of all of the ins and outs of your One on Ones has ceased to be effective.

Best of luck!