I am a new manager and I've recently moved to a new seating location. There is another manager who gets loud and rude when he's frustrated. I was working late the other night and had to leave the office because I was distracted by his swearing, slamming things around, and berating one of his employees. We're all in open seating (table tops) so it's not like I can close my door.

Do I confront him? Talk to his director? Ask my director to talk to his director?


jbancroftconnors's picture

Ouch, that's not a fun place to be in. I'm a project manager so I have a lot of interaction with "peers" who have similar authority to me and are not in my org structure. Based on the things I've learned from MT as well as some great lessons from 7 Habits (The story on Perspective really helps), I'd say you absolutely don't want to go over his head on this. Doing so might work (a big might) but the chances for a back fire are much greater.

The MT Peer feedback model is probably what I would reach for on this. I wouldn't however use it until I'd had a chance to develop a relationship with manager.

The only other advice I can offer is to be the better example. If you remain calm, focused, professional and more then you'll be the living example of one of Mark's favorite quotes. (which I'm paraphrasing, I don't recall the exact words) "I want to manage the team next to yours. I will so out manage you." 

Joel Bancroft-Connors

jocadl's picture


my take would be that (1) tolerance is a virtue and among peers, a lot can and should be tolerated, but ultimately you have to be the judge of your own situation. And (2) if and when the red line is crossed and I feel I have to speak up, I'd always go direct. I don't see how doing through his director or my director would add any value, at least initially. I'd save that for the event that he disrespects me after my initial confrontation.

Hope this helps

DPWade's picture

Over the years of listening, re-listening, reading, considering, role-playing and attempting to Practice thing that has disappeared from my behavior is the act of confrontation.  Its not that its "bad", it is just not necessary with any peer, boss, client or relationship.  M-T practices have replaced what I used to do in these situations (that the OP is describing) with much easier, effective and less stressful communication methods.

From a purely selfish perspective, the emotional hangover that I retain from having a "confrontation" is eliminated.  Lack of that posture when giving "feedback" (as Mike says do it with a tinge of humor) puts the receiver in reception mode, not defense.

You can only control yourself as the other posts state.  My suggestion, Give the guy (peer) drive by feedback and maybe a wink at the end.  He'll hear that louder and longer than any forceful or confronting effort.  As well, you will have something to work with and no hangover.