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Submitted by BoneWSO on


As background, I have been doing one-on-one's for 7 weeks and just started feedback this week.  

I have a direct that has come to me with a request to travel to Europe for a project they are supporting.  The travel request is coming after the budget has been established and the project is not a big ball for the team's annual objectives.  There is a chance I could support the travel if I de-prioritize some other travel already planned in the budget.  I discussed with them my thoughts regarding the prioritization of the travel and that it may not happen due to other priorities.  

They came back to me the next day and said how much work they are doing for me and how they have gone above and beyond with their workload.  They described prior attempts to travel with their projects that were declined under a different manager.  They said that if they are not able to go to Europe this would be viewed as a punishment.  They then got up to leave and asked my thoughts.  My response was, "Performance is not part of the decision regarding the travel.  For me to consider performance, I am not sure how this would be ethical."  They said, "That is a decision you need to make,"  and walked out of my office.  

This is a new one for me.  They were not attacking me during the meeting and they smiled several times.  At one point they were shaking during delivery of a point.  This is a good person and they do great work for the team.  I still need to decide if the travel will happen or not and now I feel like I am being blackmailed by this person.   I still plan to make the decision independent of their presented argument.  Part of me says to let this go but another part of me thinks I need to do something about this behavior.

Thoughts on next steps?

Thank you, Ed 

TomW's picture
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It sounds like this person wants to go to Europe and have the company pay for it and is trying to manipulate you into feeling badly for not going along with their desires.

robin_s's picture
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The fact that this individual even brought up how much work he was doing and the fact that he had gone "above and beyond" says to me that he sees this travel as an earned reward rather than a necessary business trip.  You might even use his statement to that effect in feedback, if you decide to address the behavior (which I would if I were you).  Something along the lines of "when you bring up your performance when requesting this travel, here's what happen:  I think you're looking at the travel as a reward rather than a necessary trip"  

If you determine that the travel is in the company's best interest, make sure that the employee understands that was the basis for your decision.  Good luck!

fredique's picture

Your main duty is to serve your organisation.
If the trip is not crucial, then it is enough reason not to initiate any costly travels. As you said, your company is cutting down costs.

If the person persists in trying to convince you, accept their point of view and politely decline. Immediately afterwards give him/her feedback (just as Robin suggested).

Overall, I think you're correct in your actions, just keep up what you are doing.