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Submitted by Consultant2001 on


Hey all, I apologize in advance if this has been asked previously, I searched and could not find anything. Let me preface with the situation I am currently in. I am not a manager, but have been trying to work towards it for the past year. As part of my process, I was asked to go to Manila to head a Lean management effort for an unprecedented amount of employees for my company. (over 300)- usually we do this type of project for about 150 employees with a team of 5-6 full time individual contributors. I have been doing this effort solo (and successfully I might add)- until recently, they sent a colleague to help me out. we do feedback and coching here- I am more senior in the role (although he is a higher paygrade than I)

Here is the rub, anytime I ask him to do anything, he gives me pushback and tells me why he can't or shouldn't have to do it. Everything is an argument with him. I have mentioned this to my boss, but she is just like: handle it. I'm not sure how to proceed, every time I try to give him feedback he defends himself on "why he did it" or some excuse- he roles in 30-40 minutes late - every time (whether he has a meeting or not). I know I don't have role power with him, i have been trying to leverage my influence power, but that does not seem to help. I am at my wits end with him, and trying not to let it show. (since I have been given feedback that I'm to "Passionate". - But sometimes I swear he is pushing me to get a rise out of me.) He is a higher pay grade than I so - that might have something to do with it.  I have just been given another assignment to begin work with (doubled workload) and was told by my manager to make sure he steps it up a bit (to fill in the gaps) . I cant help feeling like this is a test of my delegation skills or something. 

I have been working really hard at 150% to get the promotion, but when he half hearted things and I find out things arent done according to standard, it makes me look really bad. How do I get this guy to do his job? without arguing?

Any insight is most appreciated.

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
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Have you tried peer feedback and listened to those podcasts.  This model allows you to explain issue and the negative outcome without the role power that traditional feedback requires.

I think you also need to look at your own behaviours and mindset.  If you are going into this negatively then failure is in your future.  Everyone has positives so focus on what that individual does well and leverage those skills. 

Contnue to always act professionally and this means no rising when baited.  Slow down and listen to what is being said and often we ignore valid comments from those we struggle to work with.

If this is a project, do you have a project plan with tasks that can be tracked and shown where there are gaps so you can focus on the tasks at hand.  When there are reasons given to why something cannot be done, you need to calmly explain it needs to be done so brainstorming or creative ideas need to be brought forward.  Nothing is impossible or if it is it needs to be brought your manager's attention but I doubt that's necessary.  Work together to find solutions and empower them to find solutions with your support.

Hope this helps a little.


pucciot's picture
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Hi, I've been considering your post for a few days now.

Because you are not this person's manager you don't have Role Power.

You said that you have tried to use Influence power. How much do you have of that ?

Have you been able to build that relationship ? What his wife and kid's names ?

Have you done him any favors ? Bought him a coffee ? Does he like coffee or tea ?

If you believe in prayer, have you been praying for him and his needs everyday ?

What I am suggesting that Relationship Power (Influence) comes from a good relationship.

Work on that and he may start coming around.

- And even if he does not come around to help you more, he will not have anything negative to say about you. Only that you were a good guy to work with.

Good Luck.


Consultant2001's picture
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I appreciate the advice. I'm really new to management in a corporate environment. I have never come across this level of push back/whineyness from someone... it honestly kind of baffles me.

The good news: He no longer gives me push back.

The bad news: Now he just flat out doesn't do the work when he says he will. I asked him to get me a presentation Friday.

I emailed him the directive, and I am still waiting for it. I have to deliver the presentation to the client tomorrow- and my manager asked for it about an hour ago- she knows the situation and just says wait for it. Every ounce of my being says just get it done (it would take me two hours to do the whole thing- he has 6 slides). but my manager said (In none MT terminology) this is his "Big Ball." and let him do it- I just find that I'm sitting on my hands waiting for it.

Sadly he has a track record of procrastinating until I give in and just do it, or just doesn't show up and I have to do it anyway- so the trust isn't there.

I can only do what I can - I only have to work with him for two more days- then he is on a new project. But I'm taking your advice and singing his praises when I can. While trying hard not to feel taking advantage of.

Thanks for the advice! I love MT!