My manager goes directly to my subordinate and tells him to do something that may be contrary to what I want; the person I manage wants to move ahead quickly. When I try to address this issue by trying to be assertive I am coming across very aggressive and defensive of my position. the Person I manage likes to be liked and this does get noticed and my one of ones are acting against me as when I feed back and communicate what needs to accomplished, he communicates the idea as his own in front of team and especially when management are about.

I admit I do not have a gift of the gab and tend to loose out.

Any suggestions






mmann's picture
Licensee Badge

The My Boss Skips Me cast should help you understand how to change your behavior to manage within the situation you describe.



naraa's picture
Training Badge

 The podcast my boss skips me will definetely help out.  Perhaps another advice is for you to observe more an perhaps say less.   Your one-on-ones cannot act against you.  You can decide what you say and what you do not say on your one on ones.  Try preparing a bit more for the meeting and perhaps try making your direct a bit more accountable.

Are you also doing weekly group meetings? Perhaps some of the things you are communicating in the one-on-ones you should comunicate in the weekly team meetings (or with your boss first) and then work them in more detail with each individual person responsible for a task in the one-on-one.

The whole idea about being a manager is that the performance of your team is more important than your own performance.  You perform as a manager through the performance of your directs.  So if a direct comes up with an idea that is in fact yours, it shouldn´t really matter because it is still your team, it is still your idea.  Also, an idea is not really much until it is implemented.  So there is still a big jump from an idea to results.

It seems like trust is missing in the equation here, between you and your direct and between you and your boss.  See how you can built that up (the book Speed of Trust, by Stephen M. R. Covey might help, trust is character and competence - delivering) and also improve communication with your boss.  And above all you should not let your direct´s behaviour affect you and make you loose out.  Your direct is sensing he/she has power over you and is using it.  She/he reports to you for a reason, be confident.  Marketing oneself is important, but it cannot be more important than accomplishing the work.  Shift perhaps the focus a bit from the impressions left within the management to the actual work done.  Report the work done to the management  and you should be fine.  And do not compete neither with your direct neither with your boss.

jhack's picture

Yes, taking someone else's idea as one's own isn't appropriate, yet these things are rarely as simple as they seem.  You "gave" him the idea and asked him to run with it.  In my experience, if you ask everyone on a project what their contribution was, you add up to about 1200 percent.  Everyone overestimates their own contribution. 

Second, if your manager is asking for something to be done, why would you say that it is "contrary to what I want"?  Professional subordination means what you want shouldn't be your motivation. ... Maybe your boss is turning to your direct because you won't do what your boss wants?  

Here's the not-so-crazy idea:

Is your direct a top performer?  Does he get done what your boss wants done?  Could he be groomed for promotion?  

If so, start having the discussions with your boss first, then with your direct in your one-on-ones.  Make this person an ally, outside of your group.  If you help him get promoted (remember, this is assuming the person is deserving), you will have an ally in another part of the organization, and your problem will go away. 

John Hack