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Three month ago I got hired and started to work for a small, newly formed team treating children with different psychological disorders. In this kind of work it seems vital to me to have strong relations to my coworkers to cope with the inherent emotional stress. Due to working in shifts the time to communicate face-to-face is limited. What makes relationbuilding even more difficult for me is the behavior of our teamleader. She repeatedly shares her anger about teammembers with me. Apart from criticising their behavior she also discloses personal background information about them to underline her negative judgements (e.g. "he did drugs"). I think this creates a lot of mistrust in our team. I told her repeatedly that it is difficult for me to listen to those talks but she continues saying it is valuable information for my work. Some of my colleagues told me she did the same with them. I also checked some of her statements with the persons inclined and they often denied having done xyz or where shocked by the misperception. 

I would be happy to receive ideas on how to address these difficulties with her or how to cope better. Another question for me is when it is time to skip level and how to address my bosses boss about these issues. 

Thanks in advance

mmann's picture

You can't skip-level your boss.  She can have an impact on your addiction to food, clothing, and shelter.

Get the image of this behavior creating "mistrust" out of your head.  It's probably true, and not helpful.  It's a characterization.

Try nodding, and saying uh-huh while she's talking about these things.  Use no facial expressions.  Don't give any indication that what she's saying has any interest to you.  When she finishes say, "Thanks for sharing" and go back to work.

This is a trick learned raising children.  If you don't provide a reaction the stimulus tends to disappear.

  Good luck,
--Michael