Fellow MT Fans,
I have an interesting one for you and would like some insight if you can spare a few minutes--
I am a manager in Engineering for a wireless company, working in a remote market. One of the biggest challenges I have faced is that, while there are 8 FTEs and 1 contractor in the market, I am only managing 6 of the 8 people. Two of the employees here report to a manager in another market.
My challenge- the manager in another market doesn't really value coaching or feedback and doesn't give any unless it is a "warning shot." The two employees have been fighting some personality conflicts which have started to impact the larger team, but the manager still refuses to get involved. Both of these employees have been asking (almost begging) for feedback and still get nothing. Recently they got into an argument in the office and voices got raised to the point that people came to me to get involved, which I did. I decided that, despite being told not to manage the two individuals, I had to step in. I pulled the individuals aside, talked with them about what happened, and gave them some feedback. This went very well because I have a good relationship with both of them and they are very open to my advice. I then informed my manager of my involvement, which he supported, and he in turn spoke with the General Manager (also the low-participation manager's boss).
My questions are:
1) Do you agree that my intervention was better than the alternative of letting the team suffer, even if it could have resulted in changes to the reporting structure, or should I have respected the decision made for me to not manage the two individuals?
2) What advice do any of you have for coaching someone who is not a direct report?
3) Is my coaching going to help if I can't back any of it up with goal planning, reviews, etc?
I believe my intervention was necessary, as this was impacting my team, as well as other departments. In addition, I have a very hard time watching something fail because of a lack of involvement. Both of these individuals WANT coaching and feedback and have bluntly told me (and their manager) so.
I plan on continuing to coach them, give them feedback on their behaviors, and structure the work environment to push the team to do better. Thanks in advance for any advice you have!