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I'm hoping to get some good ideas from this amazing and inspiring community.

About a week ago I discovered in strict confidence via a close friend that my manager has been put into a performance review situation (basically the first step towards being fired in my organization). He has not mentioned this to my team, or to me personally in our most recent one on one.

Our team has been in something of a crisis for a while - we've lost just over half our headcount in the last two and a half years.

It feels like my boss is taking more than his fair share of the blame for a string of unpopular, over-running and costly projects, and a perception (I don't think it's completely true) that the team has been under-delivering - even though we have delivered what was asked of us (although we did miss some deadlines).

I'm one of the two "senior specialists" left on the team - other senior members have moved on to other opportunities. For months now, the other senior member and I have been working extra hard to pick up the work left from the colleagues who have moved on, as well as trying to improve the profile of our team, and make my manager look good.

The team is struggling in large part because of poor collaboration with other, more successful teams around us. I see myself as partly to blame for this because of my introverted and stubborn nature. I'm technically well equipped and see myself as competent for doing my job, but I do struggle to forge and maintain working relationships with folks who are more extroverted or socially inclined than I am. I'm a "D" on the disc profile - it might be hard for you to imagine an introverted "D", but here I am! This makes me quite a "no-nonsense" person who is seen to be a workaholic or "takes things too seriously".

In addition, the priorities of the business have been focussed elsewhere for quite some time, although I'm slowly starting to see a renewed interest building towards our area from senior management which bodes well for the future.

I don't feel like I'm equipped to mentor or coach my manager - but he is really struggling to make headway in a department where our team is becoming more and more unpopular by the day, and where a complex hierarchy of long-established collaborative hurdles seems to keep preventing us from making meaningful progress.

In addition, the other senior team member and I are getting really tired from pushing ourselves hard - we're becoming more and more irritable and resentful towards the remaining team-mates, towards our manager and even with each other!

Should I tell my manager I've found out about the performance review process that is underway?
Any ideas how I can help him?
How does one go about cutting through perceptions in a department, and break through collaborative barriers?
Any career advice for an introverted "D" who still dreams of taking over the world (or at least a small team) someday?

Thank you for any thoughts!

PS: I'm posting here anonymously as I'm afraid this post might be recognised by one of my colleagues.

Gk26's picture

 I would not mention the performance plan.

Can you introduce him to the podcasts somehow?  Maybe locate some of the podcasts on collaboration and send to the team?

 

Gk26's picture

 I would not mention the performance plan.

Can you introduce him to the podcasts somehow?  Maybe locate some of the podcasts on collaboration and send to the team?

 

Gk26's picture

 I would not mention the performance plan.

Can you introduce him to the podcasts somehow?  Maybe locate some of the podcasts on collaboration and send to the team?

 

lar12's picture

In umpire's vernacular, you have what is affectionately known as a knotty problem...

1) Don't even think about sharing anything you know or might know about the performance plan

2) See #1 above

3) Build relationships: internal & external. Get with the other "senior specialist" and lay it out along the lines of "this work load is killing us. what can we do to get better, more efficient, etc".  Next go to the other teams and start working with them.

As a high D that is also an introvert, I feel your pain. However, you can learn to step out and the satisfaction that you will get is HUGE! Good luck and go get it done!

------

lar12

DISC: 7-1-2-4

 

 

Every definition of a successful life includes service to others - President George H.W. Bush

 

 

AnyNonmouse's picture

Appreciate the words of advice!

An update: there is an (external) management consultant with our department that I trust. I decided today to speak with them and share some of what's been happening. I haven't broached the subject of the situation with my manager, but it was a step in the direction of building a relationship outside the team.

I had my next one on one with my manager today and took your advice. I asked him if we could start having our one on ones weekly (previously it was fortnightly) - I decided we need to increase our level of communication.

Thanks for the introverted "D" encouragement Lar12.

AnyNonmouse's picture

Hey GK26 - great idea. I'm worried about coming across as trying to coach my manager, but if I sent a cast out to the whole team, it might not be seen that way. Appreciate the idea!