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Submitted by Dani Martin on

Forums first post of a question...

Any advice/suggestions for sharing feedback with a colleague that their DR's have shared with you? I've had several of a colleague's DR's share thoughts/frustration with me about how they are being managed (or not). I encourage them to share it with their boss themselves -- give them some advice on how they could effectively position it and have recommended the MT website in general and the podcast on Managing Your Boss specifically. Thoughts?

As an aside, these "venting" sessions are usually followed by a statement like "I wish you were my manager. Your staff love working for you!" Much credit goes to what I've learned from MT and my long friendship with Mark!!

ctomasi's picture

This is a delicate situation. You don't want it to come off like you are telling your colleague how to do their job, but rather that her staff is asking for some of the things they have seen elsewhere in the company. You can offer to help (aka suggest a heavy dose of MT and share thoughts on recent shows.)

Note: I do this whenever I see a promotion announcement regrading a manager. I send the new manager/director/etc. a link and tell them how much I have gained from it.

Situational dependent, but I would do it in a professional, direct, but concerned manner.

I wouldn't mention any names either. If they only have a handful of direct reports and one is a chronic complainer they may be able to figure it out also. :-)

PierG's picture

Great topic: if this is your first post I'm looking for the next one :)
My two euro-cents: I agree with Chuck.
And, if I feel it's a real problem, I'd talk with this other manager saying how he is good at doing what he does and how good could he be in considering some other aspects.
I wouldn't say that someone has told me bla bla ... and I'd probably say that I had a great benefit in doing such and such.
Of course it's another story if the problem is REALLY having a HUGE impact on the company ...

regas14's picture
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The first thing that came to my mind was that you should not entertain these conversations with people who report to someone else. But then I wondered is this just good internal networking? Is it being done out of concern for the organization and individuals involved?

I could see this going very, very badly but am interested in the opinions of other people.

BradK's picture

I have been in this situation and in my case, I chose to empathize with the employees but I never repeat what they say to anyone else unless it was to an upper level manager who could discreetly handle the information for the good of the other manager. It's usually not so much that they [i]want[/i] me to relay their messages as it was that they just wanted someone that would listen with respect. I never close my door or my ear to anyone in any department but I also have no desire to alienate a peer through unsubstantiated remarks.

Dani Martin's picture
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Thanks everyone for your responses! I haven't decided what I'm going to do. I have a very good/friendly relationship with my peer and I really care about her as a colleague and a friend. So part of me thinks the caring thing to do would be to tell her. But part of me also thinks it may not be appropriate since, as Brad says, it's unsubstantiated. But that may be the scaredy-cat inside of me!

danstratton's picture

I have, on a couple occasions, pointed peer managers to Manager Tools. To date, I don't think anyone has taken me up on it. One, however, recently saw something I was doing and said, "I bet that is one of those manager podcast thingies you keep telling us about, isn't it?" It may take time, but leading by example beats talking anyday for actually getting results. Don't react like something has to be done now. I find it useful to become friends with the manager in question and let them ask me about problems they are having once the relationships are built. Once they ask, I am free to share ideas with them that will more likely be followed.