OK, so I've been doing 1:1's with my directs (5 total) for about 2 months now, once a week. One of the directs didn't like the idea to begin with, and actually has had issues with things I've asked her to do from the outset. Consequently, she went above my head and complained to my boss about several things-- one being the weekly 1:1's.

My boss suggested to me that perhaps I not have them as often with this employee since they didn't like them. Maybe once a month or bi-weekly would be sufficient. My concern is two-fold...

1. I feel the 1:1's are important for all the reasons described in the podcast-- in this case (we are commissioned sales) I feel we lose a lot of the value by having the meetings less frequently. I do not agree with this.

2. More importantly, I feel that the direct is learning that if they do not like something I'm trying to implement, they simply need to complain and it will be changed. BIG problem with this from where I stand.

Am I thinking about this wrong? I welcome your thoughts. :!:

Mark's picture

You're right. Your boss is wrong. Stand your ground.


Nigel's picture

I can relate. When my boss caught wind of my 1:1 activity his facial expression gave away his thoughts: there he goes again with another crazy idea.

The big upside potential of 1:1s is as yet a foreign concept to your boss. But your boss isn't a bad person. Just naive. Invest the time to explain your rationale. Tell her to grant you the latitude to keep up the weekly frequency. Assess the impact together at the end of the quarter. The results will be there, guaranteed.

tokyotony's picture

A couple of thoughts about these boss issues:

1) From my perspective, I think I would at least let my boss know if I am going to implement anything significantly new before starting, especially if the boss is a micro-manager...not necessarily to get his approval, but to ensure that he is informed and understands from your point of view why these are important,.

2) This could be a whole new post but....what organization supports a subordinate going to a boss's boss if they don't like someone's management style?! Unless it is something very serious (e.g. sexual harassment, violence, etc.), I would think that the subordinate would discuss the issues with his/her boss first and try to some kind of understanding. If they still don't agree, the subordinate and the boss could go to the boss's boss together. A boss condoning jumping up the "food chain" simply creates a distrustful situation. I have had staff come to me to complain about their boss (who I was in charge of) and I have asked them to talk it out with their boss directly first. Anything else says that I don't trust my own subordinate to work things out.


AManagerTool's picture

Sounds like your subordinate needs some feedback.

Mark's picture


Interestingly enough, our casts on "Open Door Policy" are coming out shortly.



tokyotony's picture


Terrific. I belonged to an organization that was global but just starting up in Japan several years ago. When we took over a team of about 20 staff from a client (i.e. outsourcing), they somehow thought it was okay to talk to my boss about me anytime they wished and my boss would listen and then correct me. Moverover, the company allowed staff from one site to go to other managers at other sites and complain about their own managers!

While it was my first time managing such a large group and I admit that I made mistakes along the way, it really ruined my trust with my boss and the company in general (not to mention that it also ruined me to be effective with my staff). In the end, I felt it was every person for him/herself.

That was a good learning for me, though. Again, as stated before, whenever someone came to me to complain about a Supervisor I was in charge of, I would tell them to talk to the Supervisor first. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?), many never did.