Sometimes we hire or inherit someone that has the right skills but you just don’t click. Often they are doing the job, the work is ok, but they aren’t connecting with you, as their manager.
The good news is this doesn’t happen very often. The majority of people who report into you will build rapport with you, learn to work in a collaborative way and trust will be built.
But sometimes that doesn’t occur, you may have someone that just isn’t responding to your usual approach.
You’ll sense it in their resistance, maybe they say things are ok to your face, but then confide their misery to someone else on your team.
So what do you do? How do you shift gears and reset the relationship?
Management issues can be caused by a lot of things so I won’t pretend this post is the solution for everyone. What it will give you is a couple of tools to think about.
It takes both of you
First, take a step back and look at it less personally. It takes two people to build a relationship and your staff person needs to meet you part of the way.
If they have cast you as the sole and complete reason they aren’t happy, then they are probably building their own defence mechanism. They’ll use this to justify why they quit that great job they were so excited about and blame it on “the boss.”
You can help reel them back but they have to be willing.
Break it down
Take a moment to figure out their preferences, this can help you manage them differently. I like using Myers Briggs preferences, as a concept, because it gives us some place to start. Continue reading