Decent Management

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about want correction made privately:

Management has told me previously that you would be told if you are making errors. If you are making errors, should they not have the decency to tell you before telling the rest of the team?

Signed, Want To Be Told First

Dear Want To Be Told First:

Yes, a superior should speak first to a subordinate about her/his errors, and hopefully that would be enough. Your managers were correct in promising to do that. Should they ever talk with your team members about your errors? Possibly they should, particularly if those errors affect how others do their jobs and/or are seen by others. Your team should be the first to tell you about your errors. Your team members should tell help you learn what is required and correct what is wrong. Now how will you handle this matter? If you think your boss has spoken first to your team members about the mistakes you made, ask if him/her if that was done rather than grumble about it to others. It is always wiser to have an eye-to-eye private meeting with your boss to express your anger or disappointment than to make an enemy by talking behind her/his back. That’s what you want.

So first learn if it is true and then firmly tell your boss to come to you should he/she see you are in error before going to others. Frequent boss/bossed communication about one’s assigned work is good for the customer, your team and you. Make this unhappiness you express as an opportunity to show your commitment to improving performance and more importantly to helping your workplace cut wasted supplies, wasted time, wasted energy and to find ways to continuously improve quality. Make this a time to talk about talk, not as gossip, but in team skull sessions in which it is expected that your team reviews what it has done well and discusses ways it might do better. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden