How Can I Get In The Communcation Loop?

Question:

I am always left out of the loop when it comes to memo’s, meetings, and you name it. I do not take it personally anymore. I will be retiring soon and my organization will not invest in me! I am worthy but not to them.

I also speak my mind, mindful of colleagues feelings, yet one cranky lady states I do not let people give their voice. I told my super and she alluded to staff jealousy of me — thats nuts.

Any advice?

Signed,

Out of the Loop


Answer:

DearĀ Out of the Loop:

It’s difficult to know what could be causing your supervisor and others to not send you memos, and to leave you out of meetings. But, there are some things you may want to consider, if you want to be in that loop.

I’ll pose those thoughts as questions for you to answer for yourself. Perhaps that will also help you begin developing a plan of action.

1. Were you once “in the loop?” Was there a time when you were fully engaged in the things that you are no longer told about? If so, when did it stop? Was there an event that caused it, or did your job change in some way, or was there a mangement change and it was decided you no longer needed to be part of a particular communication path? Maybe thinking about that will help you when you talk again to your supervisor.

If you can point out that there is a difference now, and you feel badly about it and would like to go back to the way it was, perhaps your supervisor will realize that it isn’t fair to exclude you, and that your contribution is needed.

2. Are the memos you aren’t getting, primarily about meetings you aren’t attending? Perhaps the meetings are the key. You mention that someone has said you don’t let others speak, and YOU say that you speak your mind. Could it be that your supervisor or co-workers feel that the meetings will run more smoothly without you there? That might be hurtful to consider, but would also give you a place to start, when you work to be part of the loop again.

3. Who is it that is responsible for sending you notices about the meetings? Whose memos aren’t getting to you? Is it everyone who is shutting you out, or just a few? Maybe the place to start is to talk to the person who puts out the information.

4. You say your supervisor thinks others might be jealous of you. I agree with you that it’s not likely that’s the case. But it sounds as though your supervisor doesn’t want to talk honestly about it! You will probably have to force the issue. 5. I think your next step, if you really want to be part of the workplace right up until you retire, is to let your supervisor know how you feel. Just say that until you’re out the door, you’re still in the office. Mention a particular meeting and say that you would have liked to participate but weren’t invited. Ask why not. Ask for brutal honesty, if you think that’s what is needed. Then, you may find it helpful to ask one simple question: “What will it take for me to be included in meetings, receive memos and be part of the other things here in the office again?”

That doesn’t imply that you have to do something, or that anyone else does. It’s an open question that might force your supervisor to tell you what the barrier is right now.

If that doesn’t seem to work, keep your ears open about meetings, and ask the boss if you can attend. That might get a more definite response.

If you get back in the loop again, appreciate it and let your boss know you appreciate it. And don’t think of the cranky woman as your enemy! View that she is likely saying what others have thought–and she, like you, speaks her mind!

That doesn’t make her correct in her assessment. But it does mean that at least one person has tossed out a hint. If you have friends there, ask them to let you know if you overstep, but also to let you know if you’ve handled things well. You are apparently a senior employee, so you have a lot to offer. But there’s more to being part of the office than attending meetings and getting memos. The other part is what Dr. Gorden refers to as WEGO–a mental attitude that says each of us must work to help all of us be more successful. Best wishes in your efforts! I’m sure you ARE worthy, and I hope they will allow you to show that. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.