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The Conflict Coach
October 14, 2012
CALGARY, AB, Oct. 14, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Editor’s Note: Are you being bullied at home, work or school? Send your emails to Anne McTavish, Troy Media’s Conflict Coach, for advice on handling the situation.
DEAR ANNE: I’ve just about had it with my supervisor. She wants to know every little thing that I do. She makes me write out detailed time sheets showing exactly what I do, minute by minute. I spend more time filling out her time sheets than actually doing the work. She’s driving me crazy with all her demands. I love my job, but all this micromanaging is driving me away. Is there a way to deal with my supervisor so that I can stay in my job?
A: Time sheets provide a lot of useful information. Businesses often track the costs of each project – including all the time their staff work on each project – so that they can find out which projects are profitable and which aren’t.
Detailed time sheets can also be used to find out how staff is being utilized. This information can be used to highlight the need for additional equipment, software or staff.
In your time sheets, show the time you spend filling out the time sheets. A minute here and a minute there can add up in a day. Then meet with your supervisor. First, find out why detailed time sheets are being used. Then, show her how much time you spend filling out the time sheets. And finally, ask if the two of you can redesign the time sheets to better show time spent on each project and to be easier for you to keep.
If your supervisor is reluctant to listen to you or to change the format, she may be someone who needs to know every little detail of what’s going on. If she’s not willing to change, you can’t change her. Is the job worth the stress and worry of being micromanaged? You might want to consider transferring to another department where you can do the same or a similar job.
DEAR ANNE: I was the top student in my MBA class and graduated summa cum laude. The company I work for sought me out and hired me before I graduated. In the six months I’ve been here, my supervisor hasn’t given me a project worthy of my education. How can I convince the old codger to give me more meaningful work?
A. Congratulations on your MBA. You’ve learned that learning never stops, and that learning comes from experience. What experience does your supervisor wants you to have? Analyze the tasks he’s assigned to you to see if you can find a pattern. Meet with him to find out what it is that he wants you to know before taking on bigger tasks.
Before you can negotiate more meaningful work, you need to know what the company needs and what your supervisor wants you to have under your belt. Only then can you negotiate work assignments that meet both your needs and the company’s needs.
In any conflict, you need to understand where both sides are coming from. Why are they doing what they’re doing? You already know where you’re coming from. But before you can start working on solutions, you need to find out the other side’s position.
Anne McTavish is a conflict coach and lawyer, and her website is www.FistFreeLanguage.com.