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Passive aggressive - I know what this means now!

(10 Posts)
soitis Wed 06-Apr-16 09:11:33

I have a new Head of Service and I am sure he should be in the dictionary under passive aggressive! I didn't really understand what this meant until I experienced this man - now it is painfully clear.

So does anyone have any advise on how to deal with a passive aggressive manager? I was awake most of last night thinking of a particularly awful meeting with him and I have come to the conclusion I need to manage the situation better!!

EdmundSlackbladder Wed 06-Apr-16 09:27:33

Can you give an example of how he's passive aggressive? Might help with responses.
IME the best way to deal with someone like this is to not be afraid of a difficult conversation. Ask them to explain themselves. 'I'm sorry are you making a point?' 'Can you explain what you mean by that?'
Passive aggressives are generally uncomfortable with open honest confrontation so being assertive in calling them out on their remarks or actions can really unsettle them-- and hopefully teach them to grow the hell up.--

MattDillonsPants Wed 06-Apr-16 09:49:50

I him out on his PA behaviour but always with impeccable manners.

soitis Wed 06-Apr-16 09:58:22

Thanks Edmund

An example would be a meeting; him, me, our director (his line manager) and another colleague (male) - the meeting was about a project I am leading on that my male colleague use to manage before I started. My manager directed every question he had directly and only to my colleague who hasn't worked on this project at all over a year now - and even before that he managed a member of staff who did all the work.

each time, my colleague would say - well 'soitis' could answer that - and then I would answer. It was just the oddest situation. The director jumped in a few times to try and keep things moving but it was so uncomfortable.

towards the end he said something - again that I would be required to answer but directed at my colleague - I put my head down as I was so uncomfortable - then he turned to be a barked my name - as I hadn't responded.

This is one example of a number of things - referring to me as a 'nice girl' - as in - after completely refusing to agree a way forward which would mean me leading on a project with 'I am sure you are a nice girl' - wtf!!

Doesn't answer emails, wont sign off things until repeated, repeated, repeated requests. Then when something lands with him because it hasn't been completed - sending snippy emails asking why it hasn't been down.

Sorry for the rant!!

FishWithABicycle Wed 06-Apr-16 10:03:37

That sounds more like sexist twunt rather than PA to me. My example of a PA colleague would be doing things like A copying in B's line-manager on an email saying "I just did [task X which is B's responsibility not A's] because it looked like it wasn't going to get done" in order to make B look bad.

soitis Wed 06-Apr-16 10:30:37

I think it is difficult because he is my manager - I have had difficult colleagues before but can handle that - but I am at a loss with how to deal with a manager. he is know for being a bit sexist as well so you have a point Fish.

I am considering going above his head to the director but am a bit nervous of the outcome.

Another worry is there is promotion coming up which I should be going for but as I know he will be my manager (the post is vacant at the minute) - I am really considering giving it a miss. I am annoyed with myself that this is a good opportunity in my career development - and I am letting this man dictate what I do about it - but I am so worried about getting this job and this man destroying my confidence.

MattDillonsPants Wed 06-Apr-16 11:07:03

He's sexist I agree. Don't give the opportunity a miss! Go for it...if this tit keeps undermining you, you must put in a complaint.

HungoverLikeaSpunMoorhenChick Wed 06-Apr-16 11:12:07

Bugger that! Go for the job. It may be uncomfortable to start with but you can deal with it by doing the following:
1. Document everything (so if in a meeting, list exactly what happens in the minutes)
eg manager asked x about y, y referred to me and I replied z
2. Email questions for confirmation rather than by phoning.
3. Laugh at him (not openly!) but in your head. He's an arsehole and he KNOWS exactly what he's trying to do, but you don't let him!

soitis Wed 06-Apr-16 11:32:11

I know - everyone keeps telling me I shouldn't let him dictate how my career develops - he is a very small part - it is just hard to imagine how I would get anything passed/agreed!

I have worked in loads of different places and always been really lucky with my management - the complete ineffectiveness of this man baffles me!!

thanks for the advice - will definitely start documenting - and there are usually others there so at least he isn't clever enough to only do it when there are no witnesses!

EdmundSlackbladder Thu 07-Apr-16 01:41:40

Where he is addressing questions to a colleague I'm guessing a male colleague chip in with a polite 'Perhaps I can help you with that'.
Sounds like he's making a bit of a fool of himself. Nice girl indeed.

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