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Managing Up: Inappropriate boss

(8 Posts)
expatteacher Fri 14-Apr-17 11:07:20

My line manager is a gossip. She starts a lot of conversations with "This is confidential..." or "This is just me saying this..." and then passes on information from above her which was highly confidential/sensitive or something said to her by colleagues.

At first I thought she was filter-free and felt sorry for her but I have since noticed that she can keep certain things confidential which don't gain her an advantage or make her look bad. Once I realised that, I went right off her. It's all tactical, she knows exactly what she's doing.

I caught her out gossiping about me with some made up story and I confronted her. She claimed she "heard it from someone" but then backed down from that lie when I asked who. We agreed that she wouldn't talk about me to colleagues unless it was about professional stuff. (She cried, give me strength)

What sort of phrases can I have in my back pocket to shut down gossip and confidential information from her? I'm either flummoxed or irritated to say very much. I roll my eyes and look bored but I'd like to handle things non-passive aggressively if possible. She is very passive aggressive and I don't want to learn bad habits from her.

I have considered the "so why are you telling me, if it's confidential?" line but that might overshoot from PA to A. (The head of school is fecking useless and the governors don't want to know, so I have to deal with this myself)

QueenMortificado Fri 14-Apr-17 11:09:58

HR stat

Dizzywizz Fri 14-Apr-17 11:12:47

My boss is a bit like this but I wouldn't call her out on it, basically because I wouldn't want to annoy my manager and therefore shoot myself in the foot.

Trollspoopglitter Fri 14-Apr-17 11:13:19

...cut her off... "Then stop."

And if she continues, "Honestly, please stop telling me confidential information. It's unprofessional and I'm honestly surprised you haven't faced gross misconduct yet."

Trollspoopglitter Fri 14-Apr-17 11:13:48

Honestly grin

expatteacher Fri 14-Apr-17 12:44:50

like it! direct and to the point.
Oh how I wish we had a HR dept!

highinthesky Fri 14-Apr-17 12:47:38

This is unprofessional. I get that there is no HR department, but there is a professional code of conduct and a local school policy on expected conduct that you could refer to.

She's already had a warning. Next time it should be a grievance.

HollySykes Fri 14-Apr-17 12:51:02

I have a friend who's stock response in these situations is 'you really don't have to tell me' or 'best you don't say anything' and I've even heard her say 'oh don't tell me I'm terrible with secrets'. She's not terrible, but our mutual friend is a gossip and friend hates it.

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