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I'm patronising???

(36 Posts)
zmr13 Wed 27-May-15 17:35:18

Hi guys!

I would appreciate some help on the fact I come across as patronising to my work colleagues. The thing is, I don't even realise I am doing it but that's the feedback from them, which is what I need to work on.

I work in retail and I am a supervisor so obviously, I need to help my manager run the department and ensure staff are going what they should be correctly. For example, a couple of days ago, I was with a colleague and she had to put some new sale stock out and her argument was that there was not enough space and I said that it seems that way because the fixture was really messy but once she tidied it, she would be able to get a better understanding of where the extra sale stock can go... my manger was there at the time and afterwards said to me that sounded patronising because I said "I think you can get it out" at one point in the conversation....

Can you guys please give me tips/examples of how I can watch my tongue?

moanybollocks Wed 27-May-15 17:43:49

That isn't being patronising though. Unless she means your tone of voice? Because the words sound ok.

I'd ask your manager what they mean and how they think you should have dealt with it.

moanybollocks Wed 27-May-15 17:45:32

I mean there is a difference between: 'I think you can get it out, der! - rolls eyes -'

And saying it in a 'hey, look what you can do, I'll help' type thing

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 17:49:38

If you said the actual words "you'll get a better understanding of where stock can go" then yes that sounds a bit patronising.

moanybollocks Wed 27-May-15 17:50:42

I don't think it is but it DOES depend on tone

You're basically dealing with someone who wasn't doing their job properly and your manager who doesn't like conflict. Tough one! grin

zmr13 Wed 27-May-15 18:03:49

It's not even the first time... Yesterday another colleague said I tend to talk down to her. I just think it's because she hates me and takes everything too personally.

It's just I like to reiterate the expectations of recovering handbags for example, I'll say to them ensure that all zips are closed and everything is finger spaced and hung correctly... then every so often ill go check up on them and say "how are you getting on?" and if I feel there is no progress, I'll challenge that and say "X, you have been on handbags for half an hour, and it doesn't seem to have moved on from when I was here last, is everything ok? because we are closing the store in 45 minutes and handbags needs to be fully recovered tonight".... is that wrong? am I being a cow?

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:06:51

Oh god sorry but yes you do sound VERY patronising!

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:08:28

tbh the term recovering handbags would rub me up the wrong way even before you started on the rest of the instructions!

zmr13 Wed 27-May-15 18:13:48

Unfortunately "recovering handbags" is the term we use at work :s

zmr13 Wed 27-May-15 18:14:36

Any tips on how NOT to sound patronising?

kateemo Wed 27-May-15 18:18:11

I don't think you're being a cow, but I can't hear your tone and I don't know what your staff are like--maybe thin skinned or used to another supervisory style. Working alongside doing the tasks with them for a few minutes might help?

I prefer it when people who are supervising are clear with their expectations. As a Supervisor, I think it's more important that you're clear than nice. Because at the end of the shift, you're responsible for how the place looks. You're aware of the issue now and making an effort to act consciously of it, otherwise why would you post?

If staff still resent you or think you're patronising and you know you're doing the best you can, then it's on them, not you.

bellathebluebell Wed 27-May-15 18:18:52

Is it just retail?

I used to work in M&S on the food department and the supervisors were like The Gestapo. God help you if you stopped to draw breath..

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:18:55

Well it might be the term used but doesn't mean you have to actually use it!

I think you actually need to be more assertive but with less words. So if I felt progress wasn't been made I would say "I need you to speed up on handbags please I would like it finished within the next xx minutes"

kateemo Wed 27-May-15 18:19:06

Re: your last question-- please don't go "chirpy." A genuine smile always helps.

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:19:47

being not been blush

fourchetteoff Wed 27-May-15 18:20:54

I wonder if your 'patronisingness's a symptom of you being a bit nervous about having to ask people to do things/be a boss-man-boss.

It sounds as though instead of nicely but firmly giving a direction, you are fluffing it up with frills. Even your beginning post had 'Hey guys' starting it, which has that feeling of fake-matey-jollity-ness to it (I use that expression too BTW - it's not a dig at you).

Perhaps just make your requests more simple and direct without trying to frill them up like a doily?

Duckdeamon Wed 27-May-15 18:21:30

Recovering handbags grin

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:22:10

I think you are probably trying to come across as nice and friendly but it's coming across wrong. To be honest you are the supervisor and they have a job to get done so it's ok to pull them up if they aren't getting things done. They may not like that much either but that's their problem they are there to do a job.

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:23:15

It does make it sound like all sorts of handbag mayhem has occurred!

Sophieelmer Wed 27-May-15 18:23:31

cunty's got it. You are being to wordy. Presumably they know what is expected in each task they do. You shouldn't be talking them through it every time. 'Can you get handbags sorted in half hr?' Or 'I'll give you a hand getting the last few sale bits out, get the area tidy 1st and I'll be over'

BerylStreep Wed 27-May-15 18:23:45

It's hard to know tbh.

"X, you have been on handbags for half an hour, and it doesn't seem to have moved on from when I was here last, is everything ok? because we are closing the store in 45 minutes and handbags needs to be fully recovered tonight"

In the example above, could it be changed to:

"Is everything ok? because we are closing the store in 45 minutes and handbags needs to be fully recovered tonight. How long do you think it is going to take you?"

In the first one, you are being critical and it will put people on the defensive. In the second, it sets out the expectation, and gives the person the responsibility for setting & agreeing their own timescale, in the knowledge of when it has to be done by.

Perhaps you need to think about setting expectations but not being prescriptive. Easy to say, I know. There's loads of literature about people who have an element of control over their working life being more motivated. Do you give positive feedback too?

zmr13 Wed 27-May-15 18:24:40

Really appreciate all this feedback.

There are some staff who truly just like to stomp their feet and do nothing but then moan to the manager - hence why I need to baby them every step of the way. No matter how hard I try, but I do feel disrespected by them because I'm always on my feet working, and they're talking so when I ask them or split them up, they start b*tching about me to each other.

Even if I did the work for them, they'd find a reason to cry about it.

moanybollocks Wed 27-May-15 18:32:23

You definitely shouldn't baby them - they'll walk all over you

You can be kind but firm and good advice from pp about giving them more responsibility

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 27-May-15 18:36:49

Well they sound like they all need a kick up the arse. You've tried being nice about it now just go in with the attitude that you want the job done. I think you will find that the most effective managers don't really give a toss if the staff are bitching about them!

zmr13 Wed 27-May-15 18:40:37

No to mention I've had someone turn around and say to me "you do it" recently...

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