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Aggressive Manager WWYD(5 Posts)
I work for a local authority and someone new (a contractor) has just been engaged to accelerate delivery and manage the supplier for the project we are working on.
He has some good ideas but his management style is to micro-manage every aspect of everyone's role. He is disturbingly aggressive, provocative and combative with the supplier and today, following a teleconference with the supplier, told me if he was in a war with them he'd put a bullet in their head. He and I were the only ones in the room and I couldn't really believe his behaviour or his comments. He point blank told me it was my responsibility to back his approach and basically I was a traitor (he didn't use the word but the implication was there) if I didn't support him. I told him I couldn't because the supplier didn't deserve to be spoken to like that. I asked why he was getting so angry and he told me not to go all "counsellor" on him.
Now, I'm not very far up the food chain in the general scheme of things but I am a senior team member and alongside my colleagues, his outbursts and disrespectful behaviour towards us is causing people to feel they want to go back to their day jobs.
He doesn't take criticism, constructive or otherwise, very well and certainly wouldn't respond to being confronted with his behaviour. He sucks up to the directors and they all think he's great. It's sickening to see how he changes personas when he's around them.
Not sure how to deal with it tbh. I'm not the voice-piece for the team, nor am I a permanent member of staff so could quite easily be told to leave.
I don't know whether to pull him to the side and calmly say something to him before someone (or me) blows up and says something they will regret.
From my experience of LG, consultants and those bought in by directors you basically have to ride it out and watch them dig a hole and fail.
Especially if you are not perm.
During your 1:1 you could raise the concerns regarding behaviours and language towards you and any concerns regarding work not being completed or how the project is going but dont make it personal unless its something directed at you.
I have been witness to many consultants who have screwed up royally including with suppliers and contracts. I just made sure my work was correct, any advice or responses were followed up in writing by email and basically stood back while they fucked up.
It's really hard to watch but knowing I was doing the right thing by my work helped and ensuring they couldn't place blame on me or pass the buck.
Someone else may have more advice but hopefully this was sort itself out soon for you.
Other than that its finding a role elsewhere and let the authority sink in their own ship.
Of course the public tax payers wont like reading this as they will realise in some cases their money is being wasted. However I would like to assure and remind that LG workers are also tax payers and get first hand witness to the bullshit that goes on but across the country tighter controls come in every year and one day the honest decent workers will prevail (I hope)
There is a course on linkedin learning on how to deal with a bad manager. Might be worth activating s free trial for.
Also keep a diary. Keep it as factual as possible.
Unfortunately consultants like this will often have been brought in with the purpose of 'ruffling a few feathers' or because they don't and won't have long term ties to the place/project, will come in all guns blazing compared to a manager who's brought in knowing its a permanent situation.
Doesn't help your current situation but if you see it from their perspective, this is possibly what they are good at, dropping in and pushing buttons, then leaving again. I've seen it a few times with people where I've not agreed with their technique, but actually couldn't fault their results.
If they are being aggressive towards you or other staff, I'd speak up. If it's towards external contractors etc then bear in mind this might be what they've been asked to do in one way or another, whether you think it's deserved or not?
Thank you all very much for some very balanced advice.
Twice today he walked into two meetings I was chairing, walked around the room, looked at my computer screen and walked out again. I asked him if there was something he wanted to which he replied "just padding around".
He shouted at one of my colleagues for leaving a training session for 15 minutes to attend another equally important meeting. She did it with the express understanding of the trainer who moved onto something else while she was out. He berated her in front of a customer and made her actually apologise to the trainer like a kid who just threw her ball in next door's garden.
He is making people feel very uncomfortable. I've lived with a narcissistic and coercive partner in the past and I see all the traits in him. I don't want to be triggered into having some kind of meltdown.
Interesting he doesn't speak to my male colleagues in the same way.
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