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Am I too soft?

(8 Posts)
PookieDo Fri 27-Sep-19 15:33:52

I am a bit of a low level people pleaser, but I have tried to turn it to my advantage. I will fight my corner if I have to, but I won’t go in all guns blazing straight away as I think you get more out of people by compromising. I have done well for myself despite not having many qualifications and being a lone parent, I think I have a good reputation at work for being helpful and productive.

I am in a fairly new job for 6 months and I have made good work relationships with my colleagues, they seem to find me approachable and helpful, in turn they are very helpful and amenable to me. It’s a win win, what they gain from me I gain from them. They will do as I ask because they want to, not because they fear me or I will pull rank on them.

I work in a sector where I think empathy and kindness goes a long way to resolving issues, and my role is constantly sorting out issues and complaints and problems.

I am a manager, and there are 2 higher levels of management where I work, and I feel like the odd one out here. They are all very hard line, hold no prisoners types of people (men and women).

So when I am sorting an issue out or even just putting something together, at any point one of them will give me unsolicited opinions to try to tell me how I could do it better, their way, using more forceful tactics and make me feel like I am getting it all wrong. It can get me down and feel like I’m not doing a good job. They will even tell me exactly what I should be saying and doing - in their words. I rarely go along with this puppetry because I am not a child who needs to be given instructions and I wasn’t asking for advice!

For example, I was arranging a complicated work schedule with a colleague. It required some decision making and I gave someone the 2 options available that would work, A and B. Both had pros and cons. My manager butted in telling me need to stop giving people any options. hmm I carried on anyway as I had started and got it resolved without needing to resort to pulling rank. I think they may think that my way is less productive because they perceive it takes longer? She will also pull apart letters I draft and rewrite them sad but it doesn’t seem to feel like ‘advice’ or a learning opportunity, just demanding I do things their way

I thought I was the balance needed here, for the compassion side at least and I don’t want to change who I am, but I don’t know if this is the right role or team to make this work. We don’t seem to like how each other operate and I feel constantly critiqued.

I don’t want to move on too quickly either, do I need to change my ways? What can I do?

OP’s posts: |
Rachelle11 Fri 27-Sep-19 15:39:23

As they are the higher ups then yes you need to listen to them. Your way sounds much nicer but none the less you need to respect your bosses,

PookieDo Fri 27-Sep-19 15:41:35

I do want to listen, and I do try but I often do not want to do the things they ask of me. Because it feels unnecessary. They gave me a project to do, I got all the work done, it’s all sorted and in place but they didn’t like the way I got it done?

OP’s posts: |
PookieDo Fri 27-Sep-19 15:42:37

When I say I don’t want to do things - usually it is because I feel uncomfortable being rude to people, and usually their advice is verging on rudeness

OP’s posts: |
PookieDo Fri 27-Sep-19 15:47:58

When I am talking to her, my manager will often just cut me off and say NO before I have even finished explaining something confused

I don’t want to be too outing but another manager has demanded that I adopt a standard ‘feedback’ statement to client issues, she dictated it to me and I think it would be a huge mistake to do it. I don’t want my name to it, it’s rude, it will make things worse and it’s so unnecessary

Also if I bring this up with one manager they will often all totally disagree with one another and this takes even more time

OP’s posts: |
LordEmsworth Fri 27-Sep-19 16:04:43

Well, clearly this particular company is not a good cultural fit for you, because their way of doing things is nothing like yours.

That's not to say that you are wrong, or that they are - only that you're different. Your way won't work there unless their entire culture shifts, you can't make that happen alone.

So based on what you have said, it doesn't sound like you are "too soft" but it does sound like you're the odd one out and should be looking for a new job somewhere else...

PookieDo Sat 28-Sep-19 06:28:11

I thought as much. Thanks
The company is struggling with a bad reputation, and the more defensive they are over it the worse it gets. Part of my job is to deal with and improve the rep, but they don’t seem to have faith in my methods at all. I think I may just have to leave them to their bad rep and move on

OP’s posts: |
EleanorReally Sat 28-Sep-19 06:44:39

cant you have your meetings one to one, no room for any boss interruptions?

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