You know that my updates are never brief but I will try.
The sun is finally out and really, you don’t appreciate what it is like until the blue skies are taken away from you and you are wrapped up like an Eskimo 24 hours a day. Even at home, you can’t really do much but wrap yourself in a blanket because the heating bills are so expensive that you can only afford to heat the house for an hour a day.
Work is interesting, I am not in a place where they are inviting me to birthday parties, weddings or baby showers, but I am in a place where if there is something going on at lunchtime I will be invited. We have a laugh and a joke and the girls in my team are actually seeing a little benefit from me being their manager. Rather than micro-manage the ladies (as my manager does me, more on her later), we have a daily meeting where we go through our day and a weekly meeting where we go more in depth into specific issues. At first it was a bit like getting blood out of a stone, but today even the most stubborn one is contributing to the meetings.
A couple of weeks ago I had my appraisal, as part of this process, 10 colleagues are supposed to give their feedback on what they think you are like as a leader and a team member. Before we start the feedback meeting Micro manager gives me the spiel about the feedback serving to improve my performance and as she proceeded to give her prose, I was preparing myself for negative feedback.
As she went through the feedback it wasn’t so bad, in terms of doing the job and my capabilities most people felt I was doing well. The only areas of improvement were in terms of relationships, most felt that they didn’t really know me. Well I had been in the role 5 months when this was done and some people who have known me a lifetime don’t actually “know” me, so I wasn’t going to sweat on that. The girls in my team were actually unbelievably positive, given that they barely said a word to me in the first month, at least I was making a positive impact in the team.
I did have to laugh at one comment by a lady, I say it’s a lady but this is all anonymous feedback. I think I know who it was, she said that I should try and get to know people on a personal level. I have a friend who I worked with at the Revenue and she put it perfectly when she says “what do you want me to say, how’s the cat?, how’s the dog?, sorry I don’t really care enough”. If that’s all this lady could say about me, well I will probably expect the same comment next year.
There was one comment, I know exactly who it was from, he is my counterpart in another department (who told me before the appraisal), who basically said that I am more than capable of doing my job but my senior management team are stifling. So micro manager says “who do you think they are talking about, really, who do you think they are talking about?”. I am looking at her thinking, are you serious, who the hell do you think he’s talking about. What I said though in a very sober voice was “you”. I couldn’t have been more diplomatic than that, because it was the truth and unfortunately I don’t know how to lie.
Her response was that if I disagreed with anything, I should say so, and that the other person (I will call her Jane) who she manages disagreed with a person who micro manager wanted to interview for a job in Jane’s team. Jane didn’t feel that this person was suitable. Micro-manager did. Jane had to interview this person. I don’t see how this was an example of disagreeing with management and them actually accepting it. Hey ho.
Since then I have taken the feedback and worked on it, well most of it, I try and feign interested if someone tells me about their kid being potty trained for the first time, but won’t go out of my way to ask.
It’s been a month since the feedback and I am disagreeing with micro-manager and she is still not listening to a word I say, she is still micro-managing but it’s all good. I gave myself my own personal critique a while ago and that’s to pick my battles and look at the positive side. The positive being I have time to catch up with you guys haha.
Until the next time