I wouldn't tell the boss what the others have been saying - that will get very ugly very fast, and could hurt your other work relationships irrevocably.
I would stay out of it as much as possible. If people say things that are blatantly unfair call them on it but otherwise try to stay out of it. If your colleagues don't like her, that's okay. Its okay for them to not like her. Just as its okay that you do.
If they start to moan about her, change the subject.
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04-08-2016 19:35 #11
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04-08-2016 19:36 #12-
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- Apr 2012
Navigating Workplace Politics
Don't look down on yourself for being a mediator. You're trying to stop workplace bullying and that's something to be proud of.
Last edited by VicPark; 04-08-2016 at 19:39.
04-08-2016 19:48 #13
I actually think from what you've written and the fact that the new principal is universally disliked that your colleagues probably have pretty valid reasons to dislike her. She's intimidating, tactless and has outbursts... She doesn't sound like a great person to work for IMO. I could see how once she's got everyone offside, people would start nitpicking on everything she does. I can also see how people would be reluctant to confront her head on, as you say you are too.
It's a tricky situation, but I would keep out of it as much as possible.
04-08-2016 19:59 #14
I would stay out of it. The last thing I would do is have a talk to her. One thing I have learnt is that nothing is confidential at work, one day it will bite you on the a.ss especially if someone's job is on the line and you never know what the future holds. Work place politics is so hard but your best bet is to keep your head down, do your job, smile and move on.
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04-08-2016 20:00 #15
Her behaviour doesn't sound particularly professional. Or the kind of behaviour I'd want in a manager at my workplace.
However, the other staff are bullying her.
I can empathise with not wanting to be on the outer. But just make sure your silence or suggestions don't end up misinterpreted as agreement, not just by your colleagues but also by your boss.
I'm not sure what the answer is really. But maybe remove yourself when the gossiping or b!tching starts. Or tell them if they feel so strongly to report her or seek EAP
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04-08-2016 20:03 #16
And these people are also my friends and would feel extremely betrayed. I feel like they are speaking to me as a friend and not a colleague, and maybe I should just try and support them the best I can.
What is bothering me I guess is that a) if the situation were reversed (and it has been), I would be told 'speak up or stop talking about it' (and I have been told this!), and b) I find the rolled eyes, the nitpicking every point in staff meeting, random conversations, the little comments etc extremely tiresome.
But you're absolutely right - they do have valid reasons for feeling the way they do, and I guess I can learn to be a sounding board without being a total doormat? Maybe I should take my own advice and not nitpick all of their nitpickings! Either way, it's gonna be a long few years...
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04-08-2016 20:53 #17
That's a tough one harvs!
I seem to be in situations like this a lot, as I tend to get along with everyone, even the office bishes who everyone else hates!
My way of dealing with it was to mostly stay out of it, but if someone approached me to have a gossip/complain about them:
- if they were complaining about something valid, then I'd listen & empathise, but try to remain impartial, eg. "Yeah, I can see why you'd be upset about that"
- if they were nitpicking over unfair stuff/blowing things out of proportion, then I'd diplomatically offer a different viewpoint, eg. "Are you sure that was her intention? I took as being/meaning X...." or "I know she can difficult to work with sometimes, but I'm sure she means well, we're all human".
I feel like if you always jump to someone's defence, you lose credibility, just as much as if you are always on the attack over petty things. I've found by being fair & impartial people are more likely to take on board what you say, so when you do come to the defence and offer a different perspective, they're more likely to take it in board.
I'm always peacekeeper as well, and just want everyone to get along. Unfortunately when we're forced together for 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week with people who we wouldn't normally choose to associate with, it becomes an exercise in navigating a minefield of different personalities and perspectives...its exhausting!
Best of luck with this one hun!
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04-08-2016 20:54 #18
It might seem tiresome to hear everyone's complaints all the time, but if they genuinely feel aggrieved, it is most likely taking up a lot of their emotional energy. I think you need to be a bit more sensitive to the feelings of your co-workers perhaps. Just because you can stand up to her- not everyone has that sort of fortitude. And not everyone would be willing to admit they're frightened of her, so they hide it behind b*tching to cope. Especially in such a small workplace where I can imagine everyone has daily interactions with each other.
I don't know that you should get involved necessarily but maybe you could try being a bit more sympathetic to your colleagues. I really do think your new boss sounds like a hell beast
04-08-2016 21:01 #19
Just further thoughts- you say she's a 'dumper' which you find refreshing. I actually cannot STAND those sorts of people. I find it incredibly immature and manipulative to have an absolute tantrum about something and then act like it's water under the bridge and your words/actions haven't affected other people. I think it's really aggressive and horrible. If you're going to have an outburst, you have to deal with the fallout- even if it's ongoing because sometimes what you say and do are going to have long term repercussions.
04-08-2016 21:19 #20
@FearlessLeader yeah, I'm certainly not painting a very flattering portrait am I?! I'm trying to show the aspects that make me understand where my colleagues are coming from. She's not constantly like that, and there are some very good things about her too.
But thank you - you're absolutely right that I need to be more sensitive and understanding, and particularly so since I'm not having to expend the same emotional labour as the others.
The last two years saw me really struggling with my previous boss to the point where I was considering leaving - I was so happy to have someone new and to enjoy my job that I'm determined by hook or by crook to be positive and not sweat things unless they are really important battles to me. That determination may be causing me to be a bit lacking in empathy maybe?
Thanks so much for all of your wisdom and responses!
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