I’m off at this time. This was initially printed in 2015.
A reader writes:
I’m a newly promoted supervisor and am stumped on the way to deal with one thing weird that occurred in a gathering at this time, primarily as a result of my humorousness is getting in the best way. I requested one in every of my workers to clarify the progress he’s made within the task he’s been engaged on, and he stated, “I might like to inform you…in music.” He proceeded to tug out a harmonica and “discover his observe,” earlier than erupting right into a musical ditty explaining every thing intimately. It was so bizarre…that I didn’t know the way to reply within the second. Making it worse is that I discover this hysterical, and I couldn’t cease smirking the remainder of the assembly. Each time I take into consideration the incidence, I begin to snicker once more.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply I discover it acceptable, and intend to have a critical dialogue with him tomorrow. However I’m curious to understand how you’ll deal with it, notably since my potential laughter and smiling is not going to convey how unacceptable I discover his conduct. I don’t need this to look like a suggestion. Am I immature in not with the ability to cover these feelings? Am I making too massive a deal in regards to the scenario? I by no means thought I must take care of this as a supervisor.
I truly suppose that is hilarious. Is there a purpose you discover it unacceptable and need to deal with it with him? I imply, clearly you don’t need all standing updates being delivered in music, however until it turns into a sample, I’d simply assume it was an amusing one-off from somebody having a very good time (which isn’t a horrible factor if it doesn’t impede individuals’s work) and go away it at that.
I’m not saying that is essentially occurring with you, however some managers — particularly newer managers — generally tend to really feel like they’ve to ascertain capital-A Authority and typically see informal conduct or issues that deviate from the norm as Issues That Should Be Stamped Out. However in the event you’re having that impulse, it’s vital to ask your self why. Does the conduct in query actually have an effect on the work? Is it one thing the place you’ll do extra hurt than good by coming down on somebody for a one-time incidence? Is it actually a major drawback?
If there’s extra to this — such as you didn’t get vital info you wanted otherwise you suppose he has a behavior of not taking work as severely as you want him to — it’s best to deal with that. But when it’s only a single music? Let your self snicker (with him, not at him), recognize his musical expertise, and transfer on. It’s okay to have somewhat silliness at work.