Management of work colleagues
Just like everyone work sucks sometimes and we all have good and bad patches. I would like opinions on how I have handled the following scenario and how I should have handled it. I have a work colleague I do not directly manage but I will say I am more senior. They have had some terrible stuff happen in their lives regarding expectations and perceived disappointment and have battled AD for some time. When work gets a bit hard, the AD plays up, I have sort of been their support person. I have directed to external support and I believe they are well supported. Here is the drama, they do not want anyone at work to know, and I respect that, the feel it has counted against them previously. Recently I committed to meet them and sort of delayed it a few times, late one day (late in the work week)I got a call from them all distressed and felt a tad guilty, I went and visited for an hour and had a chat. I think it helped them although I do feel a monkey on my back, but I am happy they are OK and appreciate what I did "you have made sure I will have a great Monday" was our parting words. I was sort of worked up as this latest "flat patch" could have been prevented if work had have been a little more generally thoughtful. I sent an email that was not nice, but not that bad, to some senior crew at work, basically saying have a good hard look at how we manage things. I was pretty worked up myself (I am AD) which reverted to a few questions and justification from the crew emailed (ok perhaps email was a bit loose). They were grilling me to tell them who it was and they wanted to support, but I didn't want to breach their confidentiality, the conversation was really shit but I stuck fast. Have I done the right thing?
Hi battling and confused,
Welcome to the forums and thank you for being here.
I've read your post a few times and it sounds like the part where you weren't sure that you did the right thing was around sending the email to the senior crew. Is that right? It sounds like with your email that it was a bit loose, so I'm guessing that perhaps that is where if the email was less-loose, more detailed, specific etc - perhaps it might not have gotten those same sorts of reactions?
Can I also just clarify what AD is? I'm not familiar with that acronym.
Hopefully if I can get a better understanding I'll be able to help more!
It sounds like you are taking a lot on right now! Being a support person at work can be really tricky and it sounds like you are doing a good job of trying to handle both responsibilities.
I agree that you have done the right thing in not breaking the confidentiality of your colleague, but al it must be hard for you. It does sound like you have some concerns that your email may have been a bit "passionate", which can happen to anyone. I don't think you should be too hard on yourself for trying to help someone, but what I would suggest is that you be really open and honest with your seniors. Right now they may feel a bit defensive (if your email was indeed a bit loose) and it can be really helpful for you to let them know the reasons behind the email and what was said.
It can be helpful if when we are communicating in a high tension situation we use assertive language. So saying "I feel .... needs to change because of .....", instead of "you need to change ..... because you did .....", you get the same message across but seniors might be more receptive?
If you feel like letting us know how you went, you can always post more here.