With or At?

I was shopping at a large box store this morning for programming supplies and overheard someone who I portrayed as the store manager saying “I am glad we had this talk” then walk away.
The employee started to grumble under her breath after he left.

I rounded the corner to another aisle and found that same supervisor talking to another staff member.  As he walked away from that conversation he commented “this is what will make our store as great as xyz store, we will be the best in the region in no time!”
After he left, that staff member turned to the staff member next to him and they both started saying some pretty negative comments.

As I rounded out my experience in the store I witnessed three more conversations like this.  Throughout this, I noticed that the supervisor was of one race and most of the staff was of another.  Never in these short conversations did I really see the supervisor pause to listen to the response of the staff member.  I started to quickly feel this un-happy feeling of ‘is this guy talking AT his employees or WITH his employees?’

While I have no idea of the backstory behind this supervisor nor his employees — but, I know that what I have learned in my experiences.  Here are three things that just really irked me about what I observed:

1) Time, Place, & Manner! Criticize privately & Complement publicly! ’nuff said.

2) If you care, you should take time to listen! I agree, sometimes the boss just needs to tell you how it is.  (that’s fine) However, I think a better way to get a staff member ‘on board’ with doing something the ‘right’ way, is to engage them in a conversation & help them share ownership in the decision.

3) Learn about those who work for you. This is just really about investing in those around ya.  For me, building those connections with the people around me just helps me know how to do my job.  It’s what makes me tick.

So, again- not judging what I saw this morning, but wanted to comment.


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