Stop Complicating It — Here’s How I Manage Tough Office Situations

In my early 30s, I started managing a team of digital marketers at ProofHub. With being a woman and a manager, there remained a bunch of challenges I came across when managing. It was difficult to set my foot in the male-dominating society especially when it comes to being in the management position.

Being inspired from women in business like Sheryl Sandberg — COO of Facebook, Melinda Gates, Co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and many more, I am proud of being a leader. But this is not the end.

Even if you are the leader and you’ve got a dream team, the challenges all through being a manager will grow exponentially all the time. I’ve come across situations where transforming decision making and managing team under a lot of pressure has been a tough row to hoe.

Sounds familiar?

This is perhaps the darker side. Many times, it becomes hard to maintain a pace where there is so much drama in the team or where people are creating it for no good reason.

We all need to successfully oversee such situations. With so much uncertainty and chaos at work, it’s hard to get anything done. But I’ve got a few tips for you that might help you figure out how to deal with difficult work situations and get into little more peace:

1. Passive-aggressive people

Do you see around employees who seem to be hiding deep-seated anger? Such employees are unreasonable, hostile and hard to communicate with. Suppose, James and Dev are two talented employees, but only one can be promoted to be the head. But you promote James over Dev because of more exposure. Dev resents this but acts as it’s all good. But all throughout Dev keep the passive-aggressive behavior — cutting off James in all his actions and strategies. These employees like Dev can make you flip your lid. With passive-aggressive behavior, your workplace can suffer lost morale and productivity.

Pro tip: You need to confront such situations head-on. Because this can be due to your past actions, like you being indifferent or rude to them. First off, you should stay calm when dealing with the situation. Observe the behavior and be very clear about it when you address the issue. Without any clear information, the employee may shut down and grow a deeper anger feeling. Take a look and see if there is something you can do to bring out their worth.

2. Employee’s time management

It is a huge issue for today’s manager to run out of time with the root cause of employees running out of time. Getting hold of time tracking can be a dare when every employee wants to work according to their time preferences.

Pro tip: It’s a common pitfall concerning poor time management i.e. your time management objectives are not aligned with your goals. Block time for personal tasks and use a time tracking tool to avoid confusion. Use a timesheet to track work hours across projects. Best time tracking software offers:

  • Time estimates for each task and sub-task
  • Time-sheets to record time data
  • Multiple timers
  • Automatic and manual time entry
  • Mobile access

Invest your time on what really matters. Stop wasting it!

Start using ProofHub today!

3. You’ve been “fired,” “dismissed,” “taken off”

One difficult part to be a manager is to tell an employee that he/she can no longer stay with the company. When an employee becomes trouble, he/she needs to be warned or fired (after enough warnings). If he/she is not performing up to mark or is not making any efforts, actions may need to be taken. But what is the best way?

Pro tip: Be sure of what firing is actually based on — performance or ethical or moral grounds? Things should be much more clear cut. Don’t let your anxiety drive the firing process. Because firing an employee will affect everyone else on the team, it will make them wonder about your judgment as a manager, so priorly give them an indication of performance difficulties. Reach out a “firing meeting” (before you actually pass your final words), where you should listen and not just react.

4. Too frequent “He said, she said,” conflicts

A study by the American Management Association (AMA) found that managers spend at least 24% of their day managing conflict. Being a manager is definitely not easy. You’ll have to handle the constant complaints from an employee about how a peer treats them. There will be constant complains, unexpected snide remarks, and many more… All throughout, you’ll never be able to find a solution because of words like, “I don’t know what the problem is. I never did anything. He thinks everyone hates him.”

Pro tip: Stick to facts! Prefer to bring them together and talk about facts. Make sure you direct the conversation in the right direction. The problem may seem to be different for everyone around, but, the game is all on you. The fact you tried to solve it out, things may happen to fall into place (positively).

Ultimately, I believe that much of our efforts to manage the difficult work situations will often be wasted due to some or the other reasons. I hope you can now get out easily from these common workplace situations and begin to worry less and live more.

What is one difficult situation you’ve been in and how did you deal with it? Share it with us in the comments below.

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