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One of my subordinates at work is trying to undermine me


Hello Rosie,

I am having a problem with one of my subordinates at work.  I am about two years older than him, but he is a direct report to me.  I believe he has a problem with the fact that I am a woman, I am in his age group and I believe he is trying to undermine my authority. I have 26 people who report to me and for the most part we have a very good work ethic and relationship.  I am careful not to cross that line of becoming overly friendly such as going to the bar after work, social events or even friending them on social media. Now since this guy has joined the team, I am hearing rumblings that I think I am better than the team, I am not a fair manager, that I don’t take their complaints seriously etc.  I am very hurt and I want to take action, but I am trying to make sure that I am not being spiteful either. I’ve not told my Manager as yet because I want to handle myself.

Help me please!

Dear Help Me please,

Well this is so unfair and I feel for you. I can tell you take pride in your job and you are also a very ethical person and that should be commended. Please don’t change who you are because of one character who may not be vibing you at the moment.

As you continue on this journey called life, you will find there will be many people who will not like you for one reason or the other – there is nothing you can do about that.  What you should be thankful for is that this young man has revealed himself and his agenda so you are not going to be blindsided going forward.  Secondly I WOULD go to your manager or HR and bring them up to speed of the things that have been going on.  He or she may be able to guide you how to proceed all while staying true to the policies and guidelines of your company.

There is no shame in asking for help or guidance.  It is definitely not a sign of weakness either.  It’s called covering yourself and making sure that you stay on the high road. There is nothing wrong with having high standards, it is an admirable quality. Some people may find that difficult to read or interpret but as you continue to navigate you will find that balance of business and friendships as well. 
Once this young man is handled, consider it a learning experience , never take these attacks too personally, you MUST be doing something right, because you are being tested.

I wish you the best.

Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or PO Box 152, Kingstown,St Vincent & the Grenadines