My new blog post at Steyer.net explores Manager motivations around setting boundaries, focusing on issues for contract workers in technical communications.
I believe the issues in this post make sense for other kinds of Manager/Team Member relationships. However, the Steyer.net post offers guidelines for workers. Here are some watch-the-line recommendations for managers:
- Be aware of cliques in your team.
Avoid joining or encouraging them.
- Be 100% inclusive in all social invitations, whether for morale-building exercises or holiday parties.
- Recognize “over sharing” situations.
If you’re uncomfortable with what you’re hearing about your team member’s personal crisis, it’s time to draw the line.
- Know how to handle “over sharing”:
“I’m sympathetic. But I’m not comfortable knowing more than I should as your manager.”
- Don’t play psychologist or doctor.
Know how to refer outward to HR or Benefits resources.
- If you have doubts about anything, discuss it with your HR partner:
— Accommodations that are appropriate to offer.
— How to change repeated conversation from sympathetic listening to active direction.
Me? I’m retired from management and now only provide direct services or consultation. I’m grateful that I no longer have to shoulder the manager’s burden of both caring for and setting boundaries for people that I manage.