Case Study: Why Should I Always Go the Extra Mile?

by Sheryl Sweet
(Michigan, USA)

Original Text: Case Study: Why Should I Always Go the Extra Mile?


Millie is over-supervised and sounds like there is some doubt over her competence. Does she listens well? Does she use acknowledgment techniques (nodding, affirmation) when she does listen? Millie recognizes that her own communication in the workplace is good. However, she shouldn't think it's personal. First, she must understand the reason(s) of the over-involvement in her work. Engage in the discussion with her boss showing interest but rise above the issue. Another way to get her boss off her back is to over-inform. She can tell her boss every move she makes, things she is doing, and such. Her boss might get it, and back off on her, and seeing that she is doing things her “boss way” will leave her alone. If this fails, ask politely for training and performance expectations if her boss thinks that she is not performing well and ask for feedback whether she is meeting her boss standards or not. Always go above and beyond of what is expected.
In terms of Harry, he is in denial, under supervised and a training need is identified. Sounds like he needs some time management and assertiveness techniques (he is a supervisor in his own right). He must first understand his boss' preferred communication style since we all communicate in different ways. Harry obviously does not know his boss' style and left in the dark half of the time because he hasn’t tried putting his concerns in writing or ask a staff meeting to discuss the issue. What if his boss preferred one or the other? Walk a mile in his boss' shoes and think of how, where and when would be the best time to catch him. Picking a proper time and place is more conductive and makes bosses more receptive and engaged compare to trapping your boss in the hallway for a minute and putting them off guard. Also, consider the moods and energy level. Again, ask politely. Don't be a victim of denial, take the obvious possible steps mentioned by Millie and take the risk to change the dynamic of communications between him and his boss.
Whether it is over-communication or hypo-communication within the workplace, it can be improved no matter how big or small. Communication is indispensable and it must be a two-way process.

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Revised Text:

Millie is over-supervised and it sounds like there is some doubt about her competence. Does she listen well? Does she use acknowledgment techniques (nodding, affirmation) when she does listen? Millie recognizes that her own communication in the workplace is good, however, she shouldn't think it's personal. First, she must understand the reason(s) for her over-involvement in her work.

Engage in the discussion with her boss showing interest, but rise above the issue. Another way to get her boss off her back is to over-inform. She can tell her boss every move she makes, things she is doing, and such. Her boss might get it, and back off. Seeing that she is doing things her “boss's way”, he may leave her alone. If this fails, ask politely for training and performance expectations if her boss thinks that she is not performing well, and ask for feedback on whether she is meeting her boss's standards or not. Always go above and beyond of what is expected.

Harry is in denial, under supervised and a training need has been identified. It sounds like he needs some time management and assertiveness techniques (he is a supervisor in his own right). He must first understand his boss's preferred communication style, since we all communicate in different ways. Harry obviously does not know his boss's style and is left in the dark half of the time because he hasn’t tried putting his concerns in writing or asked for a staff meeting to discuss the issue.

What if his boss preferred one or the other? Harry should walk a mile in his boss's shoes and think of how, where and when would be the best time to catch him. Picking a proper time and place is more conducive and makes bosses more receptive and engaged when compared to trapping the boss in the hallway for a minute and putting him on guard. Consider the moods and energy levels. Again, ask politely. Don't be a victim of denial, take the obvious possible steps mentioned by Millie, and take the risk to change the dynamic of communications between him and his boss.

Whether it is over or under communication or in the workplace, it can be improved, no matter how big or small. Communication is indispensable and it must be a two-way process.

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