Author Topic: Hang up and lead.  (Read 4902 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2012, 10:51:27 AM »
For all anyone knows, Boss is "on call" with his superiors, and needs to be available to them at all times, including during meetings.

I wouldn't interfere in this.  If Boss is having trouble keeping up with the meeting because he is paying attention to his cell phone messages, that's between him and his bosses.  If I were the him and my subordinates decided to make some kind of point by stopping the meeting or some other PA move, I would not be pleased.

While I agree with you up to a point, his superiors should know when he's in a meeting and that his phone will be on silent or turned off (as it should be)

In our meetings, everyone turns their phones off.  If it's an extremely important matter, the top dog will send his assistant over.

I don't think the employees are out of line expecting the boss to pay them the same courtesy and he expects from them.

Complete silence while he's playing with his phone may very well be PA but sometimes PA is the only answer to PA.

Why do you assume he's "playing with his phone?"  I would assume he's on call, tending to important business matters.  I just don't think it's appropriate for his subordinates to monitor his activities like this.  And if I were one of his bosses, and I needed to give him information or get information from him, I'd text him regardless of whether or not I knew him to be in a meeting.  Maybe what he needs to do is find a way to make his phone absolutely silent, instead of vibrating.

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4146
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2012, 11:16:20 AM »
Coley, I would tell your friend to stop saving the boss.  Don't step in and do what should have been done weeks ago.  If he is the boss and cannot get to it, he can always designate your friend.  But this sounds like the boss is not aware because his mind is elsewhere.
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

cheyne

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1038
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2012, 01:15:19 PM »
Stopping the meeting is not a PA move.  It's a sign of respect to Boss.  Boss is the person who calls the meetings.  Therefore, Boss's undivided attention is required for the meeting.  A PA move would be to continue on with the meeting as if Boss isn't there, signalling that Boss's presence isn't important or required. 

I would advise your friend to continue to take notes on action items and email to all participants.  I would further tell your friend to stop doing Boss's work.  Friend doesn't get paid to do his Boss's job and hasn't been assigned these items by Boss or anyone else.  Continuing to do Boss's work actually leaves Boss out of the loop, continues to allow Boss to be unengaged, continues Friend's frustration and doesn't help either of their career progression.

oogyda

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3631
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2012, 01:19:41 PM »
I think someone needs to grab the bull by horns and talk to the boss. 
It's not what we gather along the way that matters.  It's what we scatter.

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2012, 01:32:34 PM »
Stopping the meeting is not a PA move.  It's a sign of respect to Boss.  Boss is the person who calls the meetings.  Therefore, Boss's undivided attention is required for the meeting.  A PA move would be to continue on with the meeting as if Boss isn't there, signalling that Boss's presence isn't important or required. 

I would advise your friend to continue to take notes on action items and email to all participants.  I would further tell your friend to stop doing Boss's work.  Friend doesn't get paid to do his Boss's job and hasn't been assigned these items by Boss or anyone else.  Continuing to do Boss's work actually leaves Boss out of the loop, continues to allow Boss to be unengaged, continues Friend's frustration and doesn't help either of their career progression.

I wondered at first if stopping the meeting might be considered PA, but then I'm not sure what other options they have when this behavior occurs. Either they continue to discuss action items without the decision-maker's input or they all stop talking. They can't move forward without his input.

To the second bolded, I wholeheartedly agree. It has not proven to be beneficial to my friend when he takes action without Boss's approval. My friend is a "fixer." It's in his nature to want to jump in and head off problems proactively. He's having a hard time with letting the balls drop when Boss leaves them up in the air.

CaptainObvious

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 236
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2012, 01:55:54 PM »
For all anyone knows, Boss is "on call" with his superiors, and needs to be available to them at all times, including during meetings.

I wouldn't interfere in this.  If Boss is having trouble keeping up with the meeting because he is paying attention to his cell phone messages, that's between him and his bosses.  If I were the him and my subordinates decided to make some kind of point by stopping the meeting or some other PA move, I would not be pleased.

While I agree with you up to a point, his superiors should know when he's in a meeting and that his phone will be on silent or turned off (as it should be)

In our meetings, everyone turns their phones off.  If it's an extremely important matter, the top dog will send his assistant over.

I don't think the employees are out of line expecting the boss to pay them the same courtesy and he expects from them.

Complete silence while he's playing with his phone may very well be PA but sometimes PA is the only answer to PA.

Why do you assume he's "playing with his phone?"  I would assume he's on call, tending to important business matters.  I just don't think it's appropriate for his subordinates to monitor his activities like this.  And if I were one of his bosses, and I needed to give him information or get information from him, I'd text him regardless of whether or not I knew him to be in a meeting.  Maybe what he needs to do is find a way to make his phone absolutely silent, instead of vibrating.

I agree.

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1665
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2012, 02:01:44 PM »
I'd use the new year as an excuse to address this.  Why don't we start with a few ideas to make meeting s more productive.  One can be, no electronic distractions, so that we can have a shorter meeting and then move on.  Another can be regular minutes with action items with due dates and reminders X days before they are due.  If you make it less about boss and more about what everyone can do to improve, this becomes less personal and just one of many things on a list.

Mikayla

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4043
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2012, 02:51:26 PM »
I think someone needs to grab the bull by horns and talk to the boss.

POD. 

OP keeps referring to this as a "management team" that meets twice a week.  I assume these are people with their own to-do lists and responsibilities.   How much time is lost in waiting for boss to finish talking, then following up on things he missed, reminder emails, etc?   

On top of that, OP said in the update that the higher ups were in a meeting once and seemed irritated when Boss got on his phone.  This tells me Boss is kind of clueless about when and where he takes calls or texts.

So one solution might be for someone to volunteer to talk to him, and find a direct but polite way to ask if meetings can't be electronic free.  It's important that whoever does this have the full support of the other managers, because this would be mentioned in the convo.  Nobody wants to fly solo on this sort of thing. 

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12217
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2012, 03:00:40 PM »
Once upon a time we had a class and one of the things we learned was "Be Here Now".  So if you are in a meeting, pay attention to the meeting and don't read your email.

But in this case I would do two things:

1) When the boss starts reading email, just stop talking and wait for him to finish.  If he says anything, just say "I wanted to make sure you heard this so I was just waiting until you were available."

2) Someone needs to take notes and summarize the action items at the end of the meeting and even send out notes in email afterwords.  Also, someone should keep a running spreadsheet of action items and track them.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6262
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2012, 05:55:18 PM »
You've been given some great advice. 

I think the most direct approach is best.  One or two of the management team go to boss and say that his dealing with email is causing a distraction for the rest of the team and they'd appreciate if he would put his cell phone away for the 1 hour of the meeting.  Or if it's a one hour meeting, you'll take a break after 20 min for him to check his phone and at the 45 min mark and see if he'll agree. 

Another approach is to go to him and say that all have noticed that he seems disengaged in the meetings and ask if there is some ways the meetings can be modified that would make them more meaningful to him.  Would he prefer the management team meet weekly without him and then he attends just one of the meetings each week?  Or should the format be changed?  "Boss, how can we get you more engaged in the discussions?"

If no one feels close enough to the boss to do this, then I think everyone stopping what they were saying and just staring at him will eventually get the point across.  If he says to carry on, a "No we'll wait because we need your input in this." is appropriate. 

RooRoo

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 683
  • I’m out of my mind. Please leave a message.
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2012, 06:57:20 PM »
Quote
One member of the management team does send a follow-up e-mail after the meetings about the action items that were discussed. This does not prompt Boss to take action. The managers remind him about once per week, but the items just drop off his radar.  There could be a whole other post about that part of the problem. They remind him by e-mail, and they discuss his action items during each meeting. It's obvious that he's not following through, but they don't know a way to push the issue with him and spur him to take action.

I think it may be time to escalate this. Perhaps you could include one or more of his bosses in the follow-up e-mails. Or just keep a careful paper trail (while nobody does any of Boss's work for him), and when the questions are raised by upper management, anonymously send them a copy.

I'm very much in agreement with everyone going dead silent and staring at Boss until he gets off the phone.

And tell your friend the fixer-upper that he is actually not helping, but enabling Boss to continue slacking off. It would be much more helpful if he lets Boss hang himself. And remind him (the friend) that he won't get a raise out of this; what he'll get is stuck, because Boss isn't about to lose his valuable services by recommending him for a promotion.

Ask any of us who used to make ourselves indispensible. We learned.  :-\
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

Coley

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2012, 12:00:21 PM »
Quote
One member of the management team does send a follow-up e-mail after the meetings about the action items that were discussed. This does not prompt Boss to take action. The managers remind him about once per week, but the items just drop off his radar.  There could be a whole other post about that part of the problem. They remind him by e-mail, and they discuss his action items during each meeting. It's obvious that he's not following through, but they don't know a way to push the issue with him and spur him to take action.

I think it may be time to escalate this. Perhaps you could include one or more of his bosses in the follow-up e-mails. Or just keep a careful paper trail (while nobody does any of Boss's work for him), and when the questions are raised by upper management, anonymously send them a copy.

I'm very much in agreement with everyone going dead silent and staring at Boss until he gets off the phone.

And tell your friend the fixer-upper that he is actually not helping, but enabling Boss to continue slacking off. It would be much more helpful if he lets Boss hang himself. And remind him (the friend) that he won't get a raise out of this; what he'll get is stuck, because Boss isn't about to lose his valuable services by recommending him for a promotion.

Ask any of us who used to make ourselves indispensible. We learned.  :-\

To the bolded -- how very true. I wish I could convince my friend to stop enabling Boss. My friend is very dedicated to the good of his operation and worries that it will be harmed if he doesn't intervene. My friend actually knows more about the operation than Boss (friend has worked there much longer than Boss has), and it probably is a tremendous benefit for Boss to keep my friend in his present position.

Thanks again, everyone.

Cat-Fu

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 523
  • My cat is a ninja
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2012, 12:48:16 PM »
I agree with RooRoo. TBH, it sounds more like your friend has a Boss Problem, not that his boss has a Phone Problem.  :-\ It might be time to seek guidance from further up the chain of command.
“Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.” PBS

Decimus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Hang up and lead.
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2012, 12:06:04 PM »
There is good advice here.  The only thing I will add is rather than making a decision FOR Boss, which Boss can then second-guess, your friend needs to send an email TO Boss that says (for example) "If a decision is not made on the amount to bid for the Blue Widget Contract by end of business tomorrow, we will lose the opportunity to tender a bid.  Please let us know when a decision has been made."  Then cc or bcc Boss' boss.