General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Confusing response from big boss - update #21

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DollyPond:
After thinking about it I also have another suspicion.

I think there may have been a separate discussion that I was not part of concerning whether or not to report out additional findings from a new test we just started.  We were all discussing this at a meeting the day before.  Two of our attending physicians are resistant to this because "no one else is doing it yet".  He might have thought that I was replying to that thread.

The bad part is that if that IS what he was thinking the subject line of my e-mail ("Good to know we're not alone in this") comes across as really snarky.  Hopefully he'll go back and read my actual e-mail, realize I was not part of the original discussion and not assume the worst.  Or as I had said his wife could point out the mix up.

Good point about people who do not like to be corrected.  Big Boss is new and I haven't gotten a read on that yet - so best to not stir things up.

artk2002:
Sounds like just another empty platitude that comes out of the executive suite. I think that you're spending far too much effort trying to decode it. I've worked for a number of CEOs who could put together sentences that were correct as far as English grammar were concerned, but had absolutely no real meaning.

Daydream:
Was the intent of your email to point out that now that the problem with the vendor's equipment has been identified, you can move forward in making things better by either finding a new vendor, or trying to get the current vendor to fix the problem?  If so, and you didn't say that in the email, it could be that Big Boss needs this spelled out for him. 

So, while you might have been thinking, "Now Big Boss will automatically look into changing vendors, or will ask me or someone in More Appropriate Dept. to do so, and this will make things better," he may not understand that unless you actually write: "Would you like me or someone in Other Department to discuss this problem with Vendor or look for a new vendor so that we can fix this problem?" 

Perhaps you thought it would be too forward to say that.

If he has a mind that just reads what is front of him, stops, and does not think any further, he may just think, "Why is DollyPond 'complaining' about this problem?  We can't do anything about it, so we should just 'look into the future' by ignoring it." 

If you knew him better and could trust that he wouldn't react badly, I would at this point write something like, "Yes, if we are able to correct this problem, it will help us to move forward and achieve the highest standards.  I will look into it." 

But I agree that that might be seen as "correcting" him, so it's probably good that you've decided not to respond. 


ETA:  Some people see any mention of something bad without trying to fix it as "complaining" or a "waste of time," etc.  So, if your intent was not to find a solution and was just to say, "Hey, I discovered something interesting about this problem we've been having and just wanted to share it with all of you," he might not like that.

jpcher:
First question . . . Are you team lead? or Person with Authority?



--- Quote from: DollyPond on June 22, 2013, 09:56:26 PM ---Today I sent an e-mail to our group (big boss copied) with the news that a problem we have been experiencing has also been seen at a colleague's site.  In other words, the problem is not unique to us (i.e. we are not making some kind of annoying mistake) but seems to be a more generalized failure of one vendor's equipment.

Big Boss responded to all saying that he does not like this kind of thinking and that we should be looking into the future so as to achieve the highest standards.

I am confused by this response as are a few others in the group.  I'm not sure how identifying the root cause of a problem is not forward looking.

I don't plan to respond.  I am hoping that his wife, who is a member of the group, points out to him that he may have missed the point of the e-mail.

Thoughts?

--- End quote ---

Simply identifying the root of the problem could possibly be misconstrued as "It's not our fault (phew) . . . somebody else can fix it."* In which case (in big boss' mind) your e-mail was not forward thinking at all.

*Not knowing the exact wording of your e-mail (and I'm not expecting you to post it) it's difficult to surmise exactly what the big boss was thinking, if at all  :-\, when he responded.

Personally, I think you did the right thing by sending out an e-mail to everybody saying "Hey! Great news! We're not idiots!" ;D



--- Quote from: DollyPond on June 23, 2013, 09:59:08 AM ---After thinking about it I also have another suspicion.

(snip)

Good point about people who do not like to be corrected.  Big Boss is new and I haven't gotten a read on that yet - so best to not stir things up.

--- End quote ---

Stop playing the guessing game. That's the only way to get a read on Big Boss.


--- Quote from: Daydream on June 23, 2013, 04:28:42 PM ---"Yes, i If we are able to correct this problem, it will help us to move forward and achieve the highest standards.  We have been troubleshooting the problem on our own and I thought it would be a morale booster to let the team know that the problem is not unique to us and the source of the problem is, in fact, on the vendor side. I see that as progress.

I will look into it. I am in contact with colleague and, together, we will continue to work on finding a solution. If you have any suggestions on how to best solve this problem, please let me know."

--- End quote ---

I do not think that this would be correcting big boss. It is sending him additional/detailed information that he may not be aware of. No need to copy the team (cc your supervisor if you're not directly under big boss.)






--- Quote from: DollyPond on June 22, 2013, 09:56:26 PM ---I don't plan to respond.  I am hoping that his wife, who is a member of the group, points out to him that he may have missed the point of the e-mail.

--- End quote ---

Please, please, pleeeease! do not put his wife in the middle! Just.No. Very bad!



(edited to fix color)

citadelle:

--- Quote from: jpcher on June 24, 2013, 06:27:38 PM ---
Simply identifying the root of the problem could possibly be misconstrued as "It's not our fault (phew) . . . somebody else can fix it."* In which case (in big boss' mind) your e-mail was not forward thinking at all

<Snipped>

--- End quote ---

This was my thought. As teachers we are discouraged from thinking about problems students have as parenting issues or poverty related, for example. We are supposed to focus on what we can do about the problem, even if the root cause is out of our hands.

Don't know if that applies, but was my first thought.

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