Article (January-2019)


Ravi should learn the art of handling tenacious subordinate

Bhaskar Dhariwal

Designation : -   Manager

Organization : -  


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"When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotions as well". Every organization has its own legacy, work style and mix of old and new employees. For new managers, it's always been easy to understand the history of the organization but when it comes to understand the human behavior, it's the real test of new manager that how he cope up with the existing old team members and understand their behavior and working pattern.
We see many a times, whenever any management change happens to any organization, the new manager or a person appointed on a leadership role with a reporting team members, tries to enforce his past experiences and learnings on his new team. It is always better implement the new things and work with a team keeping the past experiences and learnings in mind but excess usages of this may lead to internal conflicts among the existing team members and new arrival.
Here, Mr. Ravi is a new joinee to the company and Sushant is working with the company from the very inception. Totally different conditions for Mr. Ravi. When you join new organization, the conditions like, Mr. Ravi is facing, are bound to happen. It's a matter of understanding each other and aligning each other's activities for the better accomplishment organizational objectives.
As Sushant was working in the organization from last 12 years, he was having good rapport with operations head Mr. Takimoka, and he knows the same very well. Subordinates like Sushant are the real challenge for any of the superior. If we see from the management perspective, one cannot term Sushant as a good manager, as change of the boss in any organization is inevitable and having superior is not an option for anybody in the organization. Personality of Mr. Sushant can be termed as an aggressive, reactive & possessive or to some extent insecure subordinate, which is not always fruitful for organization as a whole. After spending long working relationship, the intimacy like Mr. Sushant and Mr. Takimoka having, is quite natural, which can be used for the benefit of the organization, but, in many organizations it is being used for the other selfish reasons as well. Approach of Mr. Takimoka towards Mr. Sushant and the episode happened with Mr. Ravi should have been collaborative and consultative to both the employees, whereas he tried to escape Mr. Sushant.
As Mr. Gopalan is aware about the behavior of Mr. Sushant, he must act as a manufacturing head and must give his words of advice to Mr. Sushant to cooperate with Mr. Ravi and work for organization rather working for self-objectives.
On the other hand, Mr. Ravi as new to the organization must understand the dynamics of the organization and should act, accordingly. Dealing and getting work done through tough and tenacious subordinates is also an art and one must know how to effectively perform in those kind of circumstances.
Mr. Ravi or a new joiner like Ravi can work on his functioning style in a below mentioned manner :
1. Understanding the organizational structure is very important for any of the new Joiner. (More importantly understanding the hidden lines reporting structure).
2. One must spend good time on understanding the working style, personality traits of all team members and accordingly should start assigning the work.
3. Old employees in a team can be a real asset for an organization and a boss, they are the custodian of history/legacy of the organization and may help in taking many important decision.
4. Building trust and gaining trust of team is the first responsibility of new boss, as with the arrival of new boss, environment may change and the subordinate like Sushant may feel insecure.
There are many other reasons as well for conflict, between boss-subordinate relationships, like generation gap, which can be broadly defined in following categories :
Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials : Born 1996 - TBD. (More fast, result oriented, Techxpert).
Millennials or Gen Y : Born 1977 - 1995. (Moderately fast and Tech Savy, many of the manufacturing units are having 60% population from this age group.)
Generation X : Born 1965 - 1976. (Good at decision making, mostly sitting at higher levels of the organization.)
Baby Boomers : Born 1946 - 1964. (More serious, less adaptable to change.)
Traditionalists or Silent Generation : Born 1945 and before.
In whole case, it can be concluded that Mr. Ravi and Sushant were having a great communication gap issue with each other, which ultimately resulted in to no trust situation with Mr. Sushant (led to non-performance and not submitting the reports on time) and a different set of mind with Mr. Ravi.