Question: One of my employees is extremely stubborn. Regardless of the topic, "Paul" refuses to consider other opinions and always insists that he is right. Needless to say, this creates problems with his co-workers.
Unfortunately, Paul is also very adept at promoting his own interests. After learning that my boss belonged to a certain professional association, he immediately became a member himself. My manager is now saying that Paul should be promoted. How can I convince him that this would be a mistake?
Answer: The sad truth is that your headstrong employee has outmaneuvered you politically. By developing a relationship with your boss, Paul has gained influence and shifted the leverage equation in his favor. If this continues, you will never be able to manage him.
To restore the normal managerial order, you need to bring your boss's view of Paul into alignment with your own. Directly challenging his opinion will only lead to an argument, so you must take a more balanced approach. For example: "I agree that Paul may have leadership potential, but I do have a couple of concerns. Other team members sometimes have trouble working with him because he refuses to collaborate or consider their views. To prepare him for promotion, I believe we need a development plan that will target these issues."
Then, if you have an ounce of political intelligence, you will immediately take a page from Paul's playbook and become an active member of your manager's professional group.
Marie G. McIntyre: www.yourofficecoach.com First Published October 19, 2013 8:00 PM