George, a middle-manager boss, disliked the weekly staff meetings he attended. However, he had a change in his group of six supervisors when Charlie replaced a usually silent supervisor. Charlie was more conversant with every section of their boss’s territory and often had something critical to say about the other supervisors’ weekly reports. George was particularly bothered by Charlie’s approach to getting his issues or criticisms on the table, which focused exclusively on problems and weaknesses. He also resented Charlie’s way of introducing problems or concerns in a way that ensured maximum embarrassment for the supervisor whose area was in question. George believed that Charlie’s practice of blindsiding others in the group was coldly calculated to make himself look better by making others look worse. George found it frustrating that their boss did not seem to recognize what Charlie was doing. This case highlights the challenges faced by managers in addressing their employees’ concerns and addressing their issues effectively.
1. What do you recommend that George do about Charlie’s staff meeting behavior?
2. Should George take up his concerns directly with Charlie? And if so, should he do it one-on-one or in the context of the staff meeting?
3. Would you recommend that George start addressing this problem by taking it up one-on-one with their mutual middle-manager boss?