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Challenging interaction in business practice
Pages 8 (2008 words)
When I joined Fliqz to manage a technical team, Patrick was the team's main web developer. The minute I shook hands with him, he demeanor told me that this guy was different. He was clumsy, introverted and kept to himself throughout the introduction session…
Obviously, he was not progressing much in his career. Soon, I noticed that he avoided talking with me directly and was not paying attention when I conducted team meetings. I also learned that he was trying to communicate the project matters to my manager, bypassing my authority.
Knowing it was my responsibility to resolve the matter, I took the initiative to have a dialog with him away from the formalities of the office. So I invited him for lunch and simply tried to establish a personal connection between us. He gradually opened up to talk about his family and his hobbies, which were real estate and stock investment, two subjects that I was also interested in. That set the tone for the rest of the meeting. Once I felt he had settled down and relaxed, I asked him why he was avoiding me and not reporting to me. To my surprise, he was straightforward and told me that he felt uncomfortable to work under me as I was much younger than him and that other colleagues told him that he was passed up for promotion. Knowing his military background, I said that the purpose of a business reporting structure was to improve efficiency and to ensure group direction rather than enforce a hierarchy of status. I told him, "Patrick, we came from different backgrounds and I do not necessarily know more than you do. The management wanted us to work together on this project as our skill sets are complementary. ...
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