Need a quick answer to a career or personal dilemma? Career and life coach Marielys Camacho-Reyes will answer your concerns in her column “Ask the Coach.”
In my job, I have two bosses. One is my direct supervisor and the other one is my supervisor’s direct boss. At the beginning, we were all a big happy family, but lately, my two bosses have been at each other’s throat, and things are getting so out of hand that their behavior is preventing me from doing my job correctly. They are always arguing, and the other day, they had a heated discussion right in front of the other employees. I am not sure what is going on, but if this issue does not stop soon, I may go crazy. I am very close with both of them and would love to do something about it. Do you think is a good idea for me to talk to them and let them know how I feel? Or do you think this will make things worse?
If you think that by talking to them you will help making the situation better, I would say, go for it. They are the bosses in that office and they should know better than that. How can they expect employees to behave like professionals if they are the first ones to break that rule? I truly believe that supervisors need to lead by example and in this particular case, your two bosses are not leading by example. I wonder how would they feel is other employees start behaving the same way? Ask them that same question and see if they get the message. If they are having disagreements, they need to fix those issues behind closed doors and not in front of other employees. Fighting, arguing, and being in each other’s throat in front of their subordinates not only makes them look unprofessional but it makes them lose respect point from their employees. If after talking to them, they continue to behave that way, then I guess it will be time for the human resources department to get involved. If these two supervisors cannot work together and/or maintain a peaceful environment in the office, then probably one of them will have to go, and if things are as bad as you described them, then HR department needs to do whatever needs to be done to protect the other employees who have to deal with this situation. The truth is that the issue is not only an unhealthy situation for them but also for the people around them and if they cannot understand that then someone else (aka HR) has to make them understand it.
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