Knowledge sharing with my supervisor
What you need to know:
- First and foremost, do not be confrontational; this can be perceived as being aggressive. Do not ignore him, as this, too, may be seen as you being passive-aggressive and undermining. I suggest that you work with your supervisor by sharing your knowledge and technical expertise.
I was recently appointed a manager in a relatively large organisation. I was assured at the point of appointment that there would be room to introduce new ways of working, given my experience and exposure. I have been here for six months and recently finished my probation period. I have been on a steep learning curve and have observed that my boss is very protective about his role and how he wants to lead the team. I have also discovered that while he has commendable leadership abilities, his training is outside the technical space we work in. As a result, he is almost aggressive when I present alternative ways of doing things. How do I manage this? Philip
Hello Philip, congratulations on your appointment. I am sure your predicament is uncomfortable, and sometimes, many of us are faced with the dynamic that you are facing. The fundamental question is how significant this challenge is to you. Many may “hunker down and get on with the job”, however, continuously clashing with your supervisor may impact your efficiency. Some may be bold and try and address the matter. But how you approach it is essential.
First and foremost, do not be confrontational; this can be perceived as being aggressive. Do not ignore him, as this, too, may be seen as you being passive-aggressive and undermining. I suggest that you work with your supervisor by sharing your knowledge and technical expertise. Consider working one-on-one. When asked to deliver work where you have your ideas, take a moment and reflect on what is being asked and the best possible outcome. I would then take time for a one-on-one conversation where you seek the audience to understand what is being asked, a “clarification discussion.” In that discussion, you acknowledge his queries and table your thinking as an alternative solution that still gets the same results. While tabling your solution, ensure you have a clear rationale that supports your perspective and critically if your solution can address more than one goal even better.
Knowledge management is the quickest way to influence others, and by sharing your knowledge, you help open your supervisor’s mind. This process can also be done with your team. The sharing process should be done in a coaching manner, so it is not top-down. You, too, should be open to receiving constructive feedback, especially if it’s coming from team members who have been in the organisation longer than you. Start with small, less risky projects and work on the bigger ones.
Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U) [email protected]