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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My supervisor is seems to be playing a game of divide and

Resolved Question:

My supervisor is seems to be playing a "game" of divide and conquer. He wants to interview teammates separately in order to find out who is doing work. This seems highly irregular to me and a bit like an interrogation. I would be interested in your thoughts from an organizational development/morale/functional-disfunctional staff/mental health viewpoint. Here is the email he sent to me followed by the one I sent to him:

"Well, hopefully you’ve been meeting regularly with Clint and working out issues as a team ever since I first started discussing this project with you guys. I want to meet with all of you individually because I want to hear from each of you (individually) on what you are doing to complete this project. In the event that someone is not contributing to the team effort, I don’t want that person to be able to hide behind the team member(s) that are getting the work done. I want to make sure that every individual is taking ownership of the overall effort and is accountable for the outcome. I don’t have a problem meeting with any team whenever that team wants to meet to discuss any issue they like related to their project. But I’ve asked for these meetings for a specific reason and I’ve given a lot of thought to how I want to handle these meetings."


"...given the nature of our assignments, which are team-oriented, I would suggest that we meet as teams. It would be conducive to the generation of consensually agreed on suggestions/ideas. Also it would reduce the chances of misunderstandings and surprises as all team members would be present."


"By the middle of August, I would like each of you to schedule a meeting with me to discuss your individual progress and that of your team on the major assignment I have given you. I want to meet with each of you one on one and each of you will need to be prepared to come in and discuss the current overall status of your effort, your individual contributions to that effort, problems you’ve encountered and steps you’ve taken to overcome those problems and work that still needs to be done. I want to have these meetings with each of you now so that when we get to the end of the performance cycle in September there are no surprises for any of us."
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.
While I agree with your email to him, it is obviously not his style of management.

He is entitled to evaluate each individual as an individual, and as long as he does not ask them to 'inform' on others on the team, I wouldn't get too exercised about it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

How would you recommend that I react should he ask me to inform on others or discuss what they have done?


It occured to me some time ago that it would make more sense to assign team leaders who are accountable for the team rather than speaking to us individually. Usually, that's the way he operates.

Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.
I would suggest that he ask the team leader, since it is not part if your function to evaluate the performance of your colleagues.

I do agree with your comment about appointing accountable team leaders - if they don't exist the team cannot function properly.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That's the problem: there is no team leader. He did not appoint leaders for some reason.


Am I missing your point?



Expert:  Norman M. replied 5 years ago.
No - not at all. He is just a poor manager!
Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks, Norman.

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