Another update from the Jungle….
It’s Monday morning and Christine knows that sitting in rush hour traffic will be the high point of her day. After that, she’ll suffer a fate almost like death as she sits through the monthly staff meeting. Ms. Piggy will be holding court as usual.
Ms. Piggy is a co-worker who pretends to be a team player. Beneath the friendly smiles lurks a self-centered prima donna. She knows her life is so much more interesting than others. For the past six months, she’s been monopolizing the staff meetings with the same tale of a product vendor who can’t deliver the quality of work she demands.
Initially, Christine and several other managers suggested ways for Ms. Piggy to solve her vendor problem. Ms. Piggy made it clear that their solutions would work fine for idiots like them, but not for her since her work is much more technically sensitive.
Edward, the division head, doesn’t know how to handle Ms. Piggy. He wasn’t promoted based on his people skills and he doesn’t want to get stuck in sticky people problems. He would rather walk across hot coals barefoot or participate again in the pie eating contest at the company picnic.
Christine arrives at work and grabs a giant mug of coffee on her way to the conference room. Edward slides into the chair at the head of the table and begins asking for updates. Everyone tenses as he reaches Ms. Piggy. Ms. Piggy begins her usual quick update with the usual digressions.
Within a minute the energy level in the room plummets deeper than the Grand Canyon. The guy sitting next to Christine begins playing a game on his phone. Two managers begin reading their emails on their iPads. Edward opens his mouth to cut off Ms. Piggy but she raises her voice and continues. Christine slurps her coffee and tries to keep her head from exploding.
What options are available to Christine?
- She can fall to the floor pretending to have a seizure so that the meeting ends.
- She can leap to her feet shrieking “I can’t take it anymore. Shut up!”
- She can suggest that they imitate business networking groups by timing responses so that the staff meetings finish on time and they avoid Ms. Piggy moments.
The above scenario is a composite of too many meetings at too many companies. HR can help managers avoid these ghastly events by training them how to give effective feedback to their subordinates on appropriate office behavior and by urging senior management to pay for coaching for managers who lack people skills.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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