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Submitted by Nevergiveup on


My direct is friends with my boss who trusts her.
My direct is also being disruptive to the team although she has good results. Should I pre emt my boss first? Then have a chat with her? Or just talk to her directly as a manager.

masterc34's picture

I would say that you are her manager, and it is your responsibility to clamp down on disruptive behaviour. No need for me to go into the effects of disruptive behaviour to team synergy, because i am sure you already know that.

The boss trusting her, does not help you manage your team as effectively as you can, unless of course, if you are struggling to argue your case or lack the necessary confidence in dealing with this particular individual. I suggest you go for it, talk to her, make her see what effect her behaviour is having on the team. You do have a code of conduct that governs your team and organisation, and i do not believe the set of values and policies you have condone disruptive unhelpful and frankly disgusting behaviour.

pucciot's picture
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I would recommend that you develop clear performance measures -- 

in Results & Relationships for all of your directs.

That you make your expectations clear to them, all equally and fairly.


That through the whole process that you inform your Boss how you are doing this equally for each direct.

And then on a regular basis you can share those Performance measures --- results & relationships --- of your directs outcomes with your Boss.

This Direct Report will be only one on the list of your directs.

Make it clear that this is a Departmental matter and that you are being fair with each of your directs.

Make sure that you stay away from Characterizations -- and stick to observable behaviors.

Don't let "motives" and "attitude" get in the way.

If you point out this Direct's poor behavior, her Friend (your Boss) will stick up for her on the basis of "motives" and "attitude".

You have to make it clear that you like this person and you assume positive motive and intent.

That you are only discussing the observable behaviors and how they have a negative impact on the team.

Don't push your Boss too hard.   

"Stay Frosty"  Delivery it like coolly and professionally.


"Hey Boss, I just wanted to update you on how the team is doing."

Give an update about each Person - objectively.

When you come to this person... say "I am concerned about something that she has been doing lately "

-"When she does this _______  ; it affects the team like this ____"

I'm sure that she means well, and only has everyone's best interests at heart ... but, what she is doing is still having a negative effect on the team.

"I am working with her on this topic.  I hope that together the two of us can improve the situation."

Make it sound like you are just delivering your report and checking off the list.

Then move on to the next person/topic.

See how that goes ?


Good Luck




mrreliable's picture

I had a similar situation with a new hire that came in toxic. Everyone else on the team had to prove themselves over a number of years, and this person came in on a pedestal provided by the owners. If I had to do it all over again, I'd do it differently. I made  a mistake.

I spoke wth the owners and explained the situation, and told them I was going to give feedback and let this person know how they had to conduct themselves as part of our team. The owners jumped to her defense, even saying, "It's not like we can fire her or anything." Basically, with regard to this privileged direct, they cut my knees out from under me.

If I had this situation pop up again, I'd would have had the meeting, given her feedback, and let the owners be in the bad position of defending her actions, instead of short-circuiting my proposed method of dealing with it. Sort of like asking forgiveness instead of permission. As it was I gave them the chance to shut me down, which I guess I asked for, even though I didn't think they'd do that.