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Submitted by caglema on


HR is asking me to formally counsel a manager and her supervisor for emotionally mishandling an employee. The employee was volitile and manipulative and posted inflammatory lies on social media. Although they could have handled the situation a bit better, I don't think they managed by emotions. How do I provide that counseling without going against my understanding of the situation while not burning HR capital? Thank you for your feedback.

SETM22's picture

From your description, there is an employee. Let's call her Jane. So Jane posted some stuff on social media and the employee's supervisor and that supervisor's manager allegedly reprimanded the employee in an "emotional" way. You don't say whether both of these people "ganged up" on Jane which would be another issue! Anyway, now HR wants you to counsel these two managers.

Are you implying that HR is telling you *how* to counsel these people?

If I'm correct above (and even if I'm not), your job as the manager is to give the feedback. HR can certainly offer their input, but it's your responsibility to deliver it in the way you feel is best.

The way I see it is that first you need to give adjusting feedback to your direct. Then it's up to your direct to give feedback to their direct (that supervisor). Focus on future behavior. What's done is done.

Maybe something like this...

You: Can I give you some feedback?

DR: Sure

You: When you reprimand an employee by raising your voice, it causes people to be defensive and they stop listening. Can you do better next time?

That was only an example. I don't know the details of exactly what behavior your DR exhibited that caused this issue.


pucciot's picture
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You can't focus or counsel about emotions.


Always about outward behavior.

Describe what can be seen and heard if it was on a video camera.

When you do this ... behavior ... the resulting behavior from others is ...this.


I don't know how they mis-handled it so it is hard to make an example.

Do you have a detail  ?



caglema's picture
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I absolutely agree. It's all about behavior and that is the rub. Neither supervisor nor manager displayed inappropriate emotional behavior nor did I ever hear them vocalize anything other than boundaries. The said employee merely accused them of it and HR is siding with the employee- perhaps to avoid a threatened EEOC case?  Thankfully my director agrees with me. But I still don't want to burn HR capitlal.