How do I approach my High I boss and tell her to give us time to do the actual work before saying anything about it? I'm thinking whether to just accept it, or if there's another way to tell her that it's not helpful what she's doing. 

Here's the situation. I am handling 4 people. Let's call them the conversion team. We are in the publishing industry (technology side). When my team finishes the work, they send an email to me (CCing my boss) saying that this content is done. 

Then suddenly, when my High I boss reads the email, she gets up from her chair, approaches me, and asks, "did you see the email?" or "did you announce this ____ has been published already?" or "there were 7 titles that were released, did you see them?" and many other questions along that line. Again, literally within minutes of that email. 

Being a Manager Tools manager, I'm working my calendar and already setup my schedules to check and process my email 3x a day and other priorities. I also know that as a direct, I have to adjust to my boss' style. Being a High DC, i get irritated by it. Like i'm scheduled to do this priority A thing (directly stated to me as one of my KRAs), then I hear a high-sounding, shrill voice about this or that. 

I'm just thinking how to approach this because she's definitely not used to organised work. She's not used to formal reporting. Obviously, she's not listening to Manager Tools. (PS: I got this information by observing behaviours -- she gets up her chair, calls out a name, what about this what about that. Or she goes behind the desk of the person, ask about the work, etc. Kind of like what Mike was referring to in some podcasts about always scrambling about statuses). 

Oh, to add more information, I'm only 3 weeks in the job. Already started my boss O3s last week to update on work and to ask my questions. I did my first "Update Meeting" with her on my week 2. Then I'll have my second one tomorrow (my week 3). I'm hoping she'll realise that I'll still do the work -- but not right now. 



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flexiblefine's picture

You say it yourself -- you're only three weeks into this job, and your boss hasn't learned what to expect of you.

Once she learns you're reliable, she may trust you to do your part of the process after the email is sent. Until then, she's checking to make sure you're aware of the progress -- and she's doing it face-to-face because she's a high I.

She might keep checking in with you this way after she learns to trust you, because it's the way she does her status checks. Accept her style, however it manifests itself, and adapt where you can.

Houston, Texas, USA
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pucciot's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

 It may be possible to build the trust described above by calmly explaining your email style to her.

She just assumes everybody has the toast email pop-up and reads every new email right way - like she does.

When she comes to your desk asking about a brand new - "hot off the presses" email ---

Something like this might help :


"I'm sorry, {Boss}.  I have not yet read that email.

I have found that emails popping up on my computer screen is very distracting for me.  

It interrupts my workflow and I am not as productive.

I'd be happy to make comments about the email right away.  

Would you like me to read it right now ?  "


Remember to remain calm 

- answer honestly and show a complete willingness to stop and read that email for her right now.


I doubt she would have the patience to wait for you to read it.

After a few times of this - she will either :

A - avoid doing this to you in this situation in the future

B - order you to turn on email pop-up check you email more often - In which case you may be able to flag certain kinds of emails as - pop-ups and ignore others.

 C - some kind of happy median where she gives you a heads up - to read a particular email right away and prepare to comment on it soon.

Good luck on the new job.



donm's picture
Training Badge

Well, I have a different take. I'd just yell back, "Not yet. I'll get to it."

This is a perfectly reasonable response to us High-I's. We're good at putting things off, so isn't that what everyone does? Since the OP is a high DC, he will, indeed, get to it, so this is the easy way to handle it.

aylim14's picture

Thanks for your comments everyone.

@flexiblefine --> Yes, I'm afraid of that latter comment of yours because I find it personally unproductive. And at the back of my mind, I'm wondering whether this behaviour is the cause or the effect: If she's asking like this because no one is updating her (effect) OR no one is updating her because she keeps asking anyways (Cause). But hey, she's my boss and you're right, I have to adapt. 

@tjpucciot --> I'm not sure if i can do that when she calls / asks in my situation. It may be natural for her, not me being a High DC. But more so because of the layout of the office and how we're situated. It's like a "shared" floor where there are other departments and only waist-high cubicle walls separate the "staff" while the GM's have their backs against the wall to resemble a "room." Anyways, that aside, I think I'll do that when she walks by or if I walk up to her place or during my update meetings with her (Boss O3s).

@donm --> interesting point. And i think you're right. She just asks for the sake of asking or saying or having something to say. It's not as if she doesn't trust me with the work or something. So I think I'll try that answer then still put it off for later when i check my email or schedule time to process whatever work that is. 

flexiblefine's picture

How is your relationship with your team? Do you know their plans well enough to anticipate that a batch of work will be done on a given day?

You might let your boss know in the morning: "Boss, this batch of 5 titles should be completed today. I'll send out the publication announcement after I get the email from the team." When the email comes, she already knows you're expecting it and ready to do the next part.

That gives you the chance to head off her interruption in advance and look good doing it. :)

Houston, Texas, USA
DiSC: 1476

Doris_O's picture

Simple solution: Have your team stop cc'ing your boss on the completion emails. When you receive the email, forward it to her with when the next steps will be completed.

If she later asks you why they are not cc'ing her on the emails, tell her that you noticed when she received those messages that she wanted to know X, Y, and Z, so you wanted to make sure that she received that information along with the completion email.


aylim14's picture

 @flexiblefine Not in that detail. I'm still getting bombarded with details as I'm still relatively new. Just on my 4th week this week (and the last 2 weeks were full of holidays). I'll just start the O3s with the team next week. Just announced it and will be discussed during the team meeting tomorrow. My other concern is that the releases are in a way, cyclical. There are releases every month, and i still have to know when and where they are coming from, who to talk to regarding timings (because sometimes they are delayed, and we get hammered for not being able to release it on time). But that's a great point. I'll try it in the next few weeks since i'm going to be having update meetings with my team. 

@doris Already thought of that. But my boss specifically asks for them. I'll bring it up during my next O3 with her. 

aylim14's picture

Hi fellow MT listeners. Just wanted to update you of this situation. So it's been a few weeks since i'm in the job. 5th or 6th week now. My issue above has been resolved bu doing my weekly boss O3s. Just a while ago, she said she's happy that i'm always updating her. So for people who think that MT recommendations don't work, well they do. 

But you know that already. So thanks for all the inputs. 

PS: this is an initiation on my part, so on my calendar it's a weekly update meeting



flexiblefine's picture

Well done! You're building a relationship with your boss and she's happy about it.

Houston, Texas, USA
DiSC: 1476

teaguek122's picture

I like that manager tools is helping you out within your workplace.