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A recently promoted manager (Manager), whom I helped move into a managerial position, frequently escalates my reasonable requests to my boss, without first discussing them with me. Manager does not report to me administratively, but is running a project for which I am accountable.

 
90% of the time my boss sides with Manager, even though my requests are standard for our environment, and even when Manger is clearly screwing up.
 
My boss is friendly with Manager, and actively championed Manager's recent promotion.
 
At this point I feel that any direction I attempt to give to Manager will be overridden by my boss, and I cannot lead this project effectively. I don't think that my boss is deliberately undercutting my authority, but he is relatively inexperienced, and is trying to be nice to his protege. 

 
I know that I am not supposed to give feedback to my boss; Manager at this point has completely shut me off and is not coach-able  by me. Any suggestions of how to regain my effectiveness on this project?
 
Thank you!

pucciot's picture

Hi, there may not be much you can do, but wait it out.

Eventually you and your Boss will build enough trust that your Boss may get sick of taking the requests, being a middle man.

 

I suggest that you may wish to try a simple Peer Feed-Back approach with the other Manager.

 

Say something like :

“Jack, when you escalated that request to my boss, it didn't give me a chance to address your concerns myself.”

 

“Jack, when you brought that report up to my Boss without sharing it with me first, it made me look like I don't have my act together.”

 

IF you think you can pull it off  :

Hey, Jack,  I've noticed that you run a lot of my requests by my Boss, without asking me.    

Are you concerned about something with me ?  

Is there something that I can do to earn your trust and confidence more ?

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No matter what he says -- just say “Thank You” and continue on with life.

You may just have to live with it.

But, at least he knows that you want to be part of the solution and not make a problem of this.

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You could also bring it up to your Boss by saying :

“ Boss,  I've noticed that Jack goes to you with a lot of my requests.  

Is he concerned about something with me ?  

Is there something that I can do to earn his trust and confidence more ? “

 

 

 

Good Luck

 

TJPuccio

 

Ahead's picture

Thank you TJPuccio!

I appreciate such specific suggestions. I feel I can use them as is, and that they should deescalate the situation.

Thanks!

angelicdoctor's picture

Great suggestions! I've recently experienced similar behavior in a direct who supposedly works for but also takes direction from my distant manager.  I'll put these into action as well.