Workplace Coach

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Q: Sixteen months ago I lost my oil company job, but received enough severance to keep me afloat for more than a year. I’d always wanted to work for myself and felt this was my big chance. Even though I’ve never been a risk-taker, I started a small business. I soon realized I needed an assistant because when I invested time in paperwork it took me away from the sales and marketing… Read More

Q: Several months ago one of my former employees, who’d left our agency, returned as my immediate supervisor. It’s been hell ever since. Before his return, I had been respected and allowed to function semi-autonomously. I’d myself been a supervisor, overseeing one employee until he left and management decided to shift the duties he’d handled to another department. I received excellent performance evaluations for my accomplishments.   My former employee rules commander style… Read More

Do you fire an otherwise acceptable employee after he unintentionally creates widespread panic among those your organization has committed to serving? What if he’s a new employee who didn’t know better – and you question whether his supervisor bears part of the responsibility because he didn’t receive adequate training? What if the bulk of the panic occurred because your organization didn’t have solid systems in place to prevent the problems one accidental… Read More

Q: My introverted, insecure, my-way-or-the-highway supervisor has an abnormally low threshold for anything resembling a suggestion. Though I have both technical and managerial skills and could be a wonderful resource for her, I’m a no-BS kind of person who speaks his mind and what I say invariably rubs her the wrong way, even and especially when it’s right. When I first started in her department, I tried to get her to see the… Read More

You’ve met the predatory client and possibly even tangled with him. He or she makes life difficult for your staff, particularly your front desk employees, and possibly even for you because his status as a client enables him to do so. Often he represents hundreds of thousands of dollars in billings. Do legal practices have a responsibility to protect their employees and other clients from a client that sexually harass them? Protecting… Read More

It started with Harvey Weinstein and gained unstoppable velocity when thousands of women posted true, painful stories using the hashtag #MeToo. Serious, long-buried sexual harassment complaints have rocked many workplaces – including ones not at all prepared to handle the topic. Even organizations well-equipped to handle sexual harassment complaints and investigations are finding that their wheels are going off the tracks when faced with a tension between two workplace groups – those… Read More

“How the hell could he have been so stupid?” the manager asked when he called. “What burns me is this spring he asked me if he could skip the annual anti-harassment training because he’d been through it five years in a row. So explain to me why I have credible complaints from three different women alleging this man on my senior team sexually harassed each of them?” The manager didn’t like it… Read More

Question: I’m the senior manager at our branch. After I stopped one of our exempt employees from what I considered a paid time off (PTO) scam in which she repeatedly worked an hour or two a day when on personal leave and claimed full day pay so she didn’t need to deduct the day from her PTO, she acted personally affronted. Then she announced she had a potentially terminal illness. Our employees… Read More

Q. With all the media frenzy about sexual harassment, I feel like every man in America has a target on his back. All a woman has to do is cry sexual harassment, and even if it didn’t happen or supposedly happened years ago, the guy is toast. So now I have to live in fear that I’m going to tick off some woman who’ll get back at me by claiming I harassed… Read More

 Q: When I landed my job, I thought I’d found a company I’d stay with for years. I liked my supervisor and every one of my new coworkers, and if my work wasn’t always interesting, it seemed a small price to pay for the work-family I’d found. I’ve never had much of a real family as both my parents were alcoholics and I’ve never married. But I’ve screwed up. Last Friday my… Read More

My dilemma: I was recruited for a board position in an organization I have been passionate about for years by our longest serving and most respected members.  They nearly fawned over my accomplishments when they drummed up support for me. I resisted and didn’t think I’d done enough to warrant a board seat.  But they said I “made good choices” and that they “trusted my judgment.”  Additionally, they said our organization needed… Read More

Q: Like thousands of other women, I wrote my #MeToo. Although I disguised some of the facts to protect myself, it was clear to me and perhaps to others that it involved a senior manager in my company. After it published, I learned two former employees of my current employer had written similar stories about the same man. I can’t tell you how mad I am, not just at the man but… Read More