Power-grabbers hate giving up control, so they automatically resent anyone who has authority over them.
Q: I recently hired an employee who tries to control every situation. “Megan” frequently tells me that she is accustomed to being in charge because she has held leadership roles in the past. She routinely ignores my instructions and pays no attention to deadlines.
Megan is also very disrespectful to the volunteers who donate their time to our organization. She orders them around and becomes confrontational if they question her. When I have spoken to Megan about this, she always says the volunteer was at fault. How do you manage this kind of person?
A: Megan sounds like a classic “power-grabber.” Power-grabbers hate giving up control, so they automatically resent anyone who has authority over them. These employees only respect confident, authoritative managers, so you need to establish clear expectations for Megan and hold her accountable if she fails to meet them.
A greater concern, however, is Megan’s disturbing treatment of volunteers. Unless she can demonstrate a more professional and courteous attitude, she should not be allowed to work with them. And if Megan is still in her probationary period, you may have sufficient evidence to conclude that she should not be working there at all.
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Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at yourofficecoach.com.