I am a genuine person. If you are being awesome, I tell you. If you suck, I tell you. I believe that transparency is so important in this world both as a time-saver and a courtesy. If I am doing something wrong, I would like to know as soon as possible. I can correct it if you tell me what I’m doing, and what you’d like me doing instead. Bluntly. Don’t leave room for interpretation. And definitely don’t say “we need to talk later” because then I will just freak out.
I think that’s just basic consideration and efficiency, right? Am I the only one?
I got a promotion at the end of last month. I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to slide into the role with conflicting direction. It’s exasperating.
Anticipating this problem, I asked for a list of responsibilities. I was given one, then told two things:
- I will be slowly trained on a lot of the technical stuff over the next year, so that is not my responsibility yet.
- The other TL is technically still my boss, because he has serious seniority on me. Like, four times my tenure. I’m actually okay with this – I have a lot of respect for him and would love to learn how he balances everything and doesn’t put off an outward vibe of “No! Go away! I can’t deal with things right now!”. I need to learn to channel his zen.
I was then given the directive that we’d switch weeks on, weeks off for certain responsibilities. Okay, fine.
That was as far as instruction got. But that’s okay, I take initiative. I’ve been monitoring the workflow and asking people to work on X, Y, or Z because they need to get done (not because I don’t think they will anyway, or that they’re not doing anything). Since the burden sits on my shoulders to makes sure goals get met daily, I want to do what I can to help that happen. Including jumping into bare-bone level workflow myself. Which I do. All day, every day. None of my upper level work gets done, which I’m told is “low priority” anyway.
Apparently, that is the wrong thing.
Yesterday my supervisor took me aside and told me that I can’t just tell people what to do. It comes off as bossy, and people are offended I ask them to do things. Yes of course it comes off as bossy! It’s also something I’ve been doing before being given this role, for months. Apparently it was okay then, pre-title, but now it’s pushy.
Another thing I’ve been doing for several years now that I’m apparently no longer permitted to do as a Team Lead – speak in meetings. We have always been encouraged to bring up suggestions and concerns in our weekly huddles. Again, now that I’m a Team Lead, that’s another “bossy” thing to do, and is best left to others. Especially in the “jumping on what so-and-so said” arena. No announcements, no suggestions, no contributing to the conversation until told otherwise. … Okay?
So now I’m desperately trying to find my balance. If I do absolutely nothing I’m not doing my job. If I do TL things, I’m definitely out-of-bounds because regular associate things are now out-of-bounds. I honestly want to bang my head against a brick wall.
I’m not even going to go into the different mixed messages I get from all three of my superiors of the “do this!” vs. “why did you do that?” variety. Because I already have a headache.