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How do I get the guys to treat me as part of the team?

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Question: “I work in an office with all men.  My boss is wonderful except he forgets that I am part of the team too. Recently, he gave all the guys a hooded sweatshirt with the company logo on it and failed to give me one. I don't want to sound selfish, but I would like to have one like the rest of the office. What is the best way to handle this situation with the boss without sounding greedy?” — A team member too

Comments

Deja vu! This same question was asked in May...word for word, I believe.

I went back & checked my past e-mails & it is the same question, word for word. I thought it sounded familiar when I read it.

I would be honest and tell him you'd like to have a sweatshirt, and that you are a part of the team too. Maybe he just never thought of it that way. Sometimes people just need to be told things like that.

I think you should ask your boss for a sweatshirt, while reminding him that you are a member of the team and expect to be included in the future.

I've worked in that type of "all boys" situation and been left out on giveaways, lunches, even team building outings. It has been my experience that you have to remind them that you, too, are a team member and expect to be included. Once you've taken the initiative to have this discussion in a matter-of-fact manner instead of an emotional, I-got-my-feelings-hurt-for-being-left-out discussion, the results are better.

It's not that the men are intentionally leaving you out, instead, they just don't always think and have to be reminded!

This type of situation has happened to me as well. I work in a company that is predominantly men. When I originally approached my boss about getting a shirt, he explained that they were all men's sizes and he didn't think I would want one. Since then, my boss now orders women's sizes and makes sure that the other ladies on the team don't feel excluded.

Communication is key, if your boss doesn't know how you feel, he can't fix it.

It is the EXACT same question - here were the responses:

If your boss is wonderful as you say, then just tell him that you felt left out of the team when sweatshirts were given.

Posted by: | May 23, 2008 at 01:44 PM

Well, the best way to ask is by asking. I always opt for humor, but here are a few suggestions. Something along the lines of Boss, did you forget me and then smile (your best smile), or you could take a more humorous approach like oh no, I didn't want one; forget about the woman in the office. If your not comfortable with any of those suggestions, you could always just say I thought those sweat shirts you gave to the guys were really nice and wait and see if he notices that he didn't give you one. Remember, it’s not good to talk alot, but if you don't talk you'll never be heard.

Posted by: Amy Western | May 23, 2008 at 01:48 PM

Depends on the boss and atmosphere. I had that situation here with a prior supervisor. I handled the situation by joking around with him... (i.e. - "guess that didn't come in my size, eh?")

Posted by: KNL | May 23, 2008 at 02:01 PM

This reminds me of one clueless female supervisor at a company I worked with years ago who went on vacation in the Caribbean. She brought back souvenir bottles of suntan lotion for the white women she supervised and nothing for the black women because they didn't NEED a tan. That was the end of HER career, and deservedly so. Show this message to your nincompoop boss and offer to show it to HIS supervisor if he doesn't mend his ways....

Posted by: Egadz | May 23, 2008 at 02:19 PM

I agree, humor makes both parties more comfortable. I like, the "guess that didn't come in my size, eh?". Very lighthearted and he will definetly get the clue with very little conversation on your part.

Posted by: | May 23, 2008 at 02:28 PM

First flatter then ask. "Those were really great looking company sweatshirts -- great taste. Can all employees get one or were they just meant for the men?" If you get one, be sure to thank him for including you as part of the team; chances are he won't forget again.

Posted by: joyce | May 23, 2008 at 02:37 PM

I think your boss is clueless. If he is really a great boss he just didn't think about you being interested in a sweatshirt. Ask yourself if you want it only because you didn't get it and/or do you really want to be one of the guys? I work for a great boss and I would never do anything to jepordize that. A sweatshirt isn't worth the embarassment it would cause him if he is totally innocent in this and is the great boss you say he is. I think commenting on how nice the sweatshirts are, in his presence, will let him know you are interested in the shirts. Give him a chance to come up with the idea on his own. Good luck!

Posted by: Ethel Gallant | May 23, 2008 at 03:17 PM

Just a thought:
Since this sounds like it's coming one month after "Administrative Professionals Day," perhaps your boss is acknowledging the rest of the staff--while (and I recognize that I'm totally assuming this) he acknowledged only you last month. NOTE: I understand that you did say "he forgets that I'm part of the team" and "For example." So I could be way off base with the above information.

Posted by: nan | May 23, 2008 at 03:22 PM

Communication is always the key. Real working relationships are built on sound communication. Just talk to your boss. Interestingly enough, even bosses admire and respect people who are confident enough to just talk to them or communicate. It does not have to be some formal, close the door or get on the calendar thing – just passing conversation or a pull to the side.

Posted by: Question It Services | May 23, 2008 at 07:26 PM

Are you the only support person in your group? I suspect that the boss, great as he may be, does not consider support staff to be part of the team. I would start out by using the joke approach mentioned by KNL above. Then, when you have a chance to talk to him privately, maybe when you get your performance review, you can talk about who is and who is not part of the team.

Posted by: Anon | May 27, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Are you the only support person in your group? I suspect that the boss, great as he may be, does not consider support staff to be part of the team. I would start out by using the joke approach mentioned by KNL above. Then, when you have a chance to talk to him privately, maybe when you get your performance review, you can talk about who is and who is not part of the team.

Posted by: Anon | May 27, 2008 at 11:33 AM

ask him

Posted by: | May 28, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Possibly it was because he was uncomfortable asking a woman what her size is. I think making an offhand remark of how wonderful the shirts are would be okay. Or just asking that the next time that he places an order, could he include her.

Posted by: Jeannette | May 29, 2008 at 03:37 PM

Thank you for being considerate and not getting me a SWEATshirt. I'll take a gift certificate for a SPA PEDICURE, though.

Posted by: nena | May 30, 2008 at 01:18 PM

I had asked this same exact question that has just been posted in May. Odd that someone could ask this and yet use the exact same wording as I did. Isn't that called plagiarism?!

We goofed! You are correct: This same question ran in the Admin Pro Forum May 23. We inadvertently posted the exact same question in last week's Forum. Please accept our sincere apology for the error. — The Admin Pro Forum editor

This is the same question. I don't know what I responded last time, but just ask for one.

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