Your Office Coach

Each Wednesday, nationally syndicated workplace columnist Marie G. McIntyre, Ph. D., answers your “in the trenches” workplace questions on everything from team-building to getting a raise to dealing with difficult people.

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Question: “One of my employees, 'Kristen' used to confide in me frequently about her personal life, but lately she’s stopped sharing any information at all. Although she assures me that nothing is wrong, she still doesn’t talk to me. She’s also stopped chatting with her coworkers, and she doesn’t smile and laugh like she used to. My other employees told me that she got upset when she overheard someone talking about her. Now I’ve learned from human resources that Kristen has inquired about a lateral transfer to another department.  I don’t want her to leave, but I also don’t want her attitude to infect the rest of my staff. Do you have any suggestions for getting her to open up?”  — Puzzled Manager
Question: “One of my employees, 'Kristen' used to confide in me frequently about her personal life, but lately she’s stopped sharing any information at all. Although she assures me that nothing is wrong, she still doesn’t talk to me. She’s also stopped chatting with her coworkers, and she doesn’t smile and laugh like she used to. My other employees told me that she got upset when she overheard someone talking about her. Now I’ve learned from human resources that Kristen has inquired about a lateral transfer to another department.  I don’t want her to leave, but I also don’t want her attitude to infect the rest of my staff. Do you have any suggestions for getting her to open up?”  — Puzzled Manager
Question: “I am a store manager in a fast-growing retail company. A few months ago, a new CEO was brought in to run our business. Since his arrival, the company seems to be headed in the wrong direction. However, the CEO apparently believes everything is fine and no mistakes are being made. I contacted our former president to discuss my concerns; he suggested I request a meeting with the CEO. But a colleague who works with the CEO said I’d better have a new job lined up if I plan to complain ..."
Question: “I am a store manager in a fast-growing retail company. A few months ago, a new CEO was brought in to run our business. Since his arrival, the company seems to be headed in the wrong direction. However, the CEO apparently believes everything is fine and no mistakes are being made. I contacted our former president to discuss my concerns; he suggested I request a meeting with the CEO. But a colleague who works with the CEO said I’d better have a new job lined up if I plan to complain ..."
Question: "My new job has been very disappointing. I was hired to write communication materials and help support the department, but I seem to have become my boss’s personal assistant..."
Question: "My new job has been very disappointing. I was hired to write communication materials and help support the department, but I seem to have become my boss’s personal assistant..."
Question: “My boss recently learned that I had considered taking a new job.  I admitted to checking out the job market, but told him that I’m not planning to quit. He became very upset and started to talk about replacing me.  Now I’m afraid I’ll be fired. What should I do?”  - Charles
Question: “My boss recently learned that I had considered taking a new job.  I admitted to checking out the job market, but told him that I’m not planning to quit. He became very upset and started to talk about replacing me.  Now I’m afraid I’ll be fired. What should I do?”  - Charles
Question:  Recently, a coworker's highly inflammatory email was accidentally forwarded to both me and the owner of our business. I got quite upset, because the email contained disrespectful and libelous remarks about me. The owner told him to apologize, but that never happened. Now this person has sent another email defaming my character and professional skills. I have forwarded this message to the owner, but I can’t continue to sit back and take these malicious comments. Do I have grounds to tell the owner that he should terminate this employee? - Not a Wimp
Question:  Recently, a coworker's highly inflammatory email was accidentally forwarded to both me and the owner of our business. I got quite upset, because the email contained disrespectful and libelous remarks about me. The owner told him to apologize, but that never happened. Now this person has sent another email defaming my character and professional skills. I have forwarded this message to the owner, but I can’t continue to sit back and take these malicious comments. Do I have grounds to tell the owner that he should terminate this employee? - Not a Wimp
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