Hi Aunty B,
Last year I hired two great young women as accounts managers as part of our sales function. They are both very positive, attractive, determined young women who will go far. Everything was going well until our fourth birthday party to which we invited partners and one ended up with the other one’s boyfriend!
Last week there was an uproar when she turned up with a ring and announced to the dumped girl that he was now her fiancé. The dumped girl lost it and said some very unkind and rude things and stormed out. She turned up an hour later and I chose to ignore it because it was just after lunch. I had been hoping it would blow over as the dumped girl had been going out with the guy for just a few months before he ended up with the other one and I assumed she would quickly find someone else as they do.
But these two sit next to each other and are meant to work together and there has been an uneasy silence between them that has cast a pall over that whole area of the office. I hate getting involved with staff’s personal issues. In fact, I make a point to never get involved and tell them to sort it out themselves. But I reckon in this case if I tell them to sort it out, we might end up with a homicide!
We are in the middle of a very important sale and I am getting very frustrated that the team is not performing to capacity. Do I break my own golden rule and interfere? Or ignore it?
This is a performance issue so of course you interfere. Call them into your office and tell them that you are not interested in the personal issues but there is a bad atmosphere between the two of them that is affecting their team.
Remind them of their budgets, goals and what they need to achieve before the end of the year. Run through the fact that this is a professional team that depends on every individual member to achieve results. Keep it short, stern and very professional. Don’t let them comment.
As they leave, tell them that you don’t want to have to talk about this again. And hopefully you won’t.
Your Aunty B