How does my new manager get the respect of her team?

Dear Aunty,

I have a small team of eight from which I appointed one to oversee, conduct regular meetings, be their mouthpiece, etc.

However, she is struggling to get the team’s respect and is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain her role. A good example is individuals arriving late to a meeting.

As her up-line manager I can see a lot of petty antics. However, ultimately, there is no respect for her in that role.

Have you any advice on how she should manage this?

Warm regards,


Dear Warm regards,

As if you don’t have enough to think about without passive aggressive crap from staff and an inefficient manager! The economy is in major transition, with good signs of improvement increasingly evident and instead of thinking of the future and trying to take advantage of competitors still looming large in the rear view mirror, you are focused on a nasty patch of petty office politics.

Call your staff member in and be blunt. Tell her that the team does not have her respect and she needs to do three things about it:

  • Get some quick early wins. She is their mouthpiece? Then what has she actually done? And is she communicating this to the team in a way that they understand the difference she is making? Tell her to make sure she also identifies with the team so that the team sees her on their side. Does she often use words like “we” and “our”?
  • When they pull that petty antics crap, yell. Oh. Really? That’s not done any more? Not fashionable these days? Well, neither are petty antics in a workplace. They are behaving like children, so call them on it. If someone is late, look at them angrily and comment on the fact that they are late and the meeting started XX minutes ago. After the meeting ask them why they were late (just in case someone died) and then remind them they need to be on time next meeting.
  • Develop a strategy and plan for the role and then communicate this to the team so they can see they are dealing with a forward thinking, proactive manager who gets things done.

Arrange to meet with the manager in a few weeks to order to see some successes on the board. If you can, arrange for her to also have some leadership training as she obviously has no idea how to run a team and you need her up to speed quickly to take advantage of the opportunities ahead!

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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