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Need a bit of advice, totally out of my depth with this one.

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by anon3279, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I need a bit of advice from my fellow HoDs (and others if they're reading).
    What would you do if you found that your Line Manager was deliberately creating a divisive situation in your department ? By this I mean deliberately undermining the HoD with the rest of the team. I really can't say very much but this is something I've become aware of recently.
     
  2. If I was irritated enough I would confront them and put them in their place. Usually people hide away when you are direct about unhelpful behaviour. I am in this place with my line manager - but it has taken a term to wind me up over the "issue" that I have!
     
  3. Yes, I've tried to point a few things out, gently, but have just been reminded that they're the boss not me! This is a long term problem that has caused no end of troubles for me - this latest one has been handled so badly that it threatens to fracture the department. I have absolutely no control over the situation because my manager has, effectively, removed my facility to help.
    It's a tricky thing to approach with one's manager though, isn't it? To tell them, albeit in terms as diplomatic as possible, that their style of line management is poor - I think I've run out of bravery for now.
     
  4. There seem to be two fronts that you need to work on: 1) Talk to the members of your faculty. Be open about what you are trying to do and the ways you want to do it. I'd be frank about how unhelpful your LM is - make everyone in your faculty aware of the problem. Remind them that you are in charge, not the LM. Not sure if I'd do in a faculty meeting or talk to members individually or when you catch them in groups. 2) Set the record straight with your LM: be proactive and forceful (but trying to avoid aggressive) and tell them that you run the faculty and that their role as LM is to discuss, advise and link your views other HODs and then onto SLT. I'd inform him/her that if they stick their nose directly into the faculty business again without your consent and knowledge, you'd take a grievance out against them. I'd also talk to the Head and discuss having them removed as your LM. Remind him/her that if they have concerns about the faculty, they have to be discussed with you, not members of the faculty. If there are issues, they have to be dealt with by you first and your LM second or with your consent. You'll have noticed I'm slightly more aggressive and territorial.
     
  5. Thank you.
    I think that tackling point 2) will take a lot of guts on my part - I will need to think carefully about how to summon up the courage.
    Whilst I agree with you on point 1) my LM has undermined me to such a degree that I daren't say anything that could be seen as me undermining them. My team are well aware of the difficulties but the prevailing atmosphere is one of them being encouraged to sneak behind my back to my LM, in fact this is actively fostered by my LM. Due to that, and perfectly understandably, some of my team no longer feel that I am completely in charge.
    I firmly believe that my LM has absolutely no faith in any of their HoDs in the faculty and far from encouraging collaborative working practices, they have deliberately designed a fractured and toxic working environment for many people.
    ArthurDent - I will certainly take your advice on board and see how I can make that work for me and my situation. I'm very grateful.
    Can you tell I'm almost at my wits end?
     
  6. Yes, and you need cyber-hug.
     
  7. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Not particularly helpful, but I am in a similar situation, but as hoy. The deputy head held this position about 10 years ago, but still likes to undermine and interfere. The previous post holder was her lap dog by all accounts, so what se said went. The deputy also teaches maths to my year group and also like to tell head of maths what to do also. (least it's not just me being undermined) as the school closes at the end of this year I have decided to just go wth the flow, but would have challenged it head on with the person, if the post was substantial.
     
  8. Thanks for the cyber-hug, ArthurDent.
    paulie - your situation sounds pretty grim too.
    I'm a little baffled about why these LMs do this - do they get a sense of power out of creating friction or something? Seems to me that they exercise the worst managerial techniques whilst proclaiming greatness.
    I did consult my union about the situation last year and their advice was to keep a diary of everything and print off all emails. I've done that. They are convinced that there is a real case to bring regarding various things but I'm extremely reluctant to go down that route because a) I don't think these cases end up satisfying anyone really and b) I'm too scared of the repercussions. I suppose I could add c) I'm too chicken!
    Hmm, time to ponder on it all and come up with a plan, I think.
     
  9. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Could you speak to your line manager's manager, or someone of their equal who line manages other depts for advice in school?
     
  10. I've sought advice from a senior manager who gave me some advice, some of which is similar to what has been given on this thread. The situation has somewhat escalated since then. The manager suggested that if things didn't improve then we'd probably be looking at putting a grieveance in place. I'm more than reluctant to go down that route. It is a complete and utter mess and, for the first time in my life, I'm suffering symptoms of anxiety and stress. Not in a happy place right now, I'm afraid.

     

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