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verbally agressive colleague

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jbrodie, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. I have recently started a new school in a senior leadership position and have had to face a member of staff (who teaches in the same year goup as me) who is very confrontational in manner - especially in public - regardless of content, if I am connected with it. So far I have ignored the harsh, agressive tone of voice and the accusatory tone (no I am not being paranoid- others have noticed it too) that she she adopts towards me. Tonight's latest outburst in a staff meeting however, has left me feeling that it is time to let her know that I have a feelings too. I am sure that tit for tat is not the right way to go about things but really feel that I now have to pull her onto one side and have a firm word in her ear eventhough I now that she will take great umbridge at it. (The Head was not in the meeting tonight - I will speak to her tomorrow.) Just wanted to find out how others in a similar position dealt with colleagues like this. Thanks.
     
  2. I have recently started a new school in a senior leadership position and have had to face a member of staff (who teaches in the same year goup as me) who is very confrontational in manner - especially in public - regardless of content, if I am connected with it. So far I have ignored the harsh, agressive tone of voice and the accusatory tone (no I am not being paranoid- others have noticed it too) that she she adopts towards me. Tonight's latest outburst in a staff meeting however, has left me feeling that it is time to let her know that I have a feelings too. I am sure that tit for tat is not the right way to go about things but really feel that I now have to pull her onto one side and have a firm word in her ear eventhough I now that she will take great umbridge at it. (The Head was not in the meeting tonight - I will speak to her tomorrow.) Just wanted to find out how others in a similar position dealt with colleagues like this. Thanks.
     
  3. Was she trying to get your job and you were appointed in her place? Maybe she is upset with you for that reason. Rather than taking her down a peg, you could try asking why she is so upset that she is speaking like this to you.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would speak to the head and ask their advice. They will know both you and the other person and so be able to suggest the best way of going about things. They may also have a good idea of why things are the way they are and so be able to help you there. Also they must surely have noticed already and so may have some idea of what to do next and what has already been done.

    But I agree with pookyrobin, it does sound rather like the green eyed monster...
     
  5. My colleague does not like the 'chiefs' as she sees it in school - we have lots of fancy new ideas and she has seen and done it all before etc she has been at the school for a VERY long time. Dislikes me as I have been brought in as a new broom type thing - I have tried to be sensitive towards her needs but she is resentful even then. She thinks that she is a good teacher but her results do not support this. I will speak to my head in the morning - I guess I feel that I am failing as a leader as I am letting her get to me and I suppose if I am honest, I feel that I am failing becasue I am not winning her over...Maybe I need to drink my glass of wine and chill :).

     
  6. I think this person is being unprofessional and it is unacceptable. If I were you I would mention it to the Head and explain that you think you should have a word with her. I would do this because doing nothing will make her feel that she can speak like this and it gives the impression to the rest of the staff that it can be done. It is very undermining, and potentially corrosive to all staff. Imagine being in her department? I would mention io to the Head to see what they say and to be clear that you have their backing.
    I would advise explaining that you will be asking to have a meeting with her - make sure it is private, ie: not in the staffroom. Very calmly explain to her that her way of communicating with you in front of staff is not acceptable, then allow her to have her say. Hostile people are sometimes like this because they feel they lack power and are embittered. Sometimes they do have good ideas and have been overlooked, but sometimes they are just toxic. Calmly yet firmly be clear to her that you view her comments as unacceptable, and while you welcome a healthy debate verbal aggression will not be tolerated and if it continues you will, with reluctance, take it further.
    She is pushing the boundaries and like naughty pupils, once called to account will hopefully back down. If not then keep notes and ask the Head for advice, you could lodge a complaint against her. Hopefully it will be resolved, but aggression and bullying attitudes should not nipped in the bud. Good Luck, [​IMG]
     
  7. Sorry, of course I meant should be nipped in the bud.....
     
  8. Thank you for the advice - I will speak to my Head in the morning. It is strange that when I was a year leader (and 'ordinary' teacher) I felt that I could happily meet such people without any sense of fear. But in my role as deputy head, I feel that a real curb is on my instinct to 'fight' back and must tolerate to a far greater extent such people (even when they have been listened to and views taken into account etc) even when they inflict pain. Its bl***y hard this leadership thing!
     
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I said that exact same phrase to my HT the other day. Not for the same reason as you, but still there!

    Ask on the SMT forum for advice or sympathy...bet we aren't the only two to feel that way sometimes!
     
  10. Hope things are going better? [​IMG]
     
  11. Yes things are improving would say more but can't on open forum. Email me and I shall explain.Thank you all for your sound guidance.
     
  12. Good - just checking, not long til half term![​IMG]
     
  13. Looking forward to the break so that I can mark the mid year assessments children are sitting this week[​IMG] My colleague has other things on tier mind now as other events have made my brush with them pale into insignificance - but serves to support my view that they're to all intents and purposes bullying (if not colleagues - then so it seems - others too). Matters have moved on somewhat. I now wait quietly and follow events. Can't wait for hols for the 'simplicity' of it all!
    Thanks again.
     

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