Breaking down the wall of silence


I have a boss who refuses to deal with any issues or problems in the office. Most of these affect others jobs and need to be dealt with yet everything gets swept under the carpet. Please help me on how to deal with this! It has created a lot of tension at work but still nothing gets said about anything.

Paula, Canada

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Jo Causon's Answer:

You are right to question this individual's approach to leadership. To address your concerns, go directly to your manager and request a one-to-one meeting. Don't go over their head to a more senior manager as this will only add to the tension.

Prior to meeting, be clear about what your concerns are and be prepared to provide examples. In the meeting, describe the problems you are experiencing, how they are impacting on your work and what your manager can do to support you.

Also ask them to outline their key aims and priorities, and find out how team activities are designed to achieve the business objectives. It may be the case that what's worrying you is not business critical at the current time. You may not be privy to certain information which might impact on how your manager chooses to lead the team.

Raising your concerns will show an appreciation for the wider issues the organisation faces. Approaching the situation in this way may also be a great benefit to your manager. Ultimately, you are looking to achieve an adult-to-adult conversation where you express your concerns try and find mutually beneficial ways of addressing them.


About our Expert

Jo Causon
Jo Causon

Jo Causon is director of public affairs at the London-based Chartered Management Institute, one of the UK's leading professional bodies for management.