Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: One of my colleagues broke his wrist snowboarding six weeks ago and is yet to return to work. The rest of the team have taken on his workload and we're all getting a bit resentful of the situation. Our manager says he'll be back soon, but he says that every week. How long is too long?

A: I find it extremely difficult to work out from your question whether you're all genuinely overworked and seriously put upon - or whether you've just allowed this resentment to build up until it has become the focus of what you and your team mostly talk about all day. (It may, of course, be a bit of both.)

What you must guard against most carefully is allowing your shared sense of injustice to reach such a pitch of righteous indignation that when your hapless colleague finally returns to work, you'll take it out on him.

On the reasonable assumption that his absence from work is both legitimate and medically necessary, that would be deeply unfair. It would also be likely to do terrible damage to relationships within your team that would take months to repair. …

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