How Would You Manage Insubordination?
Navigating Office Politics
Congratulations on your promotion. You were selected over several internal candidates for the management role you have been working toward for years. The one thing you didn’t count on was the former peer who thinks he should have won the promotion. Office politics are a clear and present danger.
- Give it a little time and hope that Jim calms down and comes to respect you and your leadership style.
- Detach emotionally. Don’t take it personally. Step back and focus on facts and issues. Identify the best outcomes for the team and company.
- Ask human resources to help you get to the root of the problem. Identify goals that Jim could work toward that would benefit him, the team, and company.
- Establish your authority publicly so Jim and the team know where you stand.
- Set an example of desired behavior. Be the mature adult and treat your entire team with respect while expecting accountability.
- Report Jim to the human resources manager immediately and demand that HR fire him.
- Before meeting with the human resources manager, document the specific instances of disrespectful or insubordinate behavior. Spell out how this conduct impedes team and company goals.
- Take time to vent to your known allies so you can avoid being confrontational with Jim.
- With the guidance of human resources, draft a written plan for Jim’s improvement. Establish benchmarks, timelines, supportive resources, and check-in points. Establish consequences and rewards and be prepared to carry them out, including termination.