Recently, someone asked me, Ray, “How do you deal with a person who use to be a manager, thinks he’s still a manager, when in fact he is under you.”
From the tone of the question I knew the person was genuinely seeking coaching and insight on a perceived personal matter. The tone also pointed out that the person was unknowingly and unintentionally being prejudicial to her employee.
There were a couple of clues in this question:
1) “How do you deal with a person…..”
Well, the issue is never the person. I know, I know, you’re going to say, what if the problem is the person? I contend, that the problem is NEVER the person. We just have to dig deep enough to tap into the root cause of the problem.
2) “……Thinks he’s still a manager”
What’s the downside in your employee thinking s/he is a manager? Wouldn’t that be a terrific place to leverage his/her managerial insight.
3) “……When in fact he is under me.”
Hold up!! Did you just say, “under you?” The late Myles Munroe once said, the only place where people are legitimately under you is at the cemetery. I shared with my colleague, “Could this be the root problem?” To which I received a deer head light response. I continued, “could the problem be your shaken confidence which has caused you to have a twisted view of reality, which has erroneously caused you to think, he think he is above you, when in fact he is neither above or below but beside you.”