QUESTION: My manager prefers my colleague over me in difficult situations.
FACT: Your colleague might be a better troubleshooter or he might be a ‘go-getter’.
Troubleshooting skills are much sought after as few people .are blessed with them. The skills could be in customer interaction or in negotiating with the vendors, It could be in rectifying someone’s mistake or in handling difficult people issues. Solving problems or managing a crisis also requires special skills. Whenever a manager encounters any difficult situation, he seeks help from people who have these skills.
There are situations in which some employees feel frustrated about not getting the desired results even after giving their best for months to a project. This situation gets complicated when their manager gets a few troubleshooters to join the project so as to bring it back on track. Once the project is back on track and successful, the employees who were not part of the troubleshooting team complain about not getting due recognition as the troubleshooters have walked away with all the plaudits.
If a project is slipping and morale is low, it poses a challenge to the manager. He .is left with no choice but to get the help of troubleshooters, However, he should be careful about giving recognition to the other team members who had contributed significantly. Or, in the first place, before calling in the troubleshooters, the manager could have a discussion with his team members as to whether he should do so or not. This Mil mean that the team members were taken into confidence and had contributed to, the decision. This also, In a way, minimizes the problem of not giving due recognition to a certain set of employees.
Along with troubleshooters, ‘go-getters’, too, are in great demand, A go-getter will immediately assume command and look into the issue. He will tackle the problem without any fear of failure. While many would give up, saying, ‘This is not salvageable or ‘This cannot get rectified within the time frame’ or, it is futile to fix the issue’, the go-getters would give it their best shot. So, by hiring such people, the manager is ensuring that all possible attempts are made to solve a certain problem.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE EMPLOYEE? As-you gain in experience, you need to focus on developing skills, like, troubleshooting; or you could motivate yourself to be a ‘go-getter’. Possessing such skills will provide you with visibility, which will then help you in improving your career.. You could team up with a troubleshooter colleague to learn the skill, or .you could make him your friend so that he’s there to help when trouble erupts.
WHAT CAN you Do AS THE MANAGER? Encourage your employees to develop skills, such as, troubleshooting. The greater the number of troubleshooters in your team, the less a project is at risk. You should try to inculcate this skill in all your team members; then you wouldn’t have to deal with the-charge of preferential treatment.