Q: I mistakenly hit “reply all” on an email in which I made a remark about someone that I really wish I hadn’t. What steps would you suggest for me to repair the damage?
Q: My boss criticizes me in front of my subordinates, which makes it harder for me to have credibility in my management of them. How can I get him to stop?
A: Suggest to him some proverbs from the Solomon School of Management:
Q: I have two employees who really dislike each other. I know I can’t make everybody be friends, but their snippy comments and complaints about each other are detrimental to the office environment. Do you have any tips for me?
A: You have two problems here. One is bite-sized. The other is super-sized.
Your bite-sized problem is two employees who at face value might be unfit for a professional workplace. They’ve let unresolved conflicts fester and escalate and are behaving like junior high rivals.
Q: I have a co-worker who falls asleep at her desk every afternoon. I’d like a little paid nap too, but I feel like a tattletale bringing this up to our supervisor. It does, however, feel unjust to me. Should I just wake her up every day, ignore it or do something else?
A: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest – Then poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like a brigand.” (Proverbs 24:33)
Q: I am a 5-foot-4-inch man and I really feel as if my height is having a negative impact on my career. There are some studies that back me up. Is there anything I can do to overcome my size?
A: You bet. Stop reading the studies. Stop thinking short. Stop your negative introspection. Stop anticipating failure. Stop comparing.
Q. My office mate sometimes appears drunk at work, and I’ve smelled the distinctive odor of alcohol on him. Should I do anything?
A. You should, but it won’t be easy.
Drinking on the job is a serious offense. As his peer, you’re in a tough spot. I would recommend you follow St. Thomas Aquinas’ three-step prudence formula – Counsel, Judgment, Command (Ready, Aim, Fire)
Q. Our employer has told us that we are not to voice our political opinions at work – no literature on our desks, no bumper stickers on our cars in the parking lot! I feel as if my right to free speech is being abrogated – can they get away with this?
A. No bumper stickers? Seriously?
Q. I feel as if one of my co-workers gets all the “plum” assignments. I am pretty sure it’s because she is a very attractive young woman, and I am a mid-30s guy. I don’t think this is fair; how do I address it?
A. Let’s imagine a version of that conversation:
Q. My boss asked me to pick up lunch for a meeting recently. This is not in my job description, and I let him know I didn’t appreciate being tagged for menial work such as errands and coffee. He told me to get with the program or be fired. Is this just?