Wednesday, March 08, 2006


What to do, when your underlings' personalities don't match?

OK, for the core work burden here, we work in teams of three - one A officer, one B officer, and one C staff. Or in other terms, sorang pegawai, sorang pembantu pegawai dan sorang kerani. I have no problems with either one of my underlings. But the problem is their personality differs and they can't seem to work together, which eventually effects the team's workflow, goals etc.

My B officer is a forty-something lady with 5 kids, 20-odd years of working experience, and a regular 'makcik'. My clerk is a young guy barely 2 years out of high school, a lot immatured and not at all suave. From sources not to be mentioned, it seems that the clerk grew up in a challenging environment. Father left the family, mother had to work in factory, kids were cared for by grandma & several aunts one after another (berpindah-randah). Seems like an OK combination, a regular motherly makcik & a lacking-motherly-attention boy. But somehow, it don't work out that way.

The makcik thinks the guy is too childish & rude, and she refuses to give him the benefit of the doubt even though she knows his background (and hence his somewhat introvert personality). Actually in my own observation, he doesn't mean to be rude. He's just not matured enough yet, and he's still in the learning process. Mana boleh bandingkan budak yang baru datang dari kampung tu dengan clerk lain yang dah 7-8 tahun keje. Kan ke bagus, instead of hounding him, we try to educate him, even mould him into a more sociable young man?

Macam menarik rambut dalam tepung (although, why would people want to do that? ack!). Approach kena betul. Me being younger than the makcik, even though higher in rank, kena jaga hati bila nasihat dia. Selalunya nasihat dalam gelak la, "ala rilek la kak, dia kan ke budak lagi, kita yang lebih matang ni kena la bantu tunjuk ajar dia, dapat pahala tau". At the same time, kena approach the clerk differently, supaya dia jangan terasa hati and retreat even further into his shell "kakak tu orang tua, sensitif, kita kena berlembut & sopan dengan dia".

Letih main psychology, melayan kerenah, menjaga hati diorang ni. Bih tu, sapa nak jaga hati aku? Kalu dua-dua dah 'senget', tak boleh teamwork, keje aku jugak yang akan tertangguh. Siapa kena menjawab kat puan pengarah, aku jugak la kan!

Kadang-kadang aku rasa nak jadik brutal "hey people cut the crap and just do your work!" Tapi kang, depa dua-dua 'senget' ngan aku, lagi parah hehehe :-P But talk about wasted resources here, namely if everyone just cut out the crap and be more professional, the efficiency could increase doubly, and I can concentrate on doing what I'm professionally trained for, instead of playing baby-sitter half the time.

Nasib la Jie... time, patience & (my) perseverance is the order of the day, I guess.

'Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign...'


maklang said...

Sabar je le... Maklang pun kenkadang ada gak anak2 buah yang nak tunjuk besar kepala. Susah gak nak tengok depa ni bersatu hati. Tapi kalau dilayan kita pun jadi macam depa. Yang penting kerja siap udah... Department Maklang cuma ada 3 je pompuan, so tak banyak kerenah. Yang 2 tu both anak buah... yang lelain man semuanya. Dept. ni banyak gelak dari gaduh... Alhamdulillah...

Izhal said...

the male clerk you have, i have one friend exactly like that. but not rude onelah... bagus idea tu jie nak mould him up. kasik puji2 sket mat tu sure kembang punyalah. i believe in postive motivation as opposed to ponting out faults of someone all of the time. but smetimes kenalah point out juga ya... bring out the good la bak kata james bond...

maklang punya comment banyak gelak dari gaduh tu betul tu. mesti mau bagi gelak2 selalu. kalo masam2 hampeh satu haprak cannot siap. kalo siap pon qualitinya masam...

u want to now how my supervisor handles us and gets the job done? he comes in the office at 9am leaves at 2am. every week holds a meeting to explain HIS work and asks us one simple question with a smile followed by staright stare in the eyeballs, "do you have anything?" sometimes i have nothing but tak selalu pasal segan gila ngan dia. ya la, dia dah tunjuk apa dia buat, takkan saya nak tunjuk kertas kosong selalu...

than again, he's a jap and all of my team members are japs as well. banyak kore jepun ni tapi kore-kore semua tinggal tepi bila kerja.

yang benar
-terbilang, gemilang, cemerlang... longkang-

Jie said...


Banyak gelak dari gaduh... uih best la environment keje camtu :-) Tulah susah nak cakap, sebab human nature ni kekadang orang boleh ngam, kekadang tak ngam. Kalau kita boleh bantu alhamduliLlah, tapi kalau parah sangat, maybe kena buat internal reshuffle kot...

Jie said...


Some of us seniors in the dept wear many hats - leader, peace keeper, psychologist, kaunter aduan, baby-sitter, abang/kakak etc. My approach on the introvert clerk is selalu tegur-sapa & buat lawak sket, involve him directly in my work, to make him feel more appreciated. AlhamduliLlah dah nampak sikit perubahan in the last few months.

Ur supervisor punya approach tu, huiyo ngeri, but very effective ye? :-)