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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a female ENFP that is supervising a female ISTJ. We both agree on our respective roles, however, she (ISTJ) has complained of being micromanaged, she needs more control of the worker bees on the team, and that the program needs to be more organized. I really cannot own the micromanagement complaint. I've been to several trainings lately and shown examples of my actions and I've been told to "step up" more, that I'm being too timid as a supervisor. Often she has plans to manage the tasks, but they are seldom shared with me, so I'm left guessing. As an ENFP - I'm more visionary. I truly respect her, but there seems to be no meeting 1/2 way. However, I have tried to back off and give her space,but she still complains. I can live with her directing the team more (although in my mind she already does this and a little part of me wonders if it is smart for me to relinquish control) and adding more organization to the documents and program. We currently meet with our boss 1/week to discuss these interactions, but it is EXHAUSTING. Any advice, success experiences, etc.? Am I in a WIN-LOSE situation?
 

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Often she has plans to manage the tasks, but they are seldom shared with me.

I can live with her directing the team more(concerned bit) and adding more organization to the documents and program.

We currently meet with our boss 1/week to discuss these interactions, but it is EXHAUSTING.
#1 Ask about her plans if you haven't already, we are open minded about this sort of thing and she probably assumes you to be similar. I have no problem discusing new directions and what-not, if the answer is no (or yes even) explaining the why of the decision helps. She will likely defer to your expertise with your knowledge of how things work.

#2 I can lead fairly naturally, if not always effectively but I assume that no one is perfect. If she's doing too much just remind her that the directing is your job. However In my experience being a leader is also working together when needed, and I think it may improve her morale which improves performance.

#3 Both of you meet with your boss each week to discuss you and her not getting along? I'd like more info on that.
 

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From the way things are described it appears that the ISTJ does not respect you as her supervisor.

Asking you to relinquish control of other workers, managing tasks without sharing details with you and taking it upon herself to organize things all point to one thing - for some reason, she does not trust in your ability to run the program.

If you haven't given her a just cause to behave this way it's time to have a three-way talk between you, the ISTJ and your boss. Although the 'chain of command' may be less clear in organizations with fewer members it won't be beneficial to you or your workplace if the current situation persists.
 

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I am a female ENFP that is supervising a female ISTJ. We both agree on our respective roles, however, she (ISTJ) has complained of being micromanaged, she needs more control of the worker bees on the team, and that the program needs to be more organized. I really cannot own the micromanagement complaint. I've been to several trainings lately and shown examples of my actions and I've been told to "step up" more, that I'm being too timid as a supervisor. Often she has plans to manage the tasks, but they are seldom shared with me, so I'm left guessing. As an ENFP - I'm more visionary. I truly respect her, but there seems to be no meeting 1/2 way. However, I have tried to back off and give her space,but she still complains. I can live with her directing the team more (although in my mind she already does this and a little part of me wonders if it is smart for me to relinquish control) and adding more organization to the documents and program. We currently meet with our boss 1/week to discuss these interactions, but it is EXHAUSTING. Any advice, success experiences, etc.? Am I in a WIN-LOSE situation?
Not to be rude, but if this post is indicative of your communication style with said ISTJ, I can see why she is frustrated. You've introduced about a half dozen topics in this one paragraph without providing much detail about any of them. Let's look at them, one by one:

I am a female ENFP that is supervising a female ISTJ.

This is straight forward, but a part of me is cautious about how this came to be known. Does she identify herself as an ISTJ?

We both agree on our respective roles,

Probably not. If the roles were correctly identified, understood, and respected, I doubt that you would be making this post.

however, she (ISTJ) has complained of being micromanaged,

While it does happen, this is not a common complaint from an ISTJ - and certainly not from an ISTJ managed by an ENFP. Perhaps she is incorrectly identifying the problem, or she has not articulated her frustration in a manner that you understand, but micromanaged doesn't seem likely - unless there is a lack of trust, too much stress, and you are riding her because of those feelings.

she needs more control of the worker bees on the team,

Is this a mutiny? We ISTJs abhor a leadership vacuum, and will step in to fill one if we believe leadership is lacking. If you are lacking in follow through, getting things done, or if there is a lack of structure and order, then you can expect this power grab. It's out of frustration.

and that the program needs to be more organized.

Ah, a valid ISTJ complaint about an ENFP boss. When you feel really organized and on top of your game, we find your level of organization moderately acceptable.

I really cannot own the micromanagement complaint.

Yeah, I wouldn't think so.

I've been to several trainings lately and shown examples of my actions and I've been told to "step up" more, that I'm being too timid as a supervisor.

This too, is a common complaint about ENFP supervisors. FWIW, it isn't that you are really timid or soft, but that others perceive your methods as being timid or soft. If you really have a good handle on things, maintain your focus - you have a good understanding of what needs to be done, and how to do it without ostracizing everyone.

Often she has plans to manage the tasks, but they are seldom shared with me, so I'm left guessing.

Big red flag. If you are the supervisor, and she is managing tasks that you have not delegated to her, it's time to throw on the brakes. OTOH, if you have delegated these tasks to her and she is not keeping you in the loop - big problem. However, if you threw it at her without any kind of real structure ( I need a report on your progress each Thursday by noon, on the XYZ project) then you set her and yourself up for failure.

As an ENFP - I'm more visionary.

Yeah, that kindof goes with the territory.

I truly respect her, but there seems to be no meeting 1/2 way.

Not even sure what this means. Halfway implies two end points and a mid point, but I haven't really seen any points defined at all.

However, I have tried to back off and give her space,but she still complains.

Space for what? This is truly confusing.

I can live with her directing the team more (although in my mind she already does this and a little part of me wonders if it is smart for me to relinquish control) and adding more organization to the documents and program.

Whose team or project is it? Are you the leader or not? Listening to her ideas and implementing them as YOU see fit is fine. Allowing her to dictate how the team is run? Not so much.

We currently meet with our boss 1/week to discuss these interactions, but it is EXHAUSTING.

What is exhausting? Meeting with her? Meeting with the boss? Discussing the "interactions?"

Any advice, success experiences, etc.? Am I in a WIN-LOSE situation?

The ENFP/ISTJ work dynamic is challenging when one is a direct supervisor of the other. It can be done, but it is going to be a bit of work. Three points that may help:

We need clarity. Clear objectives communicated in a no-nonsense manner earn our respect. Attempting to facilitate everyone's thoughts and wishes appears to be a lack of leadership to us.

We need clarity. If you delegate something to us, be very explicit in what you want and when you want it - then get out of the way. Be prepared to be amazed at our thoroughness to detail and desire to do things right, but if you said you wanted it by Wednesday, don't come knocking on Tuesday, just "to be sure." That will hack us off to no end.

We need clarity. Meetings without agendas are just a waste of time. If you call a meeting that includes us, we expect that you won't waste our time as we wouldn't waste yours. At the end of the meeting, we need to have obtained a set of action items to accomplish. We don't enjoy brain storming, and we don't understand this whole "thinking out loud" thingie.

HTH
 

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At the end of the meeting, we need to have obtained a set of action items to accomplish. We don't enjoy brain storming, and we don't understand this whole "thinking out loud" thingie.
QFT. This one gave me quite a laugh.

I could never understand why people would talk endlessly at meetings and then never commit to anything they said. Then a co-worker let me in on the secret that these people were "thinking out loud" and that I shouldn't expect anything from them. It was an epiphany. I don't say anything at a meeting unless I intend to act upon it.
 

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http://oka-online.com/content/assets/Articles/Profile-ISTJ-Workplace.pdf

This is an excerpt from TypeTalk at Work. I think it's a fairly accurate of how ISTJs behave in the workplace. I don't think I'm quite as cutthroat as they describe, but I will work myself to death if given the opportunity.
That is a great article. I relate to almost everything the author stated about ISTJs. It should be required reading for all ISTJs desiring to reach their full potential.
 

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I am a female ENFP that is supervising a female ISTJ. We both agree on our respective roles, however, she (ISTJ) has complained of being micromanaged, she needs more control of the worker bees on the team, and that the program needs to be more organized. I really cannot own the micromanagement complaint. I've been to several trainings lately and shown examples of my actions and I've been told to "step up" more, that I'm being too timid as a supervisor. Often she has plans to manage the tasks, but they are seldom shared with me, so I'm left guessing. As an ENFP - I'm more visionary. I truly respect her, but there seems to be no meeting 1/2 way. However, I have tried to back off and give her space,but she still complains. I can live with her directing the team more (although in my mind she already does this and a little part of me wonders if it is smart for me to relinquish control) and adding more organization to the documents and program. We currently meet with our boss 1/week to discuss these interactions, but it is EXHAUSTING. Any advice, success experiences, etc.? Am I in a WIN-LOSE situation?

I`m curious what is the real problem. Is there a lack of productivity? I haven`t got a clue what to suggest until you tell me what the real problem is relative to how it is affecting your business and profits. She doesn`t sound like a ISTJ because if she were then each plan she came up with would be run by you since you are the boss.

Are you sure she isn`t ENTJ? If she is ENTJ she might want to do things her way and doesn`t care about your ideas one way or the other unless you give her a good idea to run with. You may have to assert yourself more just as you have been advised.

Karen
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate your candor and the time you took to respond. That is why I posted on the ISTJ site, I needed your perspective.
I will respond & answer your questions.
1) Yes, she is a self-proclaimed ISTJ.
2) During our meeting with my boss, he asked us to define the supervisor role and the program manager role. We both had virtually the same answer.
3) Micromanagent: I think you have some valid points. Problem is probably not correctly identified. There is quite a bit of stress in the position that we both hold and there is minimal trust between us. But I will say she has expressed interest in the "long term" solution, because we will both be at this command for a while.
4) Great point about leadership and the power grab. However, when I delegate usually she says that she has too much work already. Last time I kindly offered in the email, assistance to reprioritize her tasks if she needed assistance~prior to her complaint of too much work. (That seemed to solve my problem for the moment, not sure if it made her angry or not.) In my opinion, she gets so focused that she is unable to flex to the new requirements and/or priorities as they are received. Not sure how to continue delegating without overloading her. Especially how to lead her, when she needs to flex and for go a previous direction.
5) Timid Methods. Yes, I do have a good idea of what needs to be done. Most of the employees I have a great relationship. In fact, some are put off from the abrupt delegation the ISTJ frequently "hands out". I do fear that the ISTJ will turn my employees against me. How do I "make amends" and be directive without starting a war with her.
6) Yesterday's challenge. We left Friday after mtg with the boss and it was determined that she would finalize a training plan for the incoming employee on Monday morning. Monday morning: 1) she has her door closed, sends an email to everyone she is working on her appraisal that morning 2) I take over the care and feeding of the employee 3) Send her an email that I need to know her training plan 4) She sends an email to the staff introducing the contract and that they will be working with the employee at some time in the future...but she doesn't know what I have planned for the new employee. AGH! OK tell everyone we're not talking and blame "no plan" on me, when the boss directed you to do it.
Maybe I should be sending this info to you privately. What do you think? (I have more, but off to work.)
 

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<snip>6) Yesterday's challenge. We left Friday after mtg with the boss and it was determined that she would finalize a training plan for the incoming employee on Monday morning. Monday morning: 1) she has her door closed, sends an email to everyone she is working on her appraisal that morning 2) I take over the care and feeding of the employee 3) Send her an email that I need to know her training plan 4) She sends an email to the staff introducing the contract and that they will be working with the employee at some time in the future...but she doesn't know what I have planned for the new employee. AGH! OK tell everyone we're not talking and blame "no plan" on me, when the boss directed you to do it.
Maybe I should be sending this info to you privately. What do you think? (I have more, but off to work.<snip>
As a ISTJ worker I would perform each and every task as instructed perfectly in order. If I "forgot" something or you changed your mind after the meeting I would do as I was told Immediately while profusely apologizing. Everything I did would be made to order exactly as lined up in the meeting or whatever you said.

Do you have the meetings recorded? As the boss I wouldn`t put up with people "forgetting" important instructions and delegating tasks Back to me. As the boss I would challenge them on that and I would be annoyed and go knock on her closed door. When she opened her door I would inform her what her job instructions were in specific details....




"You were instructed to develop and finalize a training plan for said employee by Monday morning which is today.Got that? Where is it? After a deafening silence I would continue,"What Have you been doing in here all morning? Show me what you have accomplished..."


Is it possible you are being too much of a softy in a effort to maintain peace and harmony?

Do you really have authority to tell her what to do and enforce your position as the boss or are you afraid of appearing to be a mean old boss everyone hates?

Somewhere in the middle ground is where you want to be. You need respect and obedience from your workers and if you can`t get that then it can have a direct affect on productivity and keeping things running smoothly.
 
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