You are a senior civil servant. One of your officer friend is hard working, completes her work on time but always demoralizes her subordinates by blaming them for one or the other thing. She keeps everyone on toes. Often she shouts in her office and want to just follow the blue book while working. She also insults junior officers if one fails to get the things done. Her only mantra to work is to “get the things done -whatever it takes.” Due to this bossy attitude your friend is not liked by the subordinates and because of her uneven relation with her team members; she fails to portray a good office culture. Most of the colleagues know about this case but no one wants to discuss it because of your proximity with that lady officer. However one day one close friend happens to be your colleague briefed about the problem subordinate officers are facing. Answer the following questions based on the above case. Bring merits and demerits related to each course of action and discuss the best option: (a) Directly talk to subordinate and assure about correcting the things in future. (b) Give responsibility to your friend who briefed you about this case. (c) Transfer the lady officer as this case may bring sorry figure for you also in future. (d) Request the lady officer not to do so as this may hamper their personal relations also. (e) Is there any better option available to correct the things other than what mentioned above?

(a) Directly talk to subordinate and assure about correcting the things in future.

• Directly listening them will instill confidence in the system that their views are properly heard.
• However, directly talking to the subordinates and bypassing the hierarchy system will set wrong precedence.
• Thus before taking any action or consoling for any action, the senior civil servant should talk to the officer friend to get proper information about the factual situation.
• This may also lead to decrement in trust of subordinates as they may think the above stated action as been impartial.

(b) Give responsibility to your friend who briefed you about this case.
• This will be wrong course of action as delegating power to someone else in such sensitive issues may deteriorate the work culture more.

(c) Transfer the lady officer as this case may bring sorry figure for you also in future.

• Transfer of the lady can act as the short-term measure but without giving due chance to her to explain her position will set wrong precedence and it is also against the good leadership quality.

(d) Request the lady officer not to do so as this may hamper their personal relations also.

• In public relationships the individual relations takes a back seat and interest of larger society takes over. This requires fair and reliable decision-making to create public trust and level playing field.
• Request can be done at personal level, but being a civil servant the dignity and integrity of the post has to be maintained. He has to act as role model for the other subordinates.

(e) Is there any better option available to correct the things other than what mentioned above?

• I will inform him about the situation and give her last warning for improving her behavior. If she failed then move for appropriate action to maintain the work culture as well as trust between the senior and subordinates.

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Sabeesh Kumar
1 year ago

a) This may give a boost to the subordinate as I am directly discussing the matter with him. – Merit
But he may take this for granted as he will think that he has got the support of the superior officer. – De-Merit

b) The friend has decided to discuss this matter with me in a hope that i will solve the problem, If i give the responsibility to the friend then this may act as deterrent or punishment for others as no one can directly speak with her in the current situation. – De-merit
This may give a chance for the friend to show his leadership skills. – Merit

c) Now everyone can calmly work with out any tortures – Merit
This may badly affect the efficiency of the work output – De-Merit

d) since that lady has a good proximity with me she may listen to me and everything seems to good for some day – Merit
On the same time she may start having suspicion on others (especially subordinates) since I come to know the situation and she may become even more unapproachable for them. – De-Merit

e) You can arrange for a common meeting and discuss what she expects and what the subordinates are expecting. This meeting can be done outside of office as well.