View Full Version : Dealing With Subordinates and Lack of Confidence


Frustrated One
06-28-16, 12:44 AM
I am currently a supervisor in a logistics warehouse. I have worked in the field for years, but always have difficulties learning processes as well as organizing. In my current position, I have a lead who is apparently bitter because I was hired from the outside when he thought he would get the position. He does know what he's doing, but has never had a supervisory role. Sometimes when I tell him what needs to be done, he is resistant and tries to suggest other ways to do things or decides there are different priorities. I find it difficult to enforce them sometimes because I am not always that confident and sometimes he is good at making me doubt myself.

This is not the first job I have had where this was the case. Sometimes I look like an idiot when I am getting my butt chewed by the boss (like today) because he assumes I just disregarded what he said. I almost quit today because I felt like crap and I also feel like I am going to be fired. I am not lazy though and do not dismiss my duties, but am frustrated though because I am miserable and feel overwhelmed. Has anyone else experienced this and is it possible it has something to do with my ADD?

Sorry if this was long.

P.S. I am 51 and have dealt with this for years. I have thought for years that I had ADHD/ADD and FINALLY got an official diagnosis 2 weeks ago. It was a relief. They also think I may have a learning disability. Not sure what, but am interested to find out more.

TheFitFatty
06-28-16, 03:03 AM
You need to call your subordinate up on his behavior. You are the boss, end of story.
Do you have someone you can speak to in HR? They can advise you as to an official way to reprimand him.

As to feeling overwhelmed, that's definitely ADD. Med's will help with it. :)

casper
06-28-16, 07:29 AM
This is not the first job I have had where this was the case. Sometimes I look like an idiot when I am getting my butt chewed by the boss (like today) because he assumes I just disregarded what he said. I almost quit today because I felt like crap and I also feel like I am going to be fired. I am not lazy though and do not dismiss my duties, but am frustrated though because I am miserable and feel overwhelmed. Has anyone else experienced this and is it possible it has something to do with my ADD

Totally get what you are saying. I feel the same way!

Frustrated One
06-28-16, 08:06 AM
You need to call your subordinate up on his behavior. You are the boss, end of story.

I have gone to upper management before and although they don't like him, they think we need him.

As to feeling overwhelmed, that's definitely ADD. Med's will help with it.

I was on Buproprion for 6 weeks and got up to 400 mg. It had zero effect on me. Then I was on Methylphenidate and it also had zero effect. This was through the VA. VA wouldn't test me because they said "at 50 years old, you would have been tested by now and it would have been pointed out when you were in school". Yeah. Not in the 70's. I was pretty good at Cs, Ds and Fs and people thought I just didn't try hard enough. I decided to go outside the VA and just got my official diagnosis. I am waiting to see a Pdoc. We'll see if there is something different they can give me.

intothewind
06-28-16, 01:18 PM
Im impressed you make logistics work inspite of ADD!

sarahsweets
06-28-16, 03:21 PM
Sometimes a good way to deal with people like this is to take their suggestions about how they would do it better or different, dump the project in their lap and watch the chaos unfold. As long as youre in the clear with your part in things, it can open upper managements eyes.

Frustrated One
06-28-16, 10:13 PM
Im impressed you make logistics work inspite of ADD!

Actually, I think logistics is a good fit for ADDers because there are a lot of moving parts and it's constantly go, go go. The down side of that is, I am not organized when it comes to paperwork and I try REALLY hard .

Sometimes a good way to deal with people like this is to take their suggestions about how they would do it better or different, dump the project in their lap and watch the chaos unfold. As long as youre in the clear with your part in things, it can open upper managements eyes.

Upper management doesn't like him and plans to get rid of him, but not yet. If I do dump the projects in his lap, it will come back to me. The boss will say (as he has before) "this is YOUR department. You are responsible"

I guess my issue is, I am not more forceful and assertive because I doubt myself. I know sometimes I lack confidence. Is this something that with which other ADDers can relate? In other words, is this a common thing with ADD?

stef
06-29-16, 12:10 AM
I guess my issue is, I am not more forceful and assertive because I doubt myself. I know sometimes I lack confidence. Is this something that with which other ADDers can relate? In other words, is this a common thing with ADD?

absolutely yes!
probably from making various mistakes and people getting annoyed etc
i dont have a management job but i have to tell other staff what fo do (order meals, book rooms etc) and i absolutely hate it.

TheFitFatty
06-29-16, 12:51 AM
Actually, I think logistics is a good fit for ADDers because there are a lot of moving parts and it's constantly go, go go. The down side of that is, I am not organized when it comes to paperwork and I try REALLY hard .



Upper management doesn't like him and plans to get rid of him, but not yet. If I do dump the projects in his lap, it will come back to me. The boss will say (as he has before) "this is YOUR department. You are responsible"

I guess my issue is, I am not more forceful and assertive because I doubt myself. I know sometimes I lack confidence. Is this something that with which other ADDers can relate? In other words, is this a common thing with ADD?

Wow. That's really unfair of your management. However, I think you should look at it as validation for your decisions and use it to give yourself confidence when dealing with this guy. Just keep telling yourself that if he was any good, he'd have your job and he doesn't. You do.

But yes, lack of confidence and low self esteem are pretty common signs of ADHD. :( I've found that meds have helped me quite a bit, even in that department. I'm sorry yours haven't worked.

I get what you say about logistics though. I've done a lot of event management in my line of work and I LOVE it. but the paperwork and red-tape aspect of it always gets me in trouble.

Frustrated One
06-29-16, 08:21 AM
I don't really mind telling people what needs to be done. It is the ones who are resistant that I don't handle well. I have also been in the military for 32 years and know how to delegate, but again, I sometimes doubt myself and when someone who is a subordinate questions me or my methods, it is difficult. Sometimes I handle it quite well because I know what needs to be done and I am very firm about it, but when there are people who try to manipulate and go out of their way to confuse is when I get rattled.

anonymouslyadd
06-29-16, 05:20 PM
I would make a note card up of your strengths and/or successes and read the note card when you doubt yourself. I know how you feel about having someone in a position below you make you feel a little insecure.

Can you talk to him over lunch and discuss the realities you face? Is he reasonable?

Frustrated One
06-30-16, 12:32 AM
I would make a note card up of your strengths and/or successes and read the note card when you doubt yourself. I know how you feel about having someone in a position below you make you feel a little insecure.

Honestly, I have had very little confidence in myself in the past 2 years. It is very difficult to even find strengths.

Can you talk to him over lunch and discuss the realities you face? Is he reasonable?

No. He is not reasonable. He thinks he should have my job and although he is a lead, he doesn't understand the responsibilities of a supervisor. He constantly tells me how hard he works and how tired he is. He also calls in sick when he wants the day off. He is probably 20+ years my junior and wouldn't have lasted a week with that attitude on a 6 month deployment.

anonymouslyadd
06-30-16, 12:03 PM
Honestly, I have had very little confidence in myself in the past 2 years. It is very difficult to even find strengths.

Can you talk to him over lunch and discuss the realities you face? Is he reasonable?

No. He is not reasonable. He thinks he should have my job and although he is a lead, he doesn't understand the responsibilities of a supervisor. He constantly tells me how hard he works and how tired he is. He also calls in sick when he wants the day off. He is probably 20+ years my junior and wouldn't have lasted a week with that attitude on a 6 month deployment.
Ask a good friend to help you with your strengths so you can get started. ADDers can't afford to go around not knowing what we're good at.

E-Rock
07-16-16, 12:36 AM
Ask a good friend to help you with your strengths so you can get started. ADDers can't afford to go around not knowing what we're good at.

Or, if you're like me and are incapable of genuine conversations about emotions in real life, try this: list three achievements/projects/rockstar career moments that you're proud of. Then, list out one or two of the positive traits that enabled you to do it.

Day-in, day-out stressors can beat you down over time. With ADD especially, we tend to be more sensitive to external criticism, more self-critical of our perceived mistakes, and much more likely to ruminate on any criticism or perceived mistakes.

I was catching up with ( venting to) a former boss about work and he mentioned an open position at another company. Before I could say I wasn't qualified he cut me off with "We both know you can do that job. You joined my team with zero experience and accomplished x, y and z. You're hard-working, intelligent and can work with anyone."

Some external reinforcement might help to pull you out of the spiral of self criticism.

Radio Hiker
07-19-16, 08:14 PM
I am currently a supervisor in a logistics warehouse. I have worked in the field for years, but always have difficulties learning processes as well as organizing. In my current position, I have a lead who is apparently bitter because I was hired from the outside when he thought he would get the position. He does know what he's doing, but has never had a supervisory role. Sometimes when I tell him what needs to be done, he is resistant and tries to suggest other ways to do things or decides there are different priorities. I find it difficult to enforce them sometimes because I am not always that confident and sometimes he is good at making me doubt myself.

This is not the first job I have had where this was the case. Sometimes I look like an idiot when I am getting my butt chewed by the boss (like today) because he assumes I just disregarded what he said. I almost quit today because I felt like crap and I also feel like I am going to be fired. I am not lazy though and do not dismiss my duties, but am frustrated though because I am miserable and feel overwhelmed. Has anyone else experienced this and is it possible it has something to do with my ADD?

Sorry if this was long.

P.S. I am 51 and have dealt with this for years. I have thought for years that I had ADHD/ADD and FINALLY got an official diagnosis 2 weeks ago. It was a relief. They also think I may have a learning disability. Not sure what, but am interested to find out more.

[I know I'm a few weeks late on this post, but thought I'd share my thoughts/questions anyway, in the hopes that it might prove helpful]

First of all, I want to thank you for sharing your experience. As a fellow manager of "people and things", and as a fellow ADHD'er who has some difficulty with learning new processes and with organization, I can empathize with some of what you're dealing with.

At the moment, I have two major questions. Will your superiors back you if you put this subordinate in his place, such as by firmly reminding him that YOU are in charge and that he doesn't have to like it, but that he DOES have to live with it? I'm assuming here that you have already tried the kinder, gentler ways of dealing with this guy, so I am thinking of what your next step might be.


Secondly, when you got chewed out by your boss at this job, was it in private or was it witnessed/heard by others? This will have a major impact on whether or not your subordinates will respect you. It also shows what kind of boss they are. I, for one, won't tolerate a boss chewing me out in front of coworkers (and especially subordinates).

My personal experience has been that I am usually best served by following a process of first trying to have a cordial conversation with my problem worker and doing any needed coaching, then if that doesn't work a more firm chat is in order, where consequences of not doing what I tell them are discussed. And then, if things still don't get better, the final chat is where the consequences are handed down (termination, usually). Of course, I only have one boss over me, the owner of the company, and he always has my back.

Radio Hiker
07-19-16, 08:28 PM
I don't really mind telling people what needs to be done. It is the ones who are resistant that I don't handle well. I have also been in the military for 32 years and know how to delegate, but again, I sometimes doubt myself and when someone who is a subordinate questions me or my methods, it is difficult. Sometimes I handle it quite well because I know what needs to be done and I am very firm about it, but when there are people who try to manipulate and go out of their way to confuse is when I get rattled.

In another post in this thread you mentioned that your company is wanting to get rid of this guy, so it sounds like they have had other problems with him before you came along. I wonder if your superiors, while waiting for the right time to terminate this problem worker, are also using this situation to see how well you handle difficult people, with the possibility of promoting you if you find a way to handle this situation in the best possible way.

This also brings me back to one of my original questions. What kind of sanctions do you have the authority to hand out to an insubordinate worker in your department? If you don't have the authority to do anything besides "report" the problem worker up the chain of command, and the "higher ups" won't do anything about it, then I wonder if part of the problem doesn't lie with the company?