PracticeAccounting FirmsThe Practitioner: Fighting back

The Practitioner: Fighting back

Nothing prepares you for when full scale war breaks out in the boardroom

When I agreed to have regular management meetings with key members of staff I never envisaged that one day I would sit in a meeting refereeing a cat fight between three members of the team.

What started out as a simple piece of feedback and appraisal on a certain manager’s performance ended up as a bitching session among two female and one male member
of staff.

Call me sexist, but I expected more from the male member of staff as least!

I was shocked at how fast the cat gloves came off, and at the speed and frequency that abuse started flying. It became apparent in the aftermath that issues had been building up for some time between the three of them.

After sitting there for approximately 30 seconds in shock listening to the tirade of abuse I plucked up the courage to step in and call an end to Round One. I have had to deal with similar scenarios at home with my two teenage daughters but having to deal with it in the office among “grown up” professionals is a different ball game.

Part of me wanted to sit back and let them continue, get the iPhone out, and record some quality fight footage for YouTube. The other part of me wanted to join in and let off a bit of steam with them.

Buckets of tears later I managed to get to the bottom of the issues.

I couldn’t begin to tell you the detail of the issues that caused all the commotion but safe to say that if my two teenage girls had caused such a fuss over the same type of issues I would have had great pleasure in knocking their heads together, grounding them for a week and taking their phones off them.

Maybe I should have tried the same technique on the three staff members. Alas, if I did you would probably be reading about me in the Mirror or The Sun.

The institute handbook for members does not really prepare you for such eventualities, and nobody ever told me it was going to be like this when I set up in practice!

The atmosphere in the office since the meeting has been a little bit frosty and, mysteriously, all staff seem to be aware of the detail – who said what, who swung the first handbag, etc, etc.

Roll on Friday afternoon.

Pub time.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional firm in the heart of England

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