case study tough politics coping with the blindsider

George did not look forward to going to the staff meetings that his middle-manager boss convened once each week. He did not always feel this way about the meetings; in fact, up until three months earlier he rather enjoyed what he felt were productive and congenial gatherings. What made the difference was one change in the membership of this group of six supervisors: the addition of Charlie, who replaced a usually silent supervisor of one of the building services sections.

Unlike his predecessor, Charlie was anything but usually silent. In fact, it seemed as though Charlie had made it a point to become conversant with every section of their boss’s territory, and he almost always had something critical to say about the other supervisors’ weekly reports.

What bothered George most was Charlie’s approach to getting his issues or criticisms on the table. Charlie seemed to focus exclusively on problems and weaknesses. As if that in itself wasn’t bad enough, what George resented most was Charlie’s way of introducing a problem or concern in a way that ensured maximum embarrassment for whoever’s area he was commenting on. It was Charlie’s practice to openly drop his little bombshells in the staff meeting, where the supervisor whose area was in question first heard of a so-called “problem” or weakness at the same time the others learned of it.

It seemed to George that Charlie’s practice of blindsiding the others in the group was coldly calculated to make himself look better by making others look worse. And George found it even more frustrating to note that their boss did not seem to recognize what Charlie was doing.


1. What do you recommend George do about Charlie’s staff meeting behavior?

2 Should George take up his concerns directly with Charlie? And if so, should he do it one-on-one or in the context of the staff meeting?

3 Would you recommend that George start addressing this problem by taking it up one-on-one with their mutual middle-manager boss?


Describe in detail what you would do if you were in George’s situation. Use the questions above to guide your analysis. Written responses should range in length from 250-350 words. Your response should be thoughtfully organized and free from typos. Postings are worth 10 points total. For full credit, you must cite at least one page in our textbook or other reference material (journal article, website, Power Point slides, etc.). Use APA style citations.

You also need to provide feedback to two classmates. Responses to classmates should be 100-150 words per response and are worth 5 points each.

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