Your boss did it again!  He asked one of your direct reports to prepare a brief report on the latest sales figures by territory, instead of asking you.  Why does he do this?  Does he think you are out of touch with sales in each of the territories?  Is he trying to undermine you in front of your team?  What does he think he is playing at!

Such a scenario can easily cause frustration and the strong desire to give your boss a piece of your mind.  However, before saying anything and risking your career, step back and think about the context.

  • How often does he do this?
  • Who in your team does he do it with, is it just one person?
  • What is your relationship like with your boss?  Do you feel it is a close trusting relationship?
  • Do you communicate regularly with your boss face to face or at least frequently on the telephone?
  • In general is he a ‘task focused person’ or a ‘people focused person’.

The answers can help you solve the problem, or even realise that it’s not a problem after all.  Remember, you do not know your boss’s intentions.  He may have asked your team member to complete the report because he feels that it is a straightforward ‘admin task’ and wants you to focus on bigger more challenging activities.  If this happens to be the case, facing up to your boss and accusing him of undermining you will not win you any favours and could put your relationship at risk.