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I have a coworker (A) who brought to my attention that one of our mutual colleagues (B) told someone else that I was a "bad boss" and dishonestly refered to Coworker A as the one who told him (Coworker B) that statement. Coworker denies making any statement of that sort about me to anyone, much less to Coworker B. I don't mind receiving any constructive criticism about how I do my work but in this case coworker B dishonestly said that it was CoWorker A who told him such observation. I plan to file a grievance report vs Coworker B. Is that the right thing to do? How would you react if you were in my position?

[Edited to add]
Appreciate all the comments. Let me put into context the whole issue. Coworker B used to be the supervisor of CoWorker A until I came into the picture. And with the reorganizing in the office, coworker A returns under Coworker B. And CoWorker B has a pattern for making statements allegedly said by others to make his point and appears to mAke himself look good by making others look bad.and he would say, "according to Mr. x, mr Y is this..." Even if Mr. x when confronted never said those words. I was able to talk to Coworker A who personally told me that he told Coworker B that what he said about me which supposedly Coworker A said is not true. He insisted before Coworker B that he never made such statemnts and that for Coworker B to quote him in that was wrong.

closed as off-topic by The Wandering Dev Manager, gnat, Joe Strazzere, Lilienthal, mcknz Mar 21 '16 at 14:41

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  • Voting to close:- Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do – The Wandering Dev Manager Mar 21 '16 at 9:40
  • Have you actually talked to "Coworker B"? Right now, your whole post reads like "Coworker A" told me "Coworker B" is dishonest. You have nothing but petty talk and gossip. What do you expect anyone to do about it? What do you expect to come out of a grievance report that's based on "someone told me, someone said X about me"? – nvoigt Mar 21 '16 at 9:44
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    Even if there is lying, how do you know it is coworker A and not coworker B who is lying? If a person has called you a bad boss, he might not want to admit that to you. And sometimes people say things they don't actually remember saying later, so possibly no one is lying. – HLGEM Mar 21 '16 at 13:52
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Sounds like drama over inconsequentials. If this is worrying you, you have very thin skin. Acting on third party information as if it is true is not a great idea unless it's been proven.

Acting on someone saying you're a bad boss which may well be true but out of context is also pretty bad.

Deciding someone is a liar after being told so by someone else, tastes off to me. There may well be other motivations behind that tidbit of information being passed on.

As a boss if the respect of your underlings is important to you, you need to have reasonably thick skin. And you need to be careful of underlings potentially trying to use you as a weapon against their peers.

In my case I'd file it away mentally for future reference, and laugh it off. If I started hearing the same thing from multiple people I'd take it a bit more seriously.

  • While as a boss I can shrug off comments about me, in this case A seems seriously upset over the fact that B is telling lies about A. Brushing this off would be unwise, you cannot use your own thick skin to accommodate A. – nvoigt Mar 21 '16 at 12:49
  • Unless it was visibly affecting their work, I couldn't care less about their petty animosities. This is kiddy behaviour, not something I would allow myself to be drawn into. I know for a fact that under stress my people call me a LOT worse than 'bad boss' and probably have long involved conversations regarding my ancestry and probable lack of legitimacy therein. Water off a ducks back if the works being done. No real harm intended either, they're all loyal to a tee – Kilisi Mar 21 '16 at 19:37
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Obviously there is a communication problem. But right now, you have conflicting information. A said something. B said something else.

The correct way to handle this is not bureaucracy, reports or relying on unproven accusations. The correct way is to invite coworkers A and B into a room with you and asking them what happened. You can then find out how to proceed. Maybe it's just a misunderstanding. Maybe you will get actual criticism. Maybe it will end badly and you will need to file a report. But you need to find out in a professional way. By communicating with both A and B.

  • I think you are right. I plan to sit down with both of them. And anticipate the possible things you mentioned. – MrNiceGuy Mar 21 '16 at 10:09

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