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Christian Life
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The Crazy Cycles Between Managers and Employees, Part 2

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In part 1 we discussed the dynamics found in conflicts involving a male manager with both male and female employees. The love and respect principles are equally as important to consider in work situations that involve a female manager.

What about the female manager toward the female employee?

The female manager can be a caring woman who appears unloving to a female employee.

A friend of mine told me of a female employee shattered emotionally to the point of tears because a woman from the home office verbally mistreated her over the phone. The authoritarian attitude and lack of sensitivity and concern left the female weeping in the women's bathroom. It was so painful to her that the other women came to a male manager to report what happened. Fortunately, he addressed this with the home office and the female manager apologized, which circumvented the Crazy Cycle.

What about the female employee toward the female manager?

The female employee can be a caring woman but appear disrespectful to the female manager.

Taking advantage of their female empathy with each other as they struggle with work and family balances, the female employee used company time to take care of her children revolving around daycare. The female manager confronted her but the female employee would cry and tell her she was sorry and she'd not do it again. But it did happen again because the female manager had a bleeding heart for this lady's children.

Eventually, the female manager could not continue to allow the disrespect. This was not a good example to the other employees. It appeared this female received special privileges. When she told her employee to stop taking time off, this put them into a Crazy Cycle tailspin because the female employee was not submissive but accused the manager of not caring. Seeing them more as equals, she did not respect the hierarchy, and guilt-tripped the manager.

However, the situation could not continue in light of other female employees abiding by the rules. This female employee was let go.

What about the female manager toward the male employee?

The female manager can be a caring woman who appears disrespectful to a male employee.

I have heard stories of a woman, usually an older woman over a younger man, where she treated him unfairly and dishonorably. In one such incident, the female manager seemed to have a hatred toward men and in her position of authority was able to inflict on this man what she deemed was a kind of payback for all the sufferings of women. She was evening the score.

The other women under her recognized this female manager's mistreatment of him but kept quiet. Eventually, the man felt so disrespected that he started expressing anger toward this female manager and finally said to her, "I have had it here. I can't work under these conditions with such disrespectful treatment."

He left and found a better job elsewhere. The female manager was offended at him and by his departure.

What about the male employee toward the female manager?

The male employee can be an honorable man but appear disrespectful to the female manager.

A young man told me after hearing of the Crazy Cycle in relationships that he needed to change course. He had a female manager toward whom he showed little respect and often disrespect. He was rude toward her, resenting her female leadership over him. He chafed under her instructions, feeling she treated him as though she was his mother.

That, of course, was not her intent. He realized she truly cared and sought to do what was best for the company and him. This was his issue and it had put them on the Crazy Cycle. She was a caring person with great leadership skills, but he knew how to deflate her heart by his impolite attitudes.

Because he brought an expertise to the table, he felt he had job security but he was making the work culture miserable due to his insubordinate demeanor.

-Dr. E

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

Questions to Consider

  1. Have you observed any similar situations to the above stories? Which one rings true the most, in your opinion and experience?
  2. When it comes to the relationship between a female manager and a female employee, both of whom are driven by love, how does respect enter into the scenario?
  3. Have you observed, or even been a part of, a work relationship between a female manager and a male employee that had some serious bumps in the road? If so, how were those bumps shaped by a lack of love (care) and respect?
  4. Why are some men threatened by the authority of their female managers? What steps can they take to avoid getting on the Crazy Cycle? Why do some female managers feel threatened by their male employees? What steps can they take to avoid getting on the Crazy Cycle?