There can be fewer things more stressful to a Nursery Manager than when they realise that they and their Deputy Manager are not on the same page. A relationship that thrives on being rock solid, once faltered can bring upset, pain, and ultimately a deterioration in the nursery environment.
So what do you do when you realise that your Deputy Manager has not got your back?
The first thing is to talk. Initially talk to yourself. Is there something that you need to say sorry for? Have you upset your Deputy in some way which has resulted in the behaviour you see now? If there is, then by admitting that we were wrong, we are the bigger person.
The second thing is to be kind to yourself. People can be funny ol’ things. It may not be as personal as it feels, perhaps your Deputy Manager is under stress outside of work; and the person they can take it out on is their boss. Who doesn’t want to fall out with their boss some days?
The third thing is to be an adult. Adults deal with facts and objective thoughts. Ask for a ‘natter’ with your Deputy Manager over a hot drink and say that you are concerned. Ask them to tell you if there is anything wrong? Be persistent if you feel they are saying everything is fine, but it is just words; sometimes the non verbal stuff tells you its not fine at all. Be supportive. Create an environment where as adults its OK to be honest with each other. Open up about how you are feeling and agree next steps.
Don’t make this a ‘pre-formal, we are heading for a end to our relationship meeting’. Adults need to talk to each other for there to be greater understanding. Make this big now and you have played your cards.
Do as Stephen Covey says in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, “Seek First To Understand Before Being Understood.”
Good luck, and if you need a ‘natter’ with me as a HR Consultant who specialises in Early Years, just give me a call on 01527 63894.