Archived Best Way to Approach

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Oct 3, 2013
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I am the Starbucks TL at my store. My ETL-Hardlines and I do not have the greatest professional relationship. We never agree eye-to-eye with my work center and I am quite often the "baby" of the TL group. I am the only TL whose hours ever go below 40, I am the only TL who does not do his.her own schedule, I am the only TL who doesn't receive business walks, etc. The list doesn't end there, I am quite often 'babied', given less responsibility. And when I try to show initiative - I feel it is shot done.

For example: As per my eligibility (According to Target Source) I am allowed access to Ariba Ordering, I thought it would be an excellent show of initiative to apply for access. I informed my ETL and STL of my doing this. My ETL responded with refusal to give me access (It is not up to the ETL but the STL) until I answered a couple of her questions. They were questions asking why I couldn't just pass along the article #'s and have her order it for me, or why we are running out of product (This is due to multiple departments using the same ordering and supplies getting lost in translation throughout the store). I understood her need to ask some questions and I replied with answers but never was given a YES or NO indefinitely. She shrugged away the problem and let it be ignored. I was granted access but have not told her this (as to not upset her). This is often the case.

My current issue is that I do feel alienated in my workcenter. I miss working with the other TLs doing pulls, transitions, pog-setting, etc. Today I was asked to come in and help in my red and khaki as opposed to black and khaki. I called it "Red-Shirt Tuesday". It made me feel a part of the team again. I set two endcaps, did some pulls, helped with in-stocks and zoning. It truly gave me a better insight into the overall scope of the store. Just a basic 5 hour shift. I spoke to another TL who is also under the same ETL about his thoughts on making Red-Shirt Tuesday a weekly thing. My ETL was encouraging me to get to know the overall success of the store a little better, saying that I don't do this well enough. So I do believe this would fit right into that category and also showcase my wanting to develop and learn more. He thinks its an excellent idea and highly recommends it. But this ETL and I, again, do not ever see eye to eye. It is always a struggle and she always has me working incredibly hard to prove that I'm capable and spend all of my time convincing her I'm good enough - just to be shot down. Most of our communication happens via e-mail.

How would you approach this, what would you say to your ETL if this was something you wanted to do? When dealing with managers such as this, how do you speak to them about something of this variety? Any advice?
 

Charming

Senior TL HR
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Nov 15, 2013
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Its hard to know how to react because I don't know the ETL personally. I've always been a very open person, so if this was myself and my ETL I would sit down with them in person and express exactly what I'm feeling. I'd express how I want to assume more responsibility, to develop my leadership skills on a more global scale (and that Red-Shirt Tuesday has been such a fantastic learning experience) and become more involved with the store as a whole. From this, you'd like to "partner" with her to develop yourself. Suggest that you'd love to be a part of business walks and/or you'd be interested in writing your own schedule to see how it goes. Small steps will lead up to the big prize. My ETLs have been very responsive to blunt requests to become more involved, so thats what I would personally do!
 
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