Archived Strange Feedback From My ETL-GE - Help Please

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So I have been a GSA for 2 weeks now and my ETL-GE pulled me aside after work today. She said I am doing well on the logistics and processes side but that she wants me to work on building rapport and relationships with the team. She said that from what she has heard some of the cashiers feel that I am too direct, distant, and generally not interested in them.

She wants me to focus on being super friendly for the next few days because she said that in order to be successful I have to have the team's buy-in. She added that any manager needs to be liked by their team, and without that s/he will fail. She said that they have not yet seen who I am or as she put it "how good of a person I am."

I am very very surprised by all of this. I thought I was doing fine with the team.
 

mrknownothing

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The key is to find a good balance between tasks and team. Obviously, you want to get all your tasks done, but you want to know the team. Maybe ask them how they're doing today when they come in to start their shift, or have them help you with various tasks (some cashiers like to get away from the lanes for a bit every now and then). Remember, as a GSA, you're a team member just like them, so you're more on their level than the GSTL or ETL-GE.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
Seems pretty straightforward. Try not to order, rather request.

Talks to the team when it's slow. Build rapport. Show interest.

Give positive feedback. Say thank you after people do stuff for you.

It's all the little things.
 

cihyfthedoor

Former BRTL – not working @ Target anymore! :D
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I've had the EXACT same discussion with the various ETLs who have overseen the daytime Backroom over the last 5 years. As an introvert, I can't be bothered with people. It annoys me. It's not my personality. It's not who I am. I was born this way, it's not a choice. F***ing respect that and stop trying to change me. Extroversion isn't right and Introversion isn't wrong. They're just ways of being. Accept it. Deal with it. Get over it.

Anyway, as an introvert, interacting with people in meaningless ways ("building rapport", "being fun & friendly", etc) isn't fun to me. It's not something I naturally seek out. I work to the task, partner with others as necessary (or, in my case as a TL, direct them), and that's that. But apparently people need loves and hugs and kisses and high fives and whatever. I don't know. Whatever it is, I just try to do what I see other people do who are naturally good with people. It seems to work sometimes. But it sucks, because it's hard work trying to remember "Oh, sh**, I need to say/do something fun when that TM walks by about 3 seconds from now so we have a little rapport moment...or...whatever....is....supposed to happen...", because it's not how I naturally am.

So anyhow, I just observe the people-persons and try to do what they do. Maybe try that. Although it's not easy do manufacture something like that which works best when it's genetically natural.

I am very very surprised by all of this. I thought I was doing fine with the team.

Yeah, me too. If no one tells me anything is wrong or less than ideal, my only possible conclusion has to be things are ok. You know, the tired old "No news, is good news" idea.
 
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It's not about "hugs and kisses", it's about being relatable.

I can understand not wanting to have to interact with every person who walks by, but my job is in retail and that's apart of the culture of the company we work for.

Just saying hello to someone and seeing how they're doing doesn't take that much effort and most people are satisfied with that.
 
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Building and keeping up morale is a key part of leasdership anywhere. At Target you have poorly payed, stressed out, and overworked team members and Target is not going to give you any real assets to do so. So all you can do is make your team feel like you are part of them and not just a person who wanders by, gives direction and coaches for mistakes. The sad truth is you are all they have.
 
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So I have been a GSA for 2 weeks now and my ETL-GE pulled me aside after work today. She said I am doing well on the logistics and processes side but that she wants me to work on building rapport and relationships with the team. She said that from what she has heard some of the cashiers feel that I am too direct, distant, and generally not interested in them.

She wants me to focus on being super friendly for the next few days because she said that in order to be successful I have to have the team's buy-in. She added that any manager needs to be liked by their team, and without that s/he will fail. She said that they have not yet seen who I am or as she put it "how good of a person I am."

I am very very surprised by all of this. I thought I was doing fine with the team.

I agree with her. As a flow team member, I've worked under two leads, one being an ETL and the other being a...I'm not sure what the correct term is, but she's like one of the main leads. The first ETL is very friendly and nice to the team. She always gives us words of encouragement when we're running behind and puts in an effort to acknowledge us (says good morning to us every morning or whenever she sees us), she smiles and just have an amiable/personable approach about her. So my team is comfortable around her and it makes our work day less stressful when we have a good team leader.

While the other team lead...she's much younger, with tatts, and has an "I'm too cool to talk to you/acknowledge you" type of aura about her. She never says anything to you unless she's giving you an assignment, and she just seems really distant. She doesn't communicate much with us and sometimes assumes we should already know what to do. Personally, I don't feel comfortable around her and hate it when I have to work with her because she makes the atmosphere so tense and unfriendly. If we're behind, you can tell she is in a pissy mood and you don't wanna be around that.

So, even though you might think being "nice/friendly" to your team members is something dumb to consider, it is actually very important because it overall defines our work morale and attitude. If our leaders are in a bad mood, it will make the team be in a bad mood and we won't care if things get messed up because we feel like our leader is an a$$hole anyway. But if you give the team a different feeling, I'm 100% sure that it would be a more pleasant environment, along with our work ethics.
 
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You sound like a new GSA my store. My advice, just be friendly even when people make mistakes. I have only worked at Target for a couple months and only really interact with the GSA's when I am backing up or fulfilling requests for DBCI's/replacement items.

She seemed friendly enough to start off with until I started interacting with her. Her main issue I think is that she does not deal with people making mistakes or under-performing well, and this has turned the whole store against her. When a cashier or sales floor team member makes a mistake we DO feel bad, and for 90% of us that in and of itself is enough for us to not make the same mistake again. The leader needs to be sympathetic and friendly in this situation. In my opinion their job is to inform us of the problem, tell us how to fix it, then make sure we know that it was not a huge deal (with the obvious exclusion of people who make the same mistakes consistently over long periods). It is the only way it can work at Target where the training is a minimal joke..... meaning that everyone makes every mistake at least once.

If you are friendly the rest of the time it is one thing. If you are friendly when a team member is embarrassed or frustrated THAT is what will be remembered.
 

StaticSun

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Be friendly. Requisition some candy/mints and give some out to your team. Ask them what's up, help out and do things like empty their trash, hangar bin, reshop bin, if they get too full. Send them on break a few mins early, and be their defenders, not their superiors.

Yes, you need to assign tasks, breaks, and projects, but work with them, not against them.
 

sigma7

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In general, you can be an introvert and still be friendly. Maybe you need to push yourself to be a little more outgoing. Asking people how their weekend was or just saying good morning or just smiling usually makes people feel valued. And that's really not asking much. You don't have to be anyone's best friend, but you do need to engage with them. It also helps when you get to know your cashiers' and other tms personalities. Some need little praise, some need more encouragement, some like to get little side tasks. Coachings usually carry more weight if they come from someone that a tm has rapport with. I feel bad when I let down the bosses I like and find to be good leaders. The bosses that are lazy and don't support their team and/or can't do their job...I don't care for them and usually get annoyed listening to them when they try to "manage" even if they're outgoing and "friendly."

Whatever you decide, your interaction with your team should be genuine. People usually have a good way of spotting fakeness. I'm naturally a little more introverted, but I've worked for years to be more outgoing. I like to stick to tasks and get them done. There's so much work to do, but taking a minute to engage with coworkers is a must.

If a shy person stays quiet all the time, people assume that the person is a snob, stuck up, or thinks they're better than them. Catch 22 of being shy. You don't really start conversations and people don't want to talk to you because they think you're a snob. This is why I've worked to be more outgoing. This has happened to me in so many social situations that I had to make a change.
 

Rock Lobster

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So I have been a GSA for 2 weeks now and my ETL-GE pulled me aside after work today. She said I am doing well on the logistics and processes side but that she wants me to work on building rapport and relationships with the team. She said that from what she has heard some of the cashiers feel that I am too direct, distant, and generally not interested in them.

She wants me to focus on being super friendly for the next few days because she said that in order to be successful I have to have the team's buy-in. She added that any manager needs to be liked by their team, and without that s/he will fail. She said that they have not yet seen who I am or as she put it "how good of a person I am."

I am very very surprised by all of this. I thought I was doing fine with the team.

Are you in the pipeline or TL bench? I find it odd that your ETL-GE is bringing up borderline leadership expectations with you and your performance.

She is correct, no matter how well liked you may think you are, it is important to keep building relationships up until the team will trust you blindly and will allow you to lead them wherever you want them to go! Getting along with them is one thing, but if you wanted to captain a change for the front end would the team allow you to drive them there? This is all about Collaborates and Relates Well to Others which are leadership expectations... which you are not held accountable for but are important to learn if you are attempting to do more with Target.
 
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"Are you in the pipeline or TL bench? I find it odd that your ETL-GE is bringing up borderline leadership expectations with you and your performance. "

Whoa um I don't understand what you mean here.
 

sigma7

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"Are you in the pipeline or TL bench? I find it odd that your ETL-GE is bringing up borderline leadership expectations with you and your performance. "

Whoa um I don't understand what you mean here.

Is your ETL team prepping you to be a team leader, or are you already signed off to be a team leader, respectively.
 

StaticSun

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Or are you just a regular GSA with no talk of advancement?
 
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In general, you can be an introvert and still be friendly. Maybe you need to push yourself to be a little more outgoing. Asking people how their weekend was or just saying good morning or just smiling usually makes people feel valued. And that's really not asking much. You don't have to be anyone's best friend, but you do need to engage with them. It also helps when you get to know your cashiers' and other tms personalities. Some need little praise, some need more encouragement, some like to get little side tasks. Coachings usually carry more weight if they come from someone that a tm has rapport with. I feel bad when I let down the bosses I like and find to be good leaders. The bosses that are lazy and don't support their team and/or can't do their job...I don't care for them and usually get annoyed listening to them when they try to "manage" even if they're outgoing and "friendly."

Whatever you decide, your interaction with your team should be genuine. People usually have a good way of spotting fakeness. I'm naturally a little more introverted, but I've worked for years to be more outgoing. I like to stick to tasks and get them done. There's so much work to do, but taking a minute to engage with coworkers is a must.

If a shy person stays quiet all the time, people assume that the person is a snob, stuck up, or thinks they're better than them. Catch 22 of being shy. You don't really start conversations and people don't want to talk to you because they think you're a snob. This is why I've worked to be more outgoing. This has happened to me in so many social situations that I had to make a change.

great response in the above post. if you read nothing else - read that post over and over again - so true!

it is such a cop-out to say that because you are introverted you can't be bothered with people, etc.

best advice is don't be fake, but don't be a jerk either. clearly whatever it is you have going isn't being received well. this could be from just lack of time and the team not knowing you yet; actual unease like someone else mentioned about not wanting to work when a certain TL was around; or perhaps terse communication that doesn't allow for connections.

the easiest way to think about it can be handled in a few questions:

how would i like to be treated by others?

how do the people i like to work with the most treat me?

how do i motivate the team? do they think that they are working for ME, or do i promote an atmosphere where WE all have one goal to achieve?


i am an introvert and i am quiet, and i wouldn't even describe myself as overly nice. i have a very strong work ethic, but i treat others how i want to be treated. i might not S up the most conversations, but if someone starts one with me i will genuinely reciprocate the conversation in kind. and always - you are at work. you are there to get a job done, but at the end of the day you are also being paid to be professional to your coworkers, bosses, and customers. thank people when they do things for you (whether it is their job to do it or not) and go out of your way for people because they will see that and reciprocate it back to you.
 

commiecorvus

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I tend to be naturally loud and friendly, sometimes to a fault, but I do understand you feelings on this situation.
Creating a sense of esprit de corps is never easy even for people with skills in that direction but it's important for a manager.
You will get people to do things for you, watch your back and stand up for you no matter what.
You can bring about that common spirit in the TMs and inspire enthusiasm, even devotion, with simple inquires about peoples lives (and caring about the answers), supporting people when they are down and helping people move up.
Train yourself to smile, you'd be surprised how far something that simple goes.
Say Good Morning.
Pay attention and be there before people are overwhelmed.
Most of all don't take anything personally.
 
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Yeah, I agree when people say to ask your TMs how they are. Be in tune with their personalities and likes and dislikes. It's taken me a few months to get to really know my whole team, but they all know how protective and supportive I am.

It's gotten to the point where I'm now the TL everyone goes to to get things done. I've taken special interest in their interests, for development or even things outside of work.

I even have empowered my cashiers and taught them so many things. They ask me how I do defects... Even though they can't handle them, I still show them and tell them.

They're also responsible for different jobs and areas up front. Definitely make sure to speedweave like crazy too. My cashiers can't stand when someone is not available to help. And I love speed weaving. I talk to their guests, help sign up people for redcards, puts bags in carts, scan merch in bottom of carts, shoot the ish with my cashiers and guests... Just be present.

I always have a thousand and one things to do. Trust me, I get it, but its so awesome to see my cashiers light up and smile when I walk in the door. They run up and say hello, they want to tell me all the awesome things they did this weekend, they want to tell me about their birthdays and parties and families and injuries and sports and school...

I'm also not afraid to be myself. I will sing and dance and dress up and mess around with them all day long. They love it. Even the more serious ones, they're like, RiR, you're nuts... I love it. Obviously I'm more outgoing than your average bear, but I try the hardest to be PRESENT. I've learned from personal experience that the present and available and supportive managers have the most loyal employees.

Just have FUN! And by the way, it's okay to be hard on people, but I try to be understanding and playful the first time before I coach. And being a GSA, you should just observe and offer helpful gentle tips and pass on concerns to your GSTL so they can take care of the big convos or persistent bad behaviors.
 
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Or are you just a regular GSA with no talk of advancement?

Well I have a degree and I expressed interest in doing this over TPS because they said I would need leadership experience to get the go-ahead for TL. So I interviewed for GSA at another store and got it. In my interviews we talked about my wanting to be a TL when they asked me why I wanted the position I said it would be suited to me and that it would be a good development opportunity for me to gain leadership experience.

Thank you for all of the helpful replies!!!! I think my issue the first few weeks was just that I was so overwhelmed with the logistics of learning all of the processes, never having cashiered or worked at Guest Service or anything. It was so much, and I was very stressed out. This left little space for me to get to know anyone.

Now I am still very stressed out, but it gets easier each day and less stressful as I get more accustomed to everything.

I am a VERY sensitive person, so this job can be challenging because the team members at my store are not very nice, and neither are the guests. The team members and guests at my old store were on the whole total peaches. That's a hard adjustment.
 
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I am gstl for my store, and have heard the same thing, I try to ask each tm about their life and ask follow up questions later. I was by nature very shy, Target has pushed me a long ways from where I started, I still have my moments. I enjoy the bubbly me more than the other :D
 
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