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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 8 Jan 2018
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 5

30 Jul 2018, 8:29 pm

When I was made a manager at my company I thought it was a lucky break, but over time my team has pretty much turned against me. I've always tried to give my team space, and I only pester them when something is wrong, but for some reason that just isn't good enough for them. One of my employees told HR that talking to me was like talking to someone through a wall and even accused of having no empathy and not caring about anyone. Today, my boss had a serious conversation with me, told me I have to "engage" the people on my team and gave me three months to turn the situation around. He acknowledge that my work is "perfect," but told me I have to make an effort to get the people on my team to like me and trust me.

I tried to tell him that I simply don't have great people skills. His response was: "It's not like you have Aspergers. You can learn these skills." I still haven't disclosed my status because I feel like he would just mark me off as a lost cause and fire me.

I don't know what to do. I have a therapist who is complete waste of time and can't give me any valuable advice.

I think it is all hopeless.

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

Joined: 27 Jul 2018
Age: 33
Posts: 40

31 Jul 2018, 1:43 pm

I don't think that be manager is good job for someone with ASD. Too much communication with people.
Did not you think of a change?

Sorry for my bad english. English isn't my native language.


Joined: 11 Aug 2015
Posts: 4,922

01 Aug 2018, 3:03 am

loxosceles wrote:
I've always tried to give my team space, and I only pester them when something is wrong, but for some reason that just isn't good enough for them. One of my employees told HR that talking to me was like talking to someone through a wall and even accused of having no empathy and not caring about anyone.

Well, here's a practical suggestion. You only "pester" your staff when something is wrong. That means any interaction you have with them is fault-finding. No wonder they feel uneasy with you! Try finding something they are doing right, and show an interest in THAT. And any time you criticize, sandwich it between two compliments.


"Your work has been pretty good on this project. I do have one concern, though. (briefly describe it.) Do you have any idea how we can turn that around? (your subordinate suggests one thing they could do differently.) That's a good idea! Can we meet again in a couple days and see how that's going?"

The bold-faced sentences are both complimentary, and asking the subordinate to generate a solution builds a sense of collaboration.

Does this suggestion help?



Joined: 1 Oct 2017
Age: 48
Gender: Female
Posts: 803
Location: Australia

01 Aug 2018, 5:33 am

Interesting that your boss knows about Aspergers. Makes me wonder whether it might be worth confessing your condition, as he might understand?

I know it's risky, and I don't want to push you into doing that if you're not sure, but let's face it you basically have two options:

(1) Tie yourself in knots trying to fake NT empathy and people skills, at whatever cost to yourself, which might save your job in the short term but will probably, sooner or later, lead to burnout (I've been there); or

(2) You fess up, but in a constructive way, making it clear that you love the job and are willing to work on your people skills, within the limitations of the Aspergers.

Whatever you decide, I wish you luck.


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 67,513
Location: Queens, NYC

01 Aug 2018, 10:46 am

I would agree that you have to be more engaging to your staff. Give them praise when merited. And criticism when merited, too---but the criticism must be diplomatically given

You're not about to lose your job, but it would help your job status to make improvements over three months.

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 9 May 2016
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 2

13 Aug 2018, 8:40 pm

Workers don't always like being told what they did wrong. This isn't Japan.

I have a new supervisor who I get along fine, and she don't have any fault finding issue with me. However, she was fault finding seniors worker, and one just quit after warning the supervisor that the morale is spiraling out of control.

Other is right. Being a manager isn't for everyone with ASD. You can either be the guy in the Imitation Game movie where you make the social group not like you for obtuse social friction or you can be a coach for the football team and let the working people work to score for the company.

First step is impression. They don't like you. Work the first step first. Apology and state your true intention of being a manager. Are you trying to be a task master or you trying to be an effective manager? Brings the coffee and donuts to the work group every week and keep doing it with different good dessert. On a rough day, you should bring pizzas.

Second step is handling. They don't like sharp criticism. These type of behavior strike the inner mini - ODD. For an example, the word "don't" when talking to an experienced senior worker is like sticking a knife in their brain. It hurts.

If they know what they are doing, they don't need reminder of what they are doing for the last time except the company mandatory tell your employee reminder. And, make it known when giving reminder that this the company message, not your.

Please give them choices while giving free reign for their seniority duty and give them permission to speak their mind. If they don't speak their mind, you can't read their mind.

Don't play hide and go seek with them. They don't like you finding them. If they are maintaining space, please give them that space, especially if they have to go take a break for cigarette and bathroom break.

In the end, they want to quickly leave work to go home, kick shoes off, and chill out. It isn't personal. It is their life too.

There are multiple times that I have to put the supervisors in the right place, because, if I don't, it will enable their bad habit to ride me for a tasks that I am already doing let alone an impossible physic solutions, including the Schrodinger cat (suggesting to be in two places at one). Let the low priority dying ship sink! Bigger higher priority demands undivided attention. Other problems of supervisor is that they can't see what they see. I give them a brief head up and explains what is going on. A blind man cannot lead a seeing person. If you have the best adapting solution, you do it and explains why it is better.

Play Foxhole PC Steam game? I suggest you buy the game and practice teamworking.


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Joined: 4 May 2010
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 23,081
Location: was Louisiana but now Vermont

24 Aug 2018, 10:11 am

You could try to transfer to a different non management position with the company or start looking for another job during those 3 months that isn't management

But I don't want to go among mad people, Alice remarked.
Oh, you can't help that, said the Cat: we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
How do you know I'm mad? said Alice.
You must be, said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.