Colleague needing constant reassurance(21 Posts)
A colleague of mine asks for help with each piece of work they complete. By help I mean they ask me to read their document, advise on what they should do, advise on how to respond and then read their response. This has been going on a while and has been slowly grating on me to the point that I feel like screaming when they look in my general direction. That might seem like a massive overreaction but as I said it's been building. I have tried various things from ignoring, to helping as little as possible, to just saying yeah do what you think. Last week I tried to nicely say they needed to be confident in their own work as it was their name on it not mine. I also said I'm very busy and can't be helping all the time. This was after an incident where something was incorrect but she felt I had approved it so tried to shift the blame to me. We both have the same job and are doing it for the same length of time. She is actually quite good at her job just feels the need for constant reassurance. I don't actually think she needs my help. I felt that after being blunt last week things would change but if anything it's gotten worse. If I say I'm busy she sits really close to me waiting And tutting.
And advice on how to make this stop? Have I not been blunt enough?
Talk to your line manager?
Dealing assertively with your colleague doesn't seem to be working.
Are you their manager?
If yes, you need to address this specific issue and explain that you don't have time to constantly check her work, that her work is a good/sufficient standard and you can meet briefly once a day/week (whatever appropriate) to discuss any concerns she has briefly. But most importantly, do not correct her work unless it is actually wrong. As long as her responses are technically accurate, any difference in tone or language you should just let go. Turn it all back to her - ask her what she would suggest and then just agree that seems fine. Encourage her with compliments about her work.
If you are not her manager get the manager to deal with her. It's generally a waste of time for colleagues to check each others work - get the manager to make a general announcement about not doing this, and raising concerns directly with them.
Thank you for the replies. No I'm not a manager. Our roles are the same. We are only a small team of six people. That is why I have been hesitant to involve a manager. I'm weighing up what will make my working day more awkward constant questioning or a bad atmosphere for going over her head.
Is she new? This happens a lot to one of my colleagues (PA for 30 years) and she'll calmly tell people she's too busy. She will also tell people when she thinks it's inappropriate for them to come over 'be decisive this is your work' is a favourite comment of hers
No she isn't new. We have both been in this role for over a year now. We sit next to each other so rather than her coming over its just her constantly turning to me. I do like that comment though
It says in the op they've been doing the same job for same amount of time !
Anyway I'd talk to your line manager
Each time she asks say I'm a bit busy right now ask insert managers name, until she gets bored of asking.
In your position if she blamed you for something that you had checked I think I'd probably be more blunt and say I'd rather not get the blame if it's wrong so either have confidence in your work or ask someone else.
just stop doing it, suggests she asks her manager.
Wow I can't believe she tried to use you as a scapegoat. For that reason alone I'd categorically say you will not be involved in any more of her work due to her unprofessional manner. But yes just be firm every time she asks, say "no I don't have time and this is your work so you need to take accountability for it. If you have any issues you need to speak to X (line manager)"
I'd just say something like 'I'm paid to do my work, not mine AND yours. I don't have time to review your work. If you're concerned go to the line manager but PLEASE stop distracting me from MY work'
You are worried about an atmosphere? She's already created one and it's hugely uncomfortable for you!
"Xxx, I've tried for weeks to gently detach from this ridiculous, uncomfortable, and unprofessional situation you've created and placed me in but you just won't stop.
I am not your supervisor and this isn't my job to do. This stops and if you persist, I'll be making a complaint."
Has she got more needy recently?
She is externally referenced (extremely) which means she relies on feedback to know if she's done a good job. Ask her the question 'how do you know if you've done a good job?' and she'll probably say feedback.
Often people develop more internal locus through experience but some people don't.
If the job is very self directed she may be in the wrong job. If you are not her manager and it's effecting your work I'd tell her that.
I had a colleague like this-she literally pounced on me as soon as I walked through the door to help her then throughout the day would constantly interrupt me, the most irritating part of it though was she'd then question what I'd told her she needed to do or repeat it back to me like she just wAsnt listening! My manager sits next to me and I think even he could see one day that she was getting to me (he's very hands off as a leader) and said 'XXX just send the form off and do XYZ' I started saying 'I'll help you when I've finished this' or wearing earphones! I think you need to speak to your boss and say it's slowing your own work down and that you aren't complaining about her but need their guidance on how to handle it.
"I don't have time to supervise your work as well as do m own, sorry. Talk to "manager's name" if you need advice."
I'm weighing up what will make my working day more awkward constant questioning or a bad atmosphere for going over her head
Or the third option - the day when she finally pushes it too far/times it really badly and you end up threatening to staple something to her if she doesn't for the love of god shut up and use her own brain instead of relying on yours...
Kinder to deal with it early on really!
If gently prompting her to have confidence, ask your manager if she needs help, pointing out that you're busy etc. don't work then definitely ask your manager to have a word. Especially if she's enough of a weasel to try and hang her mistakes on you.
Just keep saying no. Sorry, really busy with my own work.
I think you should just start saying "Oh sorry, I don't have time right now" or "Oh I'm sure you know what you're doing by now Mary!" in a smiling fashion.
It's a crutch and they need letting loose...you're not their personal editor!
With all due respect OP, this is a no-brainer.
She has no qualms about putting you in an awkward position, so you simply need to play her at her own game.
This isn't your problem.
I feel your palmin I had a guy constantly interrupt me to help him with stuff. As I had been there forever I was doing more complex stuff plus my work AND HIS WORK. I finally had to go to my manager.
This lady is the one creating an awkward atmosphere for you. And she had no hesitation in trying to blame you.
Have a talk to your manager. Explain the who thing, the neediness, that she's interrupting your work, etc. Your manager is paid to manage, so let them pull your colleague up. Especially as your attempts so far have not been successful.
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