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Colleague criticizing my work(7 Posts)
I'm finding a colleague a bit difficult and am not sure how to respond. We share an office but work in different roles therefore our day to day work doesn't cross over much. I find her very moany about things in general, as well as disorganised and unreliable, but the specific issues are;
1) interfering with things I am working on that are nothing to do with her, and criticizing the way in which I am doing them.
2) Criticizing things I have been proactive about, which wouldn't have happened otherwise - e.g. I have set something up at work which would otherwise not get done. She says it should look better / be organized better, to the point that I would not have time to do it that way so the only alternative would be it doesn't get done at all.
With the first one, I have explained that I don't interfere with things she is working on and would like her not to do it to me. She apologized but then went on about how her actions were justified, so it didn't feel genuine.
With the second one, I have said if she wants it done better she can take it on but I don't have capacity due to other priorities. Her response is we need to talk about it at a whole team meeting with my manager there too, to decide a joined up approach. I am very skeptical as I predict it'll end up with me having to do more work on it, and feeling like it would've been easier not to initiate it in the first place. I agree if more time, money, resources etc. could be put into this piece of work it could be better, but under the circumstances I find it very irritating that she criticizes and says it should be done better when I have simply been proactive about it - I would never do this with her work!
It's hard to explain properly and generally I feel I may be being over sensitive. However I just feel she is generally negative and interfering about things I am doing, that wouldn't get done otherwise.
How do I deal with this at the meeting where my manager will be present?
You say something like
"What level does this need to be done to?"
And if they say a higher level you say
"Of course. To do that I will need time X and resource y. I'm fully utilised right now. Which of my other tasks can be taken off me to allow me to do this?"
I think the best approach is along the lines you have already approached. If she wants to organise a team meeting then she can - you just set out that you took the initiative and have done the best you can with the resources available. You can perhaps mention in passing that of course, we all know it's easier to criticise others rather than do something positive.
Well done for staying calm - I'm not sure I would have managed to do the same!
You could mention at the meeting with the manager that whilst you are not expecting others to pitch in or even to take the initiative in the way that you did, it is very demoralising to be criticised for getting something done that otherwise wouldn't get done.
Thank you - - I do appreciate the suggestions of things to say. I don't find confrontation easy and am going to find it hard to be assertive. I'm not sure her manager will be there and mine is generally unsupportive. Ideas of how to stand my ground and not get emotional appreciated. I don't want to seem petty and realise my response may be clouded by the other ways in which she's controlling, negative etc!
Keep reminding yourself to smile sweetly as you offer to hand the whole task over to your colleague as it looks very much like she has the time the task now appears to merit. Smile sweetly and say that's a great idea to anything she says but that unfortunately you don't have the extra time/ other resources so perhaps it would be best if she took it on. Try not to show any irritation, smile but be very firm with your boundaries. The old MN favourite of 'I'm sorry that wouldn't work for me' without any further explanation of why it wouldn't work should also be kept in reserve.
interfering with things I am working on that are nothing to do with her, and criticizing the way in which I am doing them
How does she has visibility of things you are working on? is there a way of preventing her poking her nose in, by not telling her about your work in the first place?
Criticizing things I have been proactive about, which wouldn't have happened otherwise e.g. I have set something up at work which would otherwise not get done. She says it should look better / be organized better, to the point that I would not have time to do it that way so the only alternative would be it doesn't get done at all
It seems you are giving her opinions way more 'air-time' than they deserve. Why do you need to care what she thinks? Try detaching yourself and remind yourself that once you leave work at the end of each day, she's nothing to you, so her opinions don't need to count when you are in work.
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