Problem colleague but I struggle with what to do as I am still so angry(18 Posts)
A colleague has started to get very difficult and communicating with her is like walking on eggshells. Our team advises her team and they take or leave our advice. They usually take our advice. To ignore our advice can backfire, but they are 'allowed' to do it.
Recently we advised her against doing something as it would be a huge mistake and she went and did it. She made a blunder but she cannot see it. She was backed by management, who have caved in due to pressure from 'above'; it was political.
For various reasons, I feel very bad about this, even betrayed. She agreed this mistake behind my team's back. It was a stitch up.
Plus she was nasty twice to me and it is like treading on eggshells with her (my boss agrees with that).
I now have been avoiding her and its got back to me that I am. It because I am so angry with her. I am not a bullshitter and wear my heart on my sleeve, which is not ideal in the workplace.
Sorry that I can't be too specific, though, but our work area has quite a large impact on people's lives. What she has done will leave a trail of chaos (and yes management is also to blame).
I just cannot bring myself to smile and say 'hi' or whatever. I know I should do and pretend, I just can't. So now I am the bad person.
What to do, MN folk?
I think you need to somehow manage to be civil. You said they can chose to not take your advice and this time they did just that. It may have been for the wrong reasons and it may have been a disaster but she did what she was allowed to do..
She probably feels horrendous and people avoiding her will not be helping..
The sad thing is that she does not realise the seriousness of what she has done; it is pretty disastrous. She believes that she is an expert in our field but is not (as has been proved before). She does not get it...
OP, you are going to come out of this looking worse than your colleague at this rate! You seem to have taken this personally. You offered advice which is your end of the bargain. What she does with that advice is up to her and her team. You are aware that your colleagues have noticed your attitude towards her and that it is not reflecting well on you. A lot of us will have been in a similar situation and - frustrating as it is - you have to move forward.
Just be professional and polite towards her. You don't need to be friendly, just a polite smile and good morning and move on. This cock up wasn't your fault-I wouldn't tread on eggshells around her either though!!
I am taking it very personally, although I shouldn't. I am angry for all the people who will suffer from her actions.
Is she really going to get away with this scot free then OP? Won't there be any consequences for her actions? Is that what's making it so difficult for you-the fact that you understand the importance and impact of her actions but no one else is taking it seriously? You sound like a very principled person and I quite understand you don't want to appear friendly under those circumstances but, as others have said, you will have to be civil-nothing more-lest you look like the bad guy in all this. Sounds like your line manager understands what she is like-can she/he not help or advise?
Some people have no insight OP, so play a longer game.
Natural justice usually takes it course, enough rope etc...
I know you've kept your posts vague on purpose but the lack of detail makes it almost impossible to provide informed response
So from what you've said, despite your best advice, the colleague has not heeded the recommendation and that could impact people significantly. Is that your prediction, or do you know that to be the case? What substantiating facts do you have?
If you are worried that any fall-out could be blamed on you and your team, all I can suggest is that you make damn sure you have sufficient evidence to show you did your job thoroughly.
You dont need to be her friend, but it would serve you well to build bridges in the coming weeks. Maybe find an excuse, an interaction on a work related matter to send a cordial email across, soften your 'froideur' a little to move things forward professionally.
It does seem as if you are sulking, which isn't very professional I'm afraid! But I can understand your frustration.
I agree with oldguard, impossible to give advice without a bit more info like is it charity work, NHS or banking , huge impact on people's lives ? I'd be rethinking working there if the actions of the company negatively effect people like safeguarding children etc
I work in government but not in child protection or education. Would love to post all the details, but we aren't allowed to.
I do know for a fact that lots of people will be affected by the decision as this is all known about and they have made their voices heard and they are very angry. Their points were ignored.
Yes, she will get away with it. We were told to put up with the situation.
Sounds like a politically motivated thing over which you have no control. Maybe this woman was "encouraged" into this course of action by more senior people and had no choice but to ignore you? How frustrating it all sounds.
I'm assuming that you work in HR?
Anyway, it doesn't really matter. All you can do is ensure that you give the correct advice and ensure that it's well documented. If this woman chooses not to follow your advice, then that's her choice - flag it up with your boss if you're concerned. But above all, ensure that you act professionally and try not to take it personally.
Thanks everyone, some great advice here.
The colleague should not have agreed the matter with the outside people in the first place.
I am concerned that her actions are now getting worse and my team is being ignored due to politics. Its very frustrating. It just stinks all round!
I don't know if this will help ... but often I give this advice ....
your job is to do your job to the best of your ability and advise you boss / senior folks / stakeholders of the risks and benefits of any given option/s
The option she/they choose to take is her/their decision - you are not responsible if she/they make a poor choice - you have carried out your role by providing the best advice possible
Ha, not Teresa May!
OldGuard, yes it does help to think that, yes.
I have simmered down a bit now although it is not good to be the scapegoat .
I plan to make a point of saying 'hello' to her this coming week and making sure others know I did it. All nicey nicey.
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