Workplace Warrior

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Dear Dharma,

I am so frustrated at work and it’s pretty much because of one person. We have monthly team meetings and whenever it’s my turn to suggest something I get shot down. Every. Single. Time. She is my co-worker, we are on the same level, yet she is such a bully whenever I suggest anything.

She belittles my ideas in front of the whole team. I get it, not all my ideas are game changers but some of them are pretty good.  To make it worse, often times she has the gall to take those same ideas, re-word them and then sell them as her own. Of course these not only get accepted, but she has even been rewarded for them.

My boss should pick up on it, especially during the meetings, because my other co-workers totally do. I don’t want to be a tattletale but how do I handle this person without running to my boss every single time or resigning?

Thanks,

Mandy

Dear Mandy,

The solutions you offer as possibilities swing to the extreme side of life’s spectrum.  It seems you think your only choices are to either ignore the situation, or spend the rest of your life complaining in the boss’ office.  Or even more extreme, to resign.

I think if we work on finding a middle ground, you will be able to make a certain amount of headway here.

First of all, let’s re-frame what it means to discuss this with your boss.  It does not mean you are a tattletale, it means you are going to the person you are supposed to when assistance is required.

And let’s re-frame a bit further.  If you speak to your boss and say things like, “Lori does this and Lori does that, and then you make it worse by rewarding her!”, you’ll be shut down pretty quickly.

How about an approach like this:

“I am hoping you have a few minutes to help me out with something.  I’ve noticed a few times in our monthly meetings that suggestions are being shot down in front of the team and I would love your help in addressing this.”

Have just one example ready to bring forward and present it without emotion.  Also, leave out names unless pressed for them.  “At the last meeting, I suggested we switch from whole milk to 2%, and another team member very loudly expressed what a ridiculous idea that was and it was embarrassing to be spoken to like that.  However, the next thing I know, that same team member makes the same recommendation in another meeting, and voila, we switch to 2%.  Is there a better way I could have brought my ideas forward?

Make sure you absorb that closing sentence, because that’s the trick right there.  Notice how it presents like you are looking to improve upon yourself, and not take down your co-worker.  It presents like you are looking for guidance and advice, like you respect what it is your boss can bring to this situation.

What it also accomplishes is bringing to light the way this other team member conducts herself in a professional setting, which I’m guessing is actually your primary goal here.

Hoping this helps and would love to hear the outcome.

But wait!  There’s more!!

Now that you’ve read Dharma’s answer, you need to go and check out Dave & Kat to see what they said about this exact same question!

Dharma, Dave & Kat are having a little fun together this week, so all Q & A’s will be addressed in both forums.

What did they have to say about this one – are they on the same page as Dharma?  You won’t know until you have a listen, so click here now!

Dharma

 

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