Your Office Coach: Separate the gossip from the facts

 

I recently learned through the grapevine that an account manager
who is assigned to work with me has said he would much rather work
with someone else. Supposedly, he feels this other person is a lot
more professional.
Q:

I recently learned through the grapevine that an account manager who is assigned to work with me has said he would much rather work with someone else. Supposedly, he feels this other person is a lot more professional. I have no idea why he would say that, because for 20 years I have been praised for my professionalism. Now my supervisor says that I’m being reassigned to a different group of accounts. This really depresses me, because I have always worked hard and tried to go the extra mile.

If the account manager had problems with me, I wish he would have talked to me directly. I assume this means the writing is on the wall, so I have begun to look for other employment opportunities. I would like to leave gracefully, but I also want to tell someone what this individual said about me. Is that a good idea?

A:

You seem to have made a huge leap from “I heard it through the grapevine” to “I’ve got to quit my job.” Before jumping to any more conclusions, you need to back up a step and get some actual facts. Start by meeting with your supervisor to determine the reason for your reassignment. This decision may have nothing to do with your performance, but if management does have concerns, you need to know about them.

As for the allegedly unhappy account manager, your upcoming transfer makes his opinion much less relevant. If you still wish to check out the truth of these rumors, ask him for some feedback. But if you prefer to avoid that conversation, then you need to recognize that all you have right now is gossip.

Q:

I work with a woman who seems unwilling to learn anything on her own.

About 12 months ago, “Tanya” transferred back into our department after being gone for five years. Although we are now using completely different software, she refuses to take classes or consult the manual. Tanya constantly asks me to help her and often wants to copy my work. She shows no interest in the online training that I have suggested. I’ve worked hard to develop my computer skills and feel that Tanya should do the same.

Her endless requests are driving me crazy. What should I do?

A:

There’s a difference between being helpful and being an enabler. If your assistance has kept Tanya from making any serious errors, your manager may be completely clueless about her incompetence. Since employee training is a management responsibility, you need to involve your boss in resolving this problem.

For example: “I’m concerned about Tanya’s ability to use our current software. The program has completely changed since she last worked here, so she’s having a lot of difficulty. I’ve tried to help, but she really needs some formal instruction. Could the two of us meet with you to create a training plan for her?” After that, if Tanya continues to bug you, just refer her to the appropriate instructional resource.

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