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How to best manage an insecure coworker?

How to best manage an insecure coworker?

(OP)
I started in a new position about 3 months ago, but due to organizational changes I am a hot candidate for a management position. I have excellent credentials and a very good fit for the role. Most of the people I have straight out asked if they believe I can perform well in the role are very positive."Youve got the right background", "You have the people skills required", etc.

However, there is one guy, age 45, with a long tenure (we are approx 25 people) who obv. got some issues with me. I believe he feels it is his turn for the role, but I am obv. a better qualified resource. My first impression was that he was a knowledgable guy, but lacked in confidence and project management skills. My managers assessment was the same, and they have been working for two years+. We figured we should strive to build his confidence and management skills. Today I found out he has been bad mouthing me when Im not there, and people are obv. buying into his shit (I seriously believe he is a good guy, but Im obv. rubbing him the wrong way).

What are my realistic options here? Confront him on the issues? Try to work things out? Publically adress it?

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

I'm a bit biased here, because I get irrationally rubbed up the wrong way when people use unnecessary abbreviations - but a good starting point might be to question every instance where you've said "obv." in the post above and check that you aren't using the term to cover an unwarranted assumption.

The trouble with what people say behind your back is that it's hard to get a good handle on how how much it's really been happening and what was actually said. A sustained whispering campaign will be more worrying than a single ill-judged comment that happened to be heard by lots of people.

How have you found out about this? If some of the audience have been feeding it back to you and they're hearing a lot of it, then another option might be to enlist their help to say something along the lines of "You know, every time you say something like that about her, it makes you look really bad yourself" - just quietly, but right there when the moment is fresh. In the long term, it's in the interests not only of you, but also of your rival, the colleagues who really don't want to get stuck in the middle of all this rubbish and the business itself.

Of the other options:

Confronting him could be effective. Do it in relative private and in a place where you feel comfortable. Make sure you can draw attention to specific things he has actually said and be firm about how they have caused offence. Expect to be met with a "I meant no harm" or "It was only in fun" and be ready to make it clear that the damage is in what was said, not what was in his mind when he said it. It can be possible to get somebody else to have that discussion on your behalf, though I think it's seldom as effective as doing it yourself.

Trying to work things out could be best if you're reasonably sure there's no real malice there. If he's said something he already regrets, then giving him the opportunity to redeem himself might well be a good way out for everyone.

I can't see addressing it in public ending well under any circumstances. Anything public beyond a prompt "That's enough Tom" - and that from the boss - is likely to harm both your reputations.

A.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

5
Sarah: Your post tells much about you. The trouble you are facing is your own fault. With the very few years experience you brag about and your apparent management talent opinion of yourself made known to others is your mistake. if I were your boss there would be no way that I'd consider you for junior management yet. My advice is lay low, keep bragging mouth shut and concentrate on doing your job as perfectly possible. This current situation will fade away and be forgotten years down the road. Don't goof things up now.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

"Most of the people I have straight out asked if they believe I can perform well in the role are very positive."Youve got the right background", "You have the people skills required", etc. "

Those are nice things to say. Did any of them say "yes" ?

Could your first impression have gotten back to him somehow? Is that so different than the things he is saying about you?

Step back, look at it from all angles, find a good time to talk directly/privately and clear the air. That may start with you explaining your comments about him.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

I agree with the above comments. It doesn't appear that we are getting the whole story and therefore hard to provide suitable advice other than the obv., talk to him.

Having gone through similar situations personally, I can tell you that it sucks. But it ends up being better in the end to just have the discussion so you can have closure and move on. It may be with your promotion, or it may be with another company. Either one is better than sitting in limbo.

--Scott
www.aerornd.com

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

@OP
Stop staying obv. Each time you use the word, my reaction is:

I am obv. a better qualified resource..... oh is that right??
who obv. got some issues with me ...... is that right or is it the other way around??
people are obv. buying into his shit..... really or is that just what you think and what is his shit exactly?
Im obv. rubbing him the wrong way ..... this is probably the only occasion where obviously is the right word, but I think you meant to make it sound like it's not.

Put yourself in question first, instead of considering everything obvious.
If you can't do that, you're unfit to manage anything or anyone.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

My first read of this is that you perhaps rushed the post after finding out he has been talking about you and there is some emotion rearing in your accounting of events. I’ll give a partial pass.....

A couple things to clarify, are you new to this company only 3 months, or just the position? 3 months on the job and already a hot candidate for promotion has me wondering. You also say your managers have 2+ year’s experience, is that in total, or with this individual or what?

Finally, it appears you have been discussing him in a non-flattering way with management behind his back when you say “My mangers assessment was the same” of your assessment of his flaws. Has this gotten back to him by chance?

@MrLocock Obv. your adv. is useless ‘cause it is “Obv.”, not “Obv”. Plz. learn to punc. your abbr. correctly. I recommend the Gregg Reference Manual.

IC

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

IC,

I think Mr. LC was driving home a point in an indirect way, otherwise known as humor.

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

Latexman, certainly you did not actually think I was seriously criticizing LC for use of Obv vs. Obv.? There are other small indicators of humor (or maybe even sarcasm and self-deprecation, with an ever so slight pun to the OP) in that line…………….Look carefully plz.

IC

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

The OP sounds like one of those Millennials I've been hearing about...

OP comments:

"I deserve it..."
"People have said so..." (btw...they're only telling you what you want to hear)
"I'm more qualified..."
"I've been here for 3 whole months, I need a new title..."
"He's 45 and has tenure..." (interpreted to mean roadblock with more experience)

Perhaps he is insecure. Perhaps he sees you as a threat as the company discriminates against old white guys to meet artificial quotas. Perhaps this would be the 2nd or 3rd time he'll be passed over for the role.

3 months in a new role/position isn't nearly long enough for management to evaluate your skills.

Take Oldestguy's advice.

______________________________________________________________________________
This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

I did, because I know for a fact, that Mr. LC wrote the Greg reference manual. wink

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

Your options are outsmart him, outlast him, or win him over.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

What are my realistic options here? Confront him on the issues? Try to work things out? Publically adress it?

Such a shame that the co-worker is literally stealing this career opportunity. I would choose a combination of first and last options: Confront him publicly on the issues.
I hope this will be over soon. Good luck Sarah and...Good bye also...

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

The only thing you'll be able to manage will be your own boundaries unless you have the power to fire this person. If you truly do have people skills, you will find a way to get what you need from him, without trying to control him or pissing him off.

I wouldn't worry about all the obv. flack your getting here. This is a generational thing. These old guys were dumb, and had dumb mannerisms when they were young too. I wasn't. But I'm special.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

If the OP really had entitlement issues, I would think they would be having issues with all their coworkers and not just this one.

As a supervisor, I suggest the dreaded monthly one-on-one sessions with all subordinates, and to find out what this one individual thinks is 'wrong' and then assign them the task to fix it.

Three possible outcomes: they don't want that responsibility and quit complaining; they actually solve the problem and quit complaining; they find that there are systemic issues that create the problem beyond their and the OPs control - they will still complain but it won't be directed toward the OP

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

Monthly one-on-ones?
Where do you work one of those progressive companies?
I get a bi-yearly sometimes.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

monkeydog - that is why the one-on-ones are dreaded. Not bad if the team is not huge. 60% involve a stop by my office door with a nod and a wave "all is good", 20% are 30 minute sit downs that usually turn into technical discussions and the other 20% are closed door hour+ long 'you know what's wrong with this place' discussions.

of course this is separate from HR performance reviews....

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

truckandbus,
I once had a boss that would hole-up in his office and sign time cards.
After a few months, I knocked on his door, and asked him if he wanted me to tell him what was going on with my work. His response was classic "Just keep the big wheels off my back".auto

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

monkeydog - I had a VP that insisted each of his 4 engineering managers submit a weekly report on their team's activities that needed to fill a page. He would get ticked if you couldn't fill the page, so we would bump the font size up and increase the margins until the page was filled. Took him two months to catch on

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

Quote:

that is why the one-on-ones are dreaded. Not bad if the team is not huge. 60% involve a stop by my office door with a nod and a wave "all is good", 20% are 30 minute sit downs that usually turn into technical discussions and the other 20% are closed door hour+ long 'you know what's wrong with this place' discussions.

JME but one-on-ones are usually dreaded because of poor leadership micromanaging daily details to the point that the one-on-one either becomes unnecessary, an awkward conversation, or a gripe fest. Usually the larger the team or faster the pace, the more one-on-ones are a necessity due to managers not interacting with their people otherwise and thereby needing to actually to manage people and projects properly from a high level rather than track specific project details. Mine are regimented in that we like to know 1. how people are doing/feeling/how's the family?, 2. defining details, IP, and challenges of each assigned project, AND 3. what subordinates are working on for professional and personal development. If an employee or manager cant talk to each of those three every 2-4 weeks or wants to turn the opportunity into an hour+ gripe fest then there's a major issue.

As for the OP, the braggart is often seen in the same light as the person putting others down. Maybe I'm mistaken but it sounds like she created needless drama by asking coworkers about something beyond their control and being rather presumptive in the process.

RE: How to best manage an insecure coworker?

As there has been no response or further questions or clarifications from the OP,

Maybe we've been played, as the OP handle is "SarahHuck"....as in Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Or, from another thread, the responses were tldr....

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