When your age, and everyone else’s, is showing

When your age, and everyone else's, is showing

I am a 39-year-old woman and leader at my marketing firm and I have a young, male direct report who is new to both the company and the workforce. Last year, when my Senior Director position was listed, he had applied for it with only two years of experience, but he impressed us during his interview.

Since being hired, he has rubbed everyone the wrong way by crossing lanes and overstepping boundaries. Just last week, he was giving “hints” to some of our experienced directors, who in turn complained to me. When I approach him nicely about this behavior, he becomes extremely defensive and looks for praise by listing all the things he has done well since he started here. If I tell him I’m too busy to meet, he tells me to include him in something I’m working on or says he thinks he should be in executive meetings with me, which But I say that it is not needed and I have to face controversy. ,

As a woman who has been in this field for almost 20 years, it is disturbing to see a young man loudly telling me and others that he has ideas about how he thinks our work should be. How to do it in a better way? HR is aware of his behavior but has taken no action. So I have to ask, is there a professional way to tell someone that they are being too arrogant about their role within a company?

– Anonymous

There is ambition and there is ego, and it sounds as if your direct report has crossed that line. I’m all for collaborative work environments, mentoring younger colleagues and encouraging people to pursue their ambitions for advancement. But sometimes, you have to remind people that they have to walk before they can run, not because you want to stop them, but because you want them to succeed.

Excessive self-confidence does not mean that a person is ready for certain tasks or roles. I can imagine how difficult it is to struggle with this young newcomer who is perhaps relying too much on the conventional wisdom about how to “succeed in business” by being brash and bold, but you need to take control of this situation. will be. He works for you. If he doesn’t like being told no, and he wants to be controversial about it, that’s the option he’s choosing. But you don’t have to raise him. If he wants to be a professional, treat him like one and pay attention to instances when he doesn’t act like one.

Now, interesting ideas may come from all corners, so establish clear boundaries about when conversation is welcome and when it is not appropriate. Remind her that part of being a good co-worker is knowing how to accept criticism without needing confirmation or rebuttal feedback immediately. They clearly haven’t learned enough about workplace norms yet. (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.) I’m sure you can bring him up to speed.

I recently returned to work after medical leave, and upon my return our department implemented a new policy: Team members must share three things they’re working on via group chat per day. When describing the new policy, upper management said it was “not like a big sibling, but a way to stay updated on team projects.”

Before I left on leave, we had two weekly meetings with the team to share updates and everything seemed to go well. This new policy makes it seem like they don’t trust us, and checking in daily seems excessive. Should I retreat or surrender?

– Anonymous

This type of micromanagement is incredibly annoying. Your disappointment is understandable. Managers, in fact, want to be well informed about projects – or they may be dealing with some control issues. However, this is something you will probably have to learn to live with.

I wouldn’t think about this new policy in terms of surrender, and I don’t know that there’s much to fall back on. The policy does not seem very difficult. Corporations often create engagements for one reason or another, and they may not trust you, but why should you care? Job is not your friend. It will never love you. It is not able to trust you. If you absolutely feel the need to raise a concern, ask your manager why the department has this new policy or if the frequency could change – perhaps every other week or monthly. I would also ask you why this policy is getting under your skin so much.

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