By John Worne

Top tips, here, which I used this week to advise a senior person who was struggling with someone else… 

Specialist-Generalists often bridge organisational boundaries and manage many relationships and people – knowing what to tackle and what to leave is a tricky judgement call – but these simple tests aren’t bad:

Before Confronting a Coworker, Ask These Questions

It can be hard to know what to do if you’re having problems working with a colleague. Should you confront the issue head-on, or is it better to stay quiet? Ask yourself these questions to decide the best way forward:

  • Does your short- or long-term success rely on addressing this problem?
  • Is this person a direct report or a boss?
  • Will you be working for them in the short term? Is it an ongoing relationship?
  • How important is it to you and the organization to improve the situation?
  • Is the issue affecting your ability to concentrate or how you feel about going to work every day?

If the answers to these questions reveal that the problem is a one-time occurrence, or you don’t interact frequently with the person, try not addressing the issue — wait and see how the situation plays out. On the other hand, if you determine that your success is being hindered or your relationship with the person is important, try to quickly resolve the problem at hand.

Adapted from Difficult Conversations (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

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