Office Coach: Supervisor not accepted by worker

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Question: I have a co-worker who refuses to work with me, even though I am her supervisor. When I ask her to do something, she ignores me. If she thinks I've made a mistake, she immediately runs to inform my boss. I would like to tell him about her behavior, but I'm not sure what to say.

Answer: This woman is obviously sending you a message that she does not accept you as her supervisor.

Talking with your boss is definitely the right move, because you will never resolve this issue without his support.

When you meet with him, factually describe the situation and ask for his help.

For example: "Mary simply refuses to acknowledge that I am supposed to be supervising her. She seems to resent my instructions and sometimes ignores me completely. I would appreciate it if you could meet with us to help her understand my role."

Let me also point out that you must be clear in your own mind about your supervisory status.

If you continue to think of this woman as your "co-worker," she is less likely to regard herself as your employee.

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Marie G. McIntyre is a workplace coach and the author of "Secrets to Winning at Office Politics." Send questions to www.yourofficecoach.com.


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