Know-it-All Coworker

Question:

I have this coworker that is a know-it-all.  He is very difficult to work with and is just not a team player.  How do I reach out to him as his attitude is hurting team morale?

Dr. Prakash:

Your coworker is the type of person who is highly insecure and has a need to establish secure boundaries for themselves and to be recognized. These qualities enable them to project the image of a know-it-all. By acknowledging these traits you can put them to work for the team. For example, giving them the task to gather data and report it to the boss will satisfy their need to be recognized and open them to incorporate diverse ideas to forge a team approach. This will help the team and satisfy your coworker’s personal need. This approach will also help them to realize that other people can have good ideas. Hopefully, this experience will overcome their need for recognition and enable them to feel secure in their position.

 

When Boss Breaches Company Policy

Question:
Hello, I have noticed my boss breaking company policy.  Should I report him?  I am afraid that he will get caught and we will all be implicated or he may retaliate against me.

Dr. Prakash:
There is no simple way to bring this breach of policy to the attention of your boss, knowing that most whistle blowers get hurt one way or the other even if they are innocent. Subsequently, they have difficulty being trusted and their presence is threatening to those around them. They also have a difficult time finding employment since most of them have already lost their job.

One possible way to accomplish this objective without raising any suspicions from your boss is to bring a real or theoretical situation to your boss in which company policy must be followed, request clarification of this policy from your boss in a casual conversation. As the boss explains this policy to you it will make him aware that someone knows and is aware of this policy which might induce a course of self-correction without anyone ever knowing what has been going on in the company. You intention is not to hurt or expose him/her to possible harm but to make the boss aware of his/her ethical obligations and initiate a self-correction.

 

 

Getting Passed Over for Promotion

Question
Hello, I have worked at this company for a very long time now.  I keep getting passed over when promotion time comes around.  How do I go about speaking to my boss about this?  In this economic downturn, should I try to leave for greener pastures?
Dr. Prakash

Being passed over for a promotion in spite of seniority suggests a communication and a relationship problem. Developing a working relationship with your boss will help you open the channels of communication.  As things settle down subsequent to a missed promotion opportunity, request a one-on-one meeting with your boss, and ask for a clear definition of your responsibilities and what you must do to meet the standards of performance outlined for you. Establish mini-goals to attain those standards of performance set by your boss and keep a record of your accomplishments. In monthly/quarterly meetings discuss your accomplishments and request feedback and continue to outline how your level of performance has evolved since the initial discussion with your boss. Continue this process until your next annual performance evaluation and request consideration for promotion if and when it comes up.

Meanwhile, hone your skills for the next level in your professional development and if you are bypassed again, I suggest seeking greener pastures, but be aware that there is tough competition out there for older and seasoned workers during this environment of economic slowdown