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Recovering from a small leadership 'fail' on resourcing

I had a bit of an air clearing with a female colleague yesterday (call her Tammy).  Unfortunately late in the day on a Friday and I wasn't on my game.

I'm on a short term contract and I think she saw me as  a competitor for the next piece of work.  Her and another guy are way more qualified so I pointed that out and she seemed to relax.

Tammy is good but she's also a past manager and can be dominant. She wanted another colleague (call her Mandy) to help out with some work.  Couple of problems:

  1. She said she'd talk to this lady  - stupid on my part - its team task management and resourcing.  I'm the lead I should have said I'd talk to her.
  2. This other lady is the one who was rude to me at the office Xmas party - so potentially I'm creating an enemy faction in my own team.  Of course I couldn't say that

I do have a window to do something about it.  I'm working on Monday and Tammy's taking a long weekend.   So I'm thinking I should setup a meeting with Mandy and say:

  1. Thanks so much for helping out.
  2. What the work is.
  3. Why the work's important
  4. You work with well with Tammy so you guys can run with it.
  5. And can you do me one favour and flick me a quick email on a Friday and let me know where you guys are up to

But I'm not sure the best way to approach this.


Hey T., what are you not sure of? You seem to have it perfectly laid out, it seems like a good idea.

Then when Tammy is back you can just frame it as you taking some stuff off her plate, as a favor you're doing to her, like "yeah, you were on holiday, so I've just gone ahead and talked to her, and thought you'd be glad I took one item off your list".

Transitioned has reacted to this post.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks - I hadn't got as far as thinking about Tammy.  Mandy was the 'you're not really a Kiwi anymore' lady from the Xmas party.   She's definitely a nasty player.  I don't want her attitude to infect Tammy from my team.  Is there any particular frame I should be trying to promote in this meeting with Mandy?  E.g. matter of fact, low key task quick chat - courtesy call, ego strokes - I've heard you're so good type of thing?

Hey T.,

Difficult to say from outside, and that's one of the reasons I always ask first "what would you do?".

Usually, I like "low key" with problematic people, since it's less likely to arise their suspicion and defenses. The more "official" you make it, the more they might resist.

Transitioned has reacted to this post.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Just to conclude this.  Had the meeting with the nasty player (Mandy) kept it light and thanks so much (as per Lucio's advice).  She was sweet as pie.

Now that isn't her nature (now I've learnt she's a great actor) so multiple possibilities:

  • she needs this work,
  • it is good experience for next gig (true - she's going to the next construction project)
  • wants to work with Tammy
  • or my stock has risen with the powers.

No over analysing - will promote collaboration and involve a few people in the work and see what I pick up casually.