Ask Kari: How can I confront my coworker about unprofessional behavior?

Dear Kari,

I work at a great tech company and I job-share my position. My job-share partner is not following company policy and frequently chooses unprofessional actions that affect how the company views us as a team and employees. What can I do to stop her from making poor choices and save my professional life?

--Worried Worker

Dear Worried Worker,

I would start by making a list of the situations that are not working for you in the role that you both perform. Stick to the most important points such as following policy and procedures vs. petty disagreements that may have occurred in the past. Then, ask to meet with your partner and share your concerns. Document the topics covered and the date/location of meeting. Ask your colleague for a commitment to make changes and allow some time to pass to see the change happen. If changes occur, compliment your colleague on their teamwork approach. If not, ask for time with you manager and human resources to report your continued concerns. You are in a tough position since you must interact with you job partner on regular basis; the best way for you to be perceived as being professional is to act professional during the whole process.


As published in the April 2014 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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