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Topics: New Practitioners, Organizational Culture, Teams
How do you deal with a new, but more senior colleague who insists on doing things his way, even though it doesn't make sense for the business?
How do you deal with a new, but more senior colleague who insists on doing things his way, even though it doesn't make sens for the business?

Can't really share too many details, but suffice to say, when he doesn't get his way he escalates the issue but cannot seem to see that it's an isolated perspective and yet insists that resources be diverted into automating a workflow specific to him.
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A senior member with much clout? I would just go with the flow and follow basic PM rules - maintaining risk register, alerting stakeholders on risks and trying to mitigate risks and trying to establish a good communication with this senior member. Things will take time but it is possible, slowly.
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1 reply by Jonathan Lee
Jul 25, 2020 12:40 AM
Jonathan Lee
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Thank you Maria,

Good advice!
Jonathan -

Have you had a 1:1 meeting with him to share your concerns and to make him aware of the impact of his behavior? If not, I'd start there if he is open to such a discussion.

Kiron
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1 reply by Traian Micu
Jul 24, 2020 9:47 AM
Traian Micu
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Building on Kiron's reply:

If he is not receptive to a 1:1, I would suggest escalating the issue to your manager.

I had a similar issue with a very difficult senior colleague and after 1:1 failed, I received appropriate advice from my manager.

Good luck,
Traian
Jul 24, 2020 9:12 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Jonathan -

Have you had a 1:1 meeting with him to share your concerns and to make him aware of the impact of his behavior? If not, I'd start there if he is open to such a discussion.

Kiron
Building on Kiron's reply:

If he is not receptive to a 1:1, I would suggest escalating the issue to your manager.

I had a similar issue with a very difficult senior colleague and after 1:1 failed, I received appropriate advice from my manager.

Good luck,
Traian
You are making two assumptions here: 1) he is always wrong, and 2) you are always right.

Project delivery is not a wrong-right proposition. Look at a map - there are many routes to a destination, some may be more effective than others however choices are made based on knowledge and experience. But even then there is no perfect answer.

The senior person may have more knowledge based on experience as well as access to additional information not available to you. Goals/objectives may be different based on his access to senior management. He may have been brought in to make changes.

So, patience, listen and learn, apply your people skills. Also, take a look at yourself - few of us are without fault.
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1 reply by Jonathan Lee
Jul 25, 2020 12:25 AM
Jonathan Lee
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Hi Peter, thank you for your perspective. I do understand where you are coming from, but I do not believe I have made any assumption that I am right all the time and he is right all of the time.

In fact, this question comes from a specific instance that keeps repeating itself, and one that I had already consulted other senior colleagues who have domain expertise in this area prior to coming to this conclusion.
Ask him 5 WHY questions in order to get the root cause why he insists on doing his way. Make sense to business is only one reason, there are many reasons that make us think about when choosing a way of doing something.
Jul 24, 2020 8:03 PM
Replying to Peter Rapin
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You are making two assumptions here: 1) he is always wrong, and 2) you are always right.

Project delivery is not a wrong-right proposition. Look at a map - there are many routes to a destination, some may be more effective than others however choices are made based on knowledge and experience. But even then there is no perfect answer.

The senior person may have more knowledge based on experience as well as access to additional information not available to you. Goals/objectives may be different based on his access to senior management. He may have been brought in to make changes.

So, patience, listen and learn, apply your people skills. Also, take a look at yourself - few of us are without fault.
Hi Peter, thank you for your perspective. I do understand where you are coming from, but I do not believe I have made any assumption that I am right all the time and he is right all of the time.

In fact, this question comes from a specific instance that keeps repeating itself, and one that I had already consulted other senior colleagues who have domain expertise in this area prior to coming to this conclusion.
Thank you, Taian and Kiron.

This is good advice. Without saying too much, I have spoken with both and for the time being, it seems the issue stems from the colleague not wanting to say no to a certain request and supervisor agrees it's not something we should invest so much time and resources into for marginal gains.
Jul 24, 2020 5:09 AM
Replying to Maria Lekha Johnson
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A senior member with much clout? I would just go with the flow and follow basic PM rules - maintaining risk register, alerting stakeholders on risks and trying to mitigate risks and trying to establish a good communication with this senior member. Things will take time but it is possible, slowly.
Thank you Maria,

Good advice!

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