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I know how annoying it is to be an assistant and feel like your ideas aren’t getting heard, but she really needs to learn her place in the company, or at least learn to communicate more respectfully.Is there any way I can talk to her about how she communicates?
Because of the amount of work I’ve taken on, my boss hired an assistant specifically to help me with my workload.She does her work well, but here’s the thing: we’re similar in age, and I think that makes her speak much more candidly with me than other coworkers.She borders on rude in conversations, especially if I correct her on anything or ask her to do something differently, and she asserts herself in projects so much it seems that she forgets I’m the one with final say.You could say something like this: “I want to talk about how we work together.It’s great that you have ideas and I don’t want to discourage that, but I also need you to be clear on our roles on the projects we’re working on together.When I tell her that X won’t work and why not and suggest something else, she usually argues with me or else sends back very terse responses that indicate she thinks it’s a terrible/dumb idea.
She also overshares things with me—like she openly tells me that she’s looking for a new job.
(Plus, at some point your boss is going to catch on to what she’s doing, and it’s not likely to reflect well on her when that happens.) You have two different ways you can deal with it: You can sit her down for a conversation about it or you can try calling out the behavior in the moment when it’s happening.
I’m generally a fan of addressing the big picture (“hey, here’s a pattern; what’s going on?
Sometimes the most effective way to make it clear to someone that you have authority over them is to really clearly exercise that authority.
It’s great that you want to be nice and supportive to her — you should be nice and supportive!
The same thing goes when I need to correct your work or ask you to do something differently; I need you to be okay with that, not become snippy.