I hope you feel the same way–and that my work and suggestions are important to the team.”Hopefully, she’ll quickly agree, and you can move on to your next sentence: “And I’m always very happy to know that you present some of my best ideas to others.”Now that you’ve acknowledged your appreciation for what she does for you, gently bring up your concern with something like, “I sometimes wonder if I’m getting all the proper credit that I should, given my level of participation. ”“Without saying, ‘Hey, I think you’re stealing my ideas,’ you’ve asked your boss–in a polite and nonthreatening way–what the deal is.
But the next time you have a concern, I’d love for you to also offer a solution.”By framing the situation in this way, you’re showing your colleague that you value his perspective, which can lead to more cooperation and collaboration in the future.“This builds something that’s very important in business and leadership: trust,” Burg says.
“That’s crucial because people will do business, refer business, and allow themselves to be influenced by people they know they can trust.” “If you hurt someone’s ego when you’re trying to overcome a situation, you’re going to alienate that person by making her sad, mad, or angry,” Burg says.
Your fresh-out-of-college assistant wants to skip the less glamorous, everyday tasks she was hired to do–like processing contracts–to jump into high-profile projects above her skill set.
If you want to connect with colleagues to resolve sensitive situations, Burg says you’ve got to do it skillfully–and with compassion.
So before approaching your cube-mate, take a deep breath and promise yourself to keep the snarky comments at bay.
Burg stresses the importance of using a friendly, nonaccusatory tone, saying something like, “Hey, Mary, I’d love to discuss something with you that might make it a bit easier to enjoy our work environment.
“If you don’t, that person just becomes defensive and resistant,” he says.
So start by showing your assistant that we’ve all been there, with something along the lines of, “Joanne, you know you have so much potential, and you’re going to do great things at this company.
Try, “You know, Ed, I’d love to discuss something with you that might make it easier for you to enjoy your work.
I can tell you’re a deep thinker, and you have a great ability to challenge the status quo.”Follow this up with, “Yet, sometimes, I feel as though your thoughts are communicated in a negative way–which is okay, because things aren’t always rosy.