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Insights: How to Cope with a Co-Worker Who Needs Constant Praise

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Question

Submitted by: WISE Washington, D.C. member | 6-15 years professional experience

I have a co-worker who lacks confidence in her work and is constantly looking for reassurance from our boss and other colleagues. Because of this, she is not respected and it has perpetuated constant complaining by her colleagues and vice-versa. What are some strategies in dealing with this so that it makes for a less childish working environment?

Answer

Everyone goes through times when they lack confidence in their work and it’s normal to seek reassurance especially from your boss. It’s the boss’s job to help their direct reports to build their skill sets so that they gain self-assurance. It isn’t unusual to seek validation from others either.

If her colleagues believe that her requests for reassurance are excessive they should address it with her directly. If necessary they should mention it to her supervisor. That’s the end of it. Always ask yourself “whose problem is it to solve?” In this case, it’s the boss’s problem not yours.

What’s interesting is that you’re assuming her behavior is driving the constant complaining, a lack of respect for her, and consequently a childish working environment. It sounds like it’s less about her and more about the colleagues and their behavior. They are in a position to help solve the problem by giving her supervisor the information s/he needs.

Amanda Mitchell

About Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell, Corporate Navigator at Our Corporate Life, helps people just like you find what they love to do so they can have more of it in their work life. You'll be happier, your employer will be happier and ultimately corporate suffering will be reduced.

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