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How to address a problem with someone based purely on the word of others…

Dear H2

I have heard from a number of people in my team that one person is 'cutting corners' and causing the others to 'carry' her, despite having their own heavy workloads to contend with. How do I raise the problem with that person without saying where the information came from?

Can you help? A

Dear A

The recommended response should depend on the sort of corners that are being cut - is she simply less of a perfectionist than others, or is her behaviour potentially going to cause a serious problem?

By jumping in and tackling the problem yourself, you will be putting yourself into the role of the mediator. The more you do this, the more dependent the team will be on you to sort out their difficulties.

Have you considered encouraging those who raised the issue with you to talk directly with her as a starting point? It may be that she is unaware of how her behaviour is impacting on others, and she will be happy to change if it is tactfully pointed out.

If this suggestion is not possible or practical, you could try having a general discussion about team roles and responsibilities at your next team meeting. Try to ensure that the issues are raised in a general, non-confrontational way - I'm sure everyone would benefit from thinking about how their own working practices affect other members of the team.

Good luck!

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