A team member hangs out in the kennel area on her phone and spends all her work time texting her boyfriend and Facebooking
with friends. Some of the other team members and I end up working harder to pick up the slack. How can I tell the manager
without sounding like I'm tattling?
—Tempted to tattle
Dear Talk and Tattle:
This is an easy one: no tattling! Go directly to the person who's slacking and breaking the rules and give her feedback about
her behavior, making sure you focus on the following:
1. Speak in first person using "I" language about the issue.
2. Describe the impact the problem has on you.
3. Seek her commitment to change.
The conversation would go something like this: "I want to talk to you about behavior I've observed. On several occasions I've
seen you texting and posting on Facebook while we're supposed to be working. This leaves me to do extra work and pick up the
slack and leaves me resentful and angry at you. Before I go to a supervisor, I was hoping we could work this out between the
two of us. Would you please try to refrain from personal business when we're working together?"
If she's receptive to your communication, problem solved. If not, your next step is to involve the supervisor. But at least
you've given her the respect of direct communication.
Got a question? Ask Shawn.
Maybe you're tired of babysitting your team members. Perhaps you're looking for strategies to beat a bully. Shawn can help.
Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory boards and CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Chicago. Email your questions for him to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Then visit http://dvm360.com/mcvey to read McVey's advice on other hot topics. And catch Shawn live Aug. 23 at the 25th anniversary of CVC Kansas City. Visit
http://thecvc.com/ to learn more.