Ticked at a texting veterinary team member

Ticked at a texting veterinary team member

Q: 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
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Jul 01, 2013

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.

—Shawn

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
. 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.