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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with workplace problems

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Trouble maker in team

I work in one of the largest accountancy firms in the country and very happy with my post. My problem is with one of the team members as he is creating troubles in the group dynamics by talking about each team member to another team member. This is causing rift amongst all of us. Everyone knows he is the culprit but no one is doing anything about it. How do I resolve this?

Ans: Since all the others know that he is the culprit, try talking to all of them at the same time about the issue and brainstorm to tackle it. The aim should be making the person realise his mistake and not team up against him. In case others don’t wish to intervene, you can to your superiors about it and request them to speak to the team member.


Matter of leaves

My job record so far has been clean and I have never encountered any problems with my boss. Lately though whenever I apply for leave I get it after a long ordeal and sometimes it gets cancelled last minute. I recently got married and was given only 15 days leave as against 25 days which I requested. Each time I try leaving early after the work or day is done I am assigned more work. I am finding the treatment unfair in past few months. What to do?

Ans: You could approach the HR department and get a clarification on the leave application process so as to avoid any technicalities. You could also speak to your supervisor about this and get his view on the issue. Express your displeasure but not by fault finding or blaming. Rather than highlighting the unfair treatment highlight the effect it is having on your personal as well as professional life and the imbalance.

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Jealous colleague

I recently joined a new company and within few weeks of joining, I got a raise. The other person hired with me is now causing problems as he didn’t get a raise. He is trying to portray that I gained it through unfair means, this is causing a rift between me and the others, I am new and don’t have many people to talk to if this continues I won’t have anyone to talk to. What to do?

Ans: Let your work speak for you as people who speak to you or are friendly with you will not believe in the rumours. Also, those who might base their perception of you without getting to know you are better kept at a distance. At the workplace focusing on work rather than what others think about the result of your hard work usually does the trick.

Can’t work in groups

I have always handled individual projects in 11 years of work so far. But in a recent project, I have been assigned to work in a team of 5 members. I am very apprehensive as I have never worked with more than one person ever. What can I do to ease into the setup?

Ans: You may begin by listing down your apprehensions as per the intensity with which they are affecting you. This will give you a picture of what you think might be a problem while working in a team. Next make a list of all those things that could possibly go wrong in group set up. Both these lists then need to be compared so as to eliminate the imagined stresses and focus only the real stresses and deal with them effectively. Before starting with the work, you can suggest meeting them all in an informal set up so as to have an ice breaking session and also get to know each other slightly better than mere colleagues.

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Completely confused

I have recently been offered a new job at a reputed firm which is also my dream company. I spoke to my current firm about this but they don’t want to let me go and have raised my salary as well as given me few more perks. I am confused as to which firm to pick at the moment.

Ans: The answer will lie in the fact where you feel more comfortable. If the current job is trying to retain you for they consider you as an asset then reconsidering your options seem to be a possible option. If the new firm is offering new challenges and you are amongst those who would thrive on challenges then consider the new firm. Get the reasons for the shift in job into perspective so as to make a better decision.