Ever feel challenged in authority and knowledge/experience by a man 10 years younger than and two levels below you? This kid (ya fresh out of college) argues with my every word and tries to go to...

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Have a direct conversation with him. Explain that while he may be thinking he is "challenging assumptions" and "providing a point of view" there is a time and place for it. Assume good intentions, and coach him on appropriate ways to push back and add value beyond the tasks you're giving him. Avoid using feeling words (e.g. I was hurt by what you said), and focus on the fact that you're coaching him on his communication style and how to adjust it for different types of leaders. The hard part - offer him a chance to provide any upward feedback he might have. Even if he is off base, it can mean a lot to hear him out and you might uncover some perception blind spots in your own style. Good luck OP!

likeupliftinghelpful

I had a situation like this before and pulled the guy aside to talk about his behavior. It’s awkward but if I’m the manager and he’s in a junior level, I have to act like a manager and manage him.

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I had this experience as well. You’d be doing him a kindness to pull him aside and give him feedback. Definitely when you’re not actively aggravated at him. I have used phrasing like “I don’t know if you noticed, but you often/constantly argue/push back when I give you direction. There is definitely a time and place to discuss differing approaches, and I do appreciate your input. However, I need you to understand that when I give a direction, I’m not asking for opinions. In the future, I’ll be very clear if I’m looking for collaboration. Do you think you can operate like this in the future?” If his answer is no, then you know where you stand and it’s worth having a conversation with your engagement lead/partner. But, it’s also imperative that your manager back you up and when he tries to go over your head, your manager pushes back and tells this guy that your direction is the approach the team should follow. Agree with PP that this may not be coming from a place of active sexism/whatever, but if this kid doesn’t shape up and learn how to work within a diverse hierarchy, he will not progress very far. Word gets out. The guy who acted this way in my project was let go from the firm because he didn’t improve after multiple conversations about this very problem. Good luck, OP!

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I mentored a young guy like that. He wasn't intentionally disrespectful, just thought he knew better based on what he'd recently learned in college. We had lots of discussions about how thing are different in the real world than they are in the classroom, and why we do certain things the way we do them. It took every inch of patience I had. But a few years later, when he was in a new role at a different company he called to thank me.

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I called him out and he admitted (unprovoked) to his Ivy League elitest attitude and I made him cry!!!!! All good now. Had to explain the real world and bigger picture. How could I have improved you asked? ... I lost it and started the conversation when it was happening again aka frustrated. I did admitted after the fact timing was not ideal and apologized. I hate managing people. Ugh

likefunny

Go to the mgr above me because he doesn’t agree/trust me. He makes me question my own knowledge. I feel like he sees me as mean instead of an authority figure. Any suggestions to deal? He treats me like a peer instead of his senior.

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I hate this type of entitled campus hire who thinks they know everything. I have used precision questioning to get a kid to a point where he had to concede he didn't really know what he was talking about. Then, he cried.

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The takeaway is that you helped him with this feedback. The sooner he correct his attitude, the better for him.

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Thanks ladies! Appreciate all your feedback.

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Sounds like a good learning experience on both sides. Good job OP

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Put him in his place. Make him question his knowledge. You’ve done this work before. He read it on reddit.

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Does he have valid points, or just being a dick / posturing? If the latter, put him in his place with a far superior argument. Yes, as women we have to work harder to gain the same level of respect as do our men counterparts. It’s unfair I know. But when your level of competence simply overwhelms his measly brain, he’ll get the picture

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