{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "How do you set personal boundaries? One of my colleague is new to the team, so I understand she may be struggling at times to get up to speed. But she is constantly asking me to get on Zoom after work hours (8-9 pm) to walk her through stuff. Even when I told her I’m out busy, she would keep asking when would I get home so I can jump on a meeting with her.", "post_id": "609f3511c978b4002e2df9a4", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

How do you set personal boundaries? One of my colleague is new to the team, so I understand she may be struggling at times to get up to speed. But she is constantly asking me to get on Zoom after work hours (8-9 pm) to walk her through stuff. Even when I told her I’m out busy, she would keep asking when would I get home so I can jump on a meeting with her.

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Try to set a recurring daily 15-30 minute touch point with her for the next week or so and tell her you will address all her questions during this time only

likehelpful

You turn you work phone off after a certain hour and don’t pick it up until work hours the next day. I don’t mean to sound tough here, but each time you respond to her, you’re incentivizing her to keep going. If you sense she also has high anxiety in addition to her learning curve, you might do her a favor and point her to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) too. She’s likely in a lot of distress. That doesn’t mean you should compromise your boundaries. There’s room for both truths.

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Tell her very gently you’ll help her get up to speed during normal work hours. It’s easy to understand

likesmart

I'd tell her very ungently at that point!

Nope.

I had similar experience, and I set up a regular daily meeting to answer questions

Tell her to stop contacting you after work hours and to set time up on your calendar if she has questions. If she just joined the project and wasn’t properly on-boarded, then this might also be partially your fault.

Wow- think about if you were in her position. You will be there some day and hope you’re all treated with the same courtesy you’re recommending.

D2, OP has been pretty clear about how out of bounds and persistent the messaging has been. There are limits to how available teammates should make themselves to each other. It’s also incumbent on the new team member to strive to become self-sufficient. There isn’t sufficient evidence here that the new team member is incorporating the feedback and progressing to completing it on their own and seeking validation the work was correct. OP has gone above and beyond anything I would have expected from someone on my team. I would worry about OP burning out and leaving. Seems the new joiner is treating OP like a life raft and is clinging to the point where it could take them both down in the long run.

Is she calling you? Pinging you? Texting on your personal phone? Good suggestions above but also wondering how she is reaching out and if there are other opportunities to show 'unavailable' on your end

The more I think about this, the more I think one of the solutions is for her to balance out her requests with a larger group of people. It feels like you are her one go to person, which will exhaust you and doesn’t really help her. I’d take a 3-4 pronged approach: 1. Set boundaries for yourself and a time limit. How much time on a weekly basis can you reasonably commit to helping a new joiner? Personally, I’d limit it to one half hour and recommend she network with others on the tram to get answers. Don’t respond to her outside that one single dedicated time block. It’s hard, but you want to reinforce the right behaviors that will help her grow over time. 2. Recommend she broaden her network (ask other members of the team as well) to address the additional questions. She’ll get diversity of POV, see different styles in action. And it helps her build a stronger network and spread the time requirements around. It also protects your time as well because I’m sure there are other things you also need to do to hit your metrics. Should be a win-win. 3. And apologies for restating what I said in my earlier post, but try to direct her to the EAP. If she isn’t listening to your boundaries or respecting you as an individual who has their own life requirements, she may be in psychological distress from the new role. She needs someone professionally trained to help in that situation. It will help both of you if she can get that addressed. 4. If needed… I’d say you have gone above and beyond to help this person acclimate. If after some time period (say 3 weeks) you aren’t seeing her incorporate your feedback or try to do thing on her own and progress from having you tell her what to do to validate what she did on her own, it may be time to call it. There are some people for whom either the work or the environment are not a good fit. It’s better for them if they recognize this early. There is nothing worse than being freaked out and insecure all the time and desperately grabbing on to whatever is around them to survive. That is such a miserable life. Sometimes you have to seek counsel from your team lead, career coach, whomever and address the skills and performance gap and allow that person to find a situation better suited to their skills or temperament. That sounds harsh, but we live in a stressful work environment that requires fast processing and getting to client impact quickly. Not everyone can do that and being in this environment, if not a good fit for her will make her sick (depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) Finally a word of advice for protecting yourself: If you haven’t yet, also talk with tour career coach or mentor so you get this on record. I have seen one case where the person expected someone to do their work for them and when at the breaking point from exhaustion the other person bowed out, the first person trashed them to the project lead. I’d 50/50 expect this to happen, so get it on record and document how many hours you have spent investing in her upskilling. Hopefully, she’ll take the feedback with grace, but if she doesn’t, your trying to get her the help she needs won’t blow up on you.

I really appreciate this thought out response. I’ve been hesitant to tell my manager about this because I didn’t know how well my manager would respond given he already have enough on his plate as it is. But I think I’m at the point where I’m not sleeping enough and always stressed out. I think I’ll talk to him first thing on Monday

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After reading about Mother’s Day, I’d say she is mental. That is so beyond having no manners. Can you talk to HR or someone higher up to get her some help and get her off your back? I mean... this is almost stalking

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