{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I have a direct report that needs an INCREDIBLE amount validation. On our team Slack, they even feel the need to announce that they were first in uncovering a tiny bit of information - “@boss I found this first!” - and they work to make sure they are acknowledged for such. We’ve had multiple conversations about the behavior - there is no need for it. They can be a team player, but can also be very quick to take all the credit. Any suggestions for how to get this person to a more confident place?", "post_id": "5ffbceb0fe5df40022da0cfc", "reply_count": 22, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

I have a direct report that needs an INCREDIBLE amount validation. On our team Slack, they even feel the need to announce that they were first in uncovering a tiny bit of information - “@boss I found this first!” - and they work to make sure they are acknowledged for such. We’ve had multiple conversations about the behavior - there is no need for it. They can be a team player, but can also be very quick to take all the credit. Any suggestions for how to get this person to a more confident place?

likefunny
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Crush their spirit by making them work till 10pm and on weekends...should fix that enthusiasm.,.

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I’m not cruel. I just need them to chill out...a lot. Quickly. Preferably before my eyes are stuck permanently in an eye roll and the entire team is in-fighting/unwilling to work with this individual.

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They feel the need to take what’s not offered up. Try offering affirmation preemptively

likesmart

I am trying, but I’m effectively just placating at this point. It’s starting to get to the team. This is an individual well into their career and I consider this highly immature attention-seeking behavior.

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In your conversations with them, have either of you identified why they need so much validation? You mention self confidence, but why is that low? Ask “why” to dig deeper and listen carefully. Recommend therapy. Get them to an internal coach or EAP or talk space or something for help. Give them a list of alternative things to say. For every one “boss look at me,” they need to give credit to two other people for something they’ve contributed. Check in on their home situation. Are they isolated with covid? Is there an unhealthy or abusive relationship at home? A fixation on getting social media likes? You cannot solve these but understand where they’re coming from could help you accept it more. Give them goals for the day or week and defined times to show off progress. “I’ll have time to focus on your progress at 3pm, can you collect what you can and save it for then?” Stop giving them the affirmation they want. Do you have kids? One of the best ways to stop a temper tantrum can be to ignore it.

likehelpful

I was thinking about your comment re: giving them alternatives to say. I may try having them keep notecards on their desk with alternatives. And you have me really thinking about the social media likes.... I could see Slack really playing into that....

I can dig it if they call you “boss” for real.

likefunny

I’d really prefer not to do that. I consider that a last resort given the current environment. I’m in a small company and have some flexibility around personnel issues and how to manage them. I’ve just never encountered someone with SO much energy and SO much needy behavior.

During a check in: hey, you are doing a good job. I wanted to let you know that I take notice of all the great things you do so you don’t neeed to worry about high viability if you are concerned about that. It seems like an insecurity problem to me so no need to break them down

likehelpful

You mentioned they’re mid career and this is a new role, is it possible that they were laid off/received poor performance reviews from their last job and are trying to correct past behaviors since they don’t want to be laid off again/receive a negative performance review?

likehelpful

You know....I don’t have a solid idea re: their history. They were transferred to my team. Are there any legal issues I’ll run into if I probe on history?

Just ditch sanitized corporate speak and speak plainly "hey man, you don't need to lobby for yourself. I don't like self-aggrandizement and while I don't think that's what you intend to do, it comes off that way. I've tried to politely hint at this a few times but just wanted to bring to your attention now so there's no confusion. I appreciate all the hard work you so and it doesn't go unnoticed so for my sanity and limited attention, please just chill out"

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Is it in writing. If this is impacting team dynamics it’s a problem. Some people just need to see it written to start to understand

Is the person a fresh graduate? First job?

I definitely want to help them. I think it has gotten worse lately. So yeah, maybe outside intervention with a coach. I’m a little nervous that other team members will see it as an unfair development opportunity...so I’ll have to think about how to position it.

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