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New to the team. One of my juniors on an engagement I am sort of leading don’t seem to respect me and probably dislikes me. He’s has an existing relationship with the client and (Cont..)

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I would take him out to dinner or drinks and ask him about his career goals, and how you can support him with stretch goals he’s trying to achieve while on this engagement. It’s the “empowering leader” way of doing what M2 said

likehelpful

Let him deal with client issues. Sit back and enjoy... Check on his work if it is making sense and offer your thoughts.

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I’ve been in that situation. Typically you catch up to the content quickly and it becomes clear why you are the EM in about a week. Also, agree that you should call out what a good job he’s been doing and that you’re relying on him for the content and client relationships. He’s clearly feeling insecure and a little flattery goes a long way in that situation

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S/He and you both need to learn that EM is a role and not a title. You are not his boss. You establish yourself by adding value, which isn’t immediately obvious in day one. Especially if she has the relationships and the content. S/he needs to respect your role, which might not be happening. As a leader you should call it and discuss it openly. Almost everything is easier with clear and open discussion. But not defensive discussion. If you think / act like s/he is the problem then you are by definition the problem.

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Saw similar situation before. You need to proactively take the lead. Sitting back doing nothing will make you look more insecure.

likefunny

For ex: “how do you feel about this change”, “how can we better work together”, “how can I help you succeed”, “I’ve noticed you are annoyed when I volunteer ideas; I know you have deeper context but in team discussions if you know more your role is to help others learn”, whatever you think is needed. Hardest part is taking You out of the EM equation.

likehelpful

S/He and you both need to learn that EM is a role and not a title. You are not his boss. You establish yourself by adding value, which isn’t immediately obvious in day one. Especially if she has the relationships and the content. S/he needs to respect your role, which might not be happening. As a leader you should call it and discuss it openly. Almost everything is easier with clear and open discussion. But not defensive discussion. If you think / act like s/he is the problem then you are by definition the problem.

likehelpful

I was a little bit joking earlier. If earlier suggestions do no work may want to consider enlisting partner support in clarifying roles. I once had a fellow manager begin engagement as he was available but lacked skill set for the job. By the time I joined he already built a good relationship with the client. I openly discussed the issue with him and also with the partner who set the tone for the responsibilities going forward. Slowly I took over the relationship as well and he ended supporting me. We are still good friends and actually thinking of starting a new business together (that maybe a bad idea on a different note)

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You will have trouble, trying to flip it on him so you are reviewing his work, if he doesn’t let you, document and roll him off

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This is a tough one. I’m in a similar situation, except, I’m the most junior on the team and everyone else has recently changed. I’ve always had the attitude that I’m trying to learn as much as I can from everyone else, but that may not apply here 🙂 I would try spending some one on one time with the teammate and trying to ‘learn’ about the specifics of the engagement. It also helps to publicly recognize them and say that they’ve done well in the engagement thus far. It’s definitely a tough line since you need to also maintain leadership and control since you’re ultimately responsible. Good luck, OP

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Thanks everyone. McK1 (& everyone else), what’s a polite way to call it out. I want to win the respect. His and the teams. I am not remotely bossy and have been very humble in all my interactions. At times I may have criticized certain things but that’s purely out of desire to improve. He’s really good at solving smaller aspects of the problems but lacks the strategic mindset. Just FYI, we are about the same age and he may actually have a couple of years more experience. I have a masters degree which explain my experience being slightly less

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Also at McK anytime you call someone a ‘junior’ you’re inherently not embracing a team attitude

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...understands the problems space better. He has an advantage given the connections built that he can leverage and constantly makes me feel like I don’t know enough. He’s probably a little ticked off that I was brought in to lead the project instead of him being promoted when the original lead left. How do I establish myself in this situation without appearing insecure and causing any damage to anyone on my team.

McK1. Just saw your first post. Thanks! You already answered my question :)

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