Working with a junior who’s pretty arrogant without good reason. Their instincts are generally not quite right, but they’re very insistent (in some cases disrespectful). How do you deal with this kind of person without breaking their spirit?

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Put up a white board keeping track of the times they were wrong vs right. Refer to it frequently.

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We’ve all been put in our place before, if that’s going to ‘break’ them that’s on them. I’d tell them what you’re telling all of us, that you like their spirit and enthusiasm, but they need to take a step back and realize they aren’t even close to in charge and for good reason. I get not wanting to be mean, but that person will eventually be corrected very bluntly by someone not as nice as you, or worse they’ll never be corrected and be someone nobody wants to work with.

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Very helpful advice. Thank you.

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Breaking them is helping them
Break em, then patch em up

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Example?

This is a Junior AD who’s trying to tell me and the CD what ideas should move forward, adjusting write ups that have been worked on by me and the CD, nagging about ideas that get written up in a way that wasn’t exactly what they had in mind, not being willing to pull art or make comps for ideas they don’t like.

Their tenacity and enthusiasm is great, and I think it’s important to preserve that. But theres a lack of respect for experience that I’m really having a tough time managing.

I think you should just point out specific things when they happen. “Don’t rewrite the manifesto after Jim has seen it, unless asked”

I think attempting to “break” the junior overall isn’t the best move for keeping that tenacity and enthusiasm. I relate to this junior from when I was a junior actually and I learned through my amazing mentor/past creative director calling out specific things as I was learning what’s normal in the agency/ work world.

I definitely don’t want to break anybody by any means. But it doesn’t come across as innocent to me. They think they know better than everyone on the team except maybe the GCDs. And that’s a definite maybe, yesterday they tried to tell them what an idea was after they’d worked on it.

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