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Dealing with divas

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Question: Has anyone in a Sr. Admin. Asst. role had to deal with a “Diva”? I am a Sr. Admin. Asst. and I work with an Admin. Asst. who feels that she doesn’t have to respond to my requests, especially when I ask her to provide information to me prior to meetings. She wants to do the PowerPoint presentation herself; therefore, she shows up with it on a disk the morning of the meeting. Others provide the information to me and I create the PowerPoint, so I know I have everything ready. She’s very talented and I depend on her, but she comes across as “I don’t have to follow anyone else’s rules.” Any suggestions?  -- Anonymous


Comments

Does it hurt to have her do her own PowerPoint Presentation? Perhaps you can ask if she would like to take the whole thing over, and you could delegate that responsibility to her. If not, then by her doing her "own" presentation, you should not feel responsible for the outcome of that presentation. I know it may seem like you are giving up some of the control, but it may be a good thing.

Does it hurt to have her do her own PowerPoint Presentation? Perhaps you can ask if she would like to take the whole thing over, and you could delegate that responsibility to her. If not, then by her doing her "own" presentation, you should not feel responsible for the outcome of that presentation. I know it may seem like you are giving up some of the control, but it may be a good thing.

Does she REPORT to you? To your boss? Draw us an org chart. That would sure help us formulate some decent advice for you. How are your PowerPoints? Maybe if you sat down & discussed it she might be able to offer some suggested improvements? If she is a pure glory hound, just break her knees. Maybe you are not giving her deserved credit for the assistance she DOES provide so she feels like she needs to take the bull by the horns and GET some credit so she can move up or get a raise?

Does she REPORT to you? To your boss? Draw us an org chart. That would sure help us formulate some decent advice for you. How are your PowerPoints? Maybe if you sat down & discussed it she might be able to offer some suggested improvements? If she is a pure glory hound, just break her knees. Maybe you are not giving her deserved credit for the assistance she DOES provide so she feels like she needs to take the bull by the horns and GET some credit so she can move up or get a raise?

Does she REPORT to you? To your boss? Draw us an org chart. That would sure help us formulate some decent advice for you. How are your PowerPoints? Maybe if you sat down & discussed it she might be able to offer some suggested improvements? If she is a pure glory hound, just break her knees. Maybe you are not giving her deserved credit for the assistance she DOES provide so she feels like she needs to take the bull by the horns and GET some credit so she can move up or get a raise?

Wow. Kinda feel like this lower level admin is being painted as the victim... There is a reason why you are the senior admin and she is not, you've earned it through your performance, dependability and the quality of your work and I feel like you're getting a bad rap here. Apparently the other admins understand and respect your role, and I'm wondering whether her immediate supervisor advised her that this "dotted-line" to you exists and that she needs to respect your position, requests and procedure. Would it hurt to have her do her own presentation? Yes, since ultimately it's your name that is put on the package, which I don't think is a control issue at all. Do you say, "the first nine are mine, but that last one came from Sally so if it isn't any good, that's why"? You're more mature and professional than that. It would also hurt because she will continue to believe that she can follow her own rules which shows a lack of respect for you, your position, and the admin team. If this is her idea of how to take the bull by the horns to get ahead, she's going to demonstrate that she is not able to work well with her peers and those above her, and she will be deemed "unpromotable". If she already understands that everyone else follows the procedure and continues to go her own way, then you'll probably need management support to help "guide" her into the flock. If she's dependable in other ways, then perhaps she's just misguided on this one. If she likes this type of task, then perhaps any new assignments could be directed her way, but I don't think you should be going to her to ask how to do something that you're already an expert at. And you never need to apologize to anyone for wanting the work that has your name on it to be your best. I wish you luck - although it may be uncomfortable, I believe that you're smart, and you'll find a tactful, professional way to handle this.

Anonymous,

Maybe she doesn't know she's coming across like that. Have you brought this to her attention in an appraisal or mentoring session? Maybe she feels oppressed by a controlling boss and the only way she feels like her work counts for something is to take control of these things that yank your chain. Maybe there are too many admins in the office and she isn't busy enough. If she's talented and dependable, do you tell her so or show her with any type of award, pay raise, or promotion? I don't mean to be drilling, but I was in that situation a couple of years ago where my Sr Exec Admin controled everything and it was very hard to take pride in work I did when it all shone through her. We spoke about it and we each saw where the other was coming from. As a result, I now have my own programs that I run and get full credit for. We also communicate a lot better than before. I think with some straight forward, positive communication, you both can see where each other are coming from and work it out from there.

You said she feels like she does not feel she has to respond to your requests. If you are above her in the organizational flow, why is she allowed to do this? Unless there is more to it than what is shown, I think someone needs to talk to her and tell her that you are above her (if applicable), and that if she does not follow your directives, it will affect her employment at the company.

I am wondering: How do you make your requests for info to the A.A.'s? Maybe you should do so in writing and include all the of the A.A. names in the communication. Sometimes it's best to start by dealing with situations in a group manner - if the person doesn't take the hint, then go through a private communication but include the manager or whoever is above the person with the "difficulty". Just remember to always start by pointing out the possitive and gently slide in the situation that needs to be corrected.

Sounds like she knows she is talented and wants to make sure she, and not you or someone else, gets the credit for her work. Is that so problematic?

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