Take the initiative when lacking proper training

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in Your Office Coach

Question: Although “Bonnie” is supposed to be my trainer, she will not communicate with me. She works in another location, so I never see her. When I email questions, Bonnie either ignores them or sends back one-word answers. I refuse to talk to her by phone because she is arrogant and rude. After four months in this job, I am not as far along as I should be, because I'm constantly struggling to figure things out on my own. What do you suggest?  Abandoned

Answer: If you aren’t getting the expected training, then your boss needs to intervene. However, you should exhaust all reasonable alternatives before involving your manager, and so far you haven’t done that.  

Unless you develop telepathic abilities, your only options for communicating with Bonnie are email and phone calls.  Saying “I refuse to talk to her by phone” not only sounds childish, but also makes you part of the problem.  

If phoning Bonnie will produce the necessary information, then you need to overlook her unpleasant personality and make those calls.  But if that strategy fails, it’s time to ask your manager for help.

For example: “Although Bonnie is supposed to be training me, I’ve had trouble getting information from her by phone or email. I’m worried about falling behind.  Do you have any ideas for improving communication with her?  Or could you suggest another trainer?”

By helping your boss recognize Bonnie’s coaching deficiencies, you may prevent future employees from having to endure such a long learning curve.

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