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In case of nepotism, criticize with caution

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “My boss’s arrogant and pushy daughter is one of my co-workers. ‘Belinda’ orders us around and challenges anyone who disagrees. The biggest problem, however, is that she gets involved in other people’s work without asking permission or telling anyone.

“Recently, I politely explained to Belinda that we need to discuss anything she is planning to do in my area. She seemed to understand, but I discovered today that she has reorganized all my files without my knowledge. This is absolutely the last straw. How can I stop her?” Helpless

A: What Belinda seems to be lacking is a job description. As the boss’s daughter, she feels she has a license to insert herself into anything that strikes her fancy, so the solution is to define the nature and scope of her duties. Unless boundaries are established, Belinda will continue to run amok.

However, we seem to be missing one essential piece of information. Exactly how does Mom feel about her daughter’s intrusive activities? Your boss is the only one with the power to restrain Belinda, so her attitude makes all the difference.

If Mom seems receptive, suggest that office efficiency could be improved by clearly defining everyone’s role. Offer to help the staff draft job descriptions for her approval. Then, if Belinda continues to overstep, ask your boss to talk with her about sticking to her defined responsibilities. That will be much safer than complaining about her obnoxious personality.

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