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Waste no time in asking why you’ve been cut out of the loop

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in Your Office Coach

Q: “My team leader has started asking one of my co-workers to make changes to my projects. We are all software programmers, but we work on different products. Since I’m never told about these requests, the changes catch me off guard. When this started, I asked the team leader to keep me in the loop, but he hasn’t done that. How should I handle this?” Left Out

A: What you really need to know is the reason for your team leader’s sudden decision to bypass you. Is talking with your colleague simply more convenient, or are there concerns about the quality of your work? To find out, you will have to ask a direct question about his motives.

For example: “Lately, I’ve noticed that Ted has been making changes to my projects without my knowledge. He says he’s doing this at your direction, so I wanted to find out why you’re giving these instructions to him instead of me. Are you uncomfortable with my performance in some areas?”

If your team leader offers constructive feedback, pay close attention. But if he says all is well, explain the problems created by these unexpected changes and ask if he will bring requests directly to you in the future.

Should you be concerned about your job security? This may provide some clues: Quick Quiz: How Secure is Your Job?.

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