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I am currently shadowing a colleague as part of my introduction in the company in a delivery role. Colleague behaves in a very insular way, does not share ways of working and ends up creating a situation where I often have to try and 'figure out how current processes work'. Once I have figured it out, she then shares her way of working 'Oh it has been done already, like this', which leaves me a bit frustrated or in worse case scenarios, I end up making a mistake from assuming it is supposed to work in a certain way leading to her blaming me for messing up.

Senior management are aware, but letting this continue, what is the best way to handle situation?

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    Have you flat out asked them to explain a specific process to you, and what do they answer? – Erik Mar 7 '18 at 12:34
  • @Erik Yes, and she usually fobs me off by telling me that she is busy, the crazy thing is she even does this in front of senior management. I don't think they are happy with her, we needed (snr management and I) needed her input and both rolled our eyes when she didn't give it. – bobo2000 Mar 9 '18 at 22:17
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what is the best way to handle situation?

At this point, I don't see any other course of action other than the one your taking. Management is aware, and perhaps is okay with, this person's style of training.

This phase of the job won't last too long, keep a positive attitude, take your best shot at doing the task right, and absorb the input provided (when its provided).

I know its not ideal, but it will work, although probably a bit more painfully for you.

  • "this person's style of training" yup, this one. Maybe the method was on purpose so that OP learns by thinking about the problem then a basic solution first, then trainer comes and shares his knowledge/experience. – Sandra K Mar 7 '18 at 14:23
  • @Sandra k A lot of my training requires me to understand how current delivery processes are set up for me to manage her project, this is not something that is learnt but told – bobo2000 Mar 9 '18 at 8:34
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My advise comes from my own experience.

Colleague behaves in a very insular way, does not share ways of working and ends up creating a situation where I often have to try and 'figure out how current processes work'

Although it's not clear from your question what you mean by insular, it's very important to build up a good relationship. If the two of you don't get along, it will make things worse. Try to show some interest like "you did that very well!". Then ask her if she can show you how she did it. Although this might seem a bit anoying, it is not. Try to ask her how things needs to be done, don't expect her to come to you. Thank her afterwards.

I end up making a mistake from assuming it is supposed to work in a certain way leading to her blaming me for messing up.

It is very important to understand the true meaning of someones statements. Maybe it feels to you that she is blaming you, but maybe she doesn't mean it that way. She is even more responsible for your actions at this moment, try to tell her that nobody told you how to do it and that you don't want to bother anyone, so you tried to solve the problem instead of doing nothing. Ask her how she thinks you can do it better. This way you are showing her that you take her serious and respect her advice.

Don't be afraid to ask or do something wrong. You are there to learn. From my own experience, if something doesnt work out the way I hoped it would be, I just see it as a new life experience. These kind of situations are not unique, so it's better to learn from it.

Good luck!

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