10

I recently joined a new team. There is one co-worker who, whenever I ask him any question, brings it up in the next day's stand-up saying I asked a question on X topic.

He seems quite detailed in his stand up update. Mentioning a 5 minute interaction seems pointless. I don't like him bringing up my name for no reason.

Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?

  • 5
    Stop asking him questions for no reason? – Kilisi Aug 16 '18 at 2:24
  • 4
    since i am new to the team i ask qns since there is no documentation. i ask other teammates as well. – user2230487 Aug 16 '18 at 2:30
  • so why do you have a problem with this coming up in meetings? – Kilisi Aug 16 '18 at 2:31
  • 5
    i usually bring up something in the scrum only when i spend considerable portion of the day on it or if it is a status update. thats why i find this weird. – user2230487 Aug 16 '18 at 2:47
  • 5
    A colleague asking a brief question isn't something you'd normally bring up at the next stand-up. If one of my colleagues did that, I'd think they were just padding out the time they have to chat. Does the rest of his 'detailed update' actually have anything relevant in it? – user34587 Aug 16 '18 at 7:03
16

There is one co-worker, who whenever I ask him any question, brings it up in the next day's stand-up saying I asked him a question on X topic.

This, in and of itself, is not really a problem.

Mentioning a 5 minute interaction seems pointless.

I tend to agree.

Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?

It could be your co-worker is:

  • telling the team he's not getting his work done because of interruptions
  • signalling he knows more than you do or is more experienced
  • honestly unclear as to the difference between relevant and irrelevant information

In any case, it sounds like it's more your co-worker's problem.

One way to approach this would be to make your interactions less frequent, and more significant. Rather than ask every time you have a question, try to keep a running list of questions throughout the day.

As you compile your questions, you may find that you want to ask different questions altogether, or that your approach to a problem changes.

Then send an email, or schedule a short meeting to talk in person, and ask your questions as concisely as possible. This way you can make the best use of your time and your co-worker's time.

Depending on how stuck you are you may have to do this more than once a day, but collecting your thoughts ahead of time will help you.

This way, during the next stand-up, your co-worker might say "we had a good 30 minute meeting to discuss X, Y, and Z," as opposed to running through a litany of offhand conversations.

9

There is another possibility : your colleague could think that the questions you're asking are valid and worth mentioning, and wants to give you due credit for them.

If that's what they think they're doing, the easiest way would be to talk to your colleague. You could say :

"Thanks for giving me credit for the question yesterday, but it's not necessary."

If that's not what your colleague is doing, approaching it this way - assuming good intentions - is still a good way to go. If your colleague is trying to undermine you or complain about you, raising it this way will let them know they're not making you feel bad, and they may even feel guilty about their approach and change it.

  • 1
    My thought was similar. My assumption would be that if you have a question about something, then other people might have the same question. By sharing that the question was asked, this is an opportunity for others to also gain that knowledge, or to provide additional help/clarification. – Chris Allwein Jan 29 at 20:33
5

Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?

Talk to him privately. Tell him to stop doing that.

Tell him that if you wanted your questions repeated to the entire scrum audience you would do it yourself.

2

A daily stand-up should take the minimum time possible. I’d mention if we discussed a complex matter for two hours, but talking about some five minute interaction that doesn’t affect the team or my work progress is nonsense and wasting everyone’s time.

The next time it happens, you interrupt and ask if this matter belongs into a standup. Because it doesn’t. If he says it does, you ask why - was you asking a question one of the three or four highlights of the day for him?

0

One more confrontational approach would be just to take over from them every time they bring you up, summarize the interaction in a way that suits you and thank them profusely for their helpfulness.

If they don't get the hint after a couple of those, then talk to them in private and try to brush this off in a low-key way. Not wanting to be mentioned in the standup is as far as I'm concerned not a good enough reason.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.