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There is currently a situation at work where work I had done a year ago is now being presented as new issues to Snr Management by a co-worker.

Snr Management then behaves as though it is a new issue, giving people who previously raised the issue with possible solutions a difficult time for not highlighting it to them to begin with. They will add to this by giving co-worker full credit, when all they have done is cover old ground.

I am in the process of leaving my role due to this type of behaviour, but at the same time, whilst I am at work I feel extremely irritated seeing this, and worried that it may/already has lead to my reputation being damaged by being seen as somebody who has not added value, when I have not been listened to.

I have decided to become more vocal by reminding people of what has been done in the past, where in this case, reminding Senior management that this is not a new issue - is this the right approach to take?

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reminding Senior management that this is not a new issue - is this the right approach to take?

Absolutely, if people are getting in trouble or reputation is being damaged then you should 100% bring it up and say that this has been mentioned before. Don't make it personal and state that they ignored it but just remind them that this has been raised in the past and is not a new issue.

State that previous solutions have been made but need to be reviewed as they had not been for whatever reason.

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    +1 The trick here is to communicate it WITHOUT making it sounds like a complaint. Don't be the "always complaining guy" management deals with lots of complains/issues all day, every day so she/he cannot remember/keep track of everything, but complaining too much makes you an annoying figure no one want to pay attention – jean Jun 12 at 13:03
  • @jean and how do you do that, if when you are not complaining you are being constantly ignored? – bobo2000 Jun 12 at 13:12
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    @bobo2000 It’s an art. First off, stay away from blame. One phrasing technique is to lead them to a conclusion, not stating it to them. Think: “I can pull up some emails from when we previously discussed that” vs. “I told you about this last year”. The first is offering to help and letting them realize (or not) that they'd ignored it before, the second is outright blaming. Similarly give them an out. “We discussed this last year, but had more pressing priorities at the time. I can review what we’d covered then.” – John Spiegel Jun 12 at 13:21
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Consider this story from the perspective of each person, and avoid thinking in terms of "blame".

Co-worker: There is an issue that needs addressing. It may have been discussed before by someone else, but it didn't get any traction. It still has to be dealt with.

Sr manager: This sounds like an important issue. In fact, it seems familiar, like maybe we've talked about this before. I thought someone was already working on this? Can someone just fix this and make it go away?

Each person could certainly be doing a better job at crediting previous attempts, but the fact remains that just because you attempted to solve the issue previously does not give you sole ownership for the rest of your career. So what to do now? Since you were previously championing the issue and didn't get traction, throw your full support behind this new attempt. The feeling should not be "Hey, I already tried this and didn't get anywhere, why are you stealing my work". It should be "I've been trying to get this fixed for years, thank you for taking this up and trying to get it done! Can I help by pulling some more of my old docs and coming to meetings with you?" This provides subtle reminders that you've laid some groundwork, but keeps the focus on solving the issue.

Any other lessons to learn? Consider why your attempt at getting this fixed didn't succeed. "I wasn't listened to" is not entirely accurate. Clearly the boss thinks the issue is important this time around. Was the boss too busy last time, and distracted by other things? Then you have to stay with the problem and bring it up later. Was your argument unconvincing to the boss? Maybe you were focused on technical problems, but the boss needed to hear a business argument. Maybe your argument was perfect, but the boss didn't understand what you were saying. Did you start with the wrong person, and you should have first convinced an assistant or a deputy or your direct supervisor to build support.

LACK OF ACTION IS NOT REJECTION.

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    Great answer - basically management doesn't want problems that aren't accompanied by solutions. – DaveG Jun 12 at 13:45
  • Sr manager “could someone just fix it” - Sr manager should be thrown out. Instead they should go to someone with the authority to assign a task to someone. “Management doesn’t want to hear about problems that are not accompanied by solutions “. Idiots then. What are they managers for? I can see problems that I can’t fix. I can also see problems where it takes a week to find a solution- it’s management decision if the problem warrants investing that time. – gnasher729 Jun 13 at 6:55

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