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Background:

A colleague of mine has recently been moved to my team for which I have been given a more senior role in.

The colleague is a very friendly and enthusiastic individual that I get on quite well with.

Situation:

Now that the colleague is in my team, they seem to be calling me over to take a look at the work that they have done and to ask for my thoughts. I have no issues with offering help in the workplace, however, these tasks are easy and minor and I know that they are experienced enough that they don't need my input.

I'm not sure whether this individual is making an effort to impress by making me have a look at all the work that gets completed or whether they are showing respect by asking for my input but regardless, this is becoming time costly and I am working a busy schedule.

Question:

How should I go about raising this issue politely with the individual in a way that addresses the time cost on my part but also the willingness to help if they are truly stuck or seek my approval?

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Organize regular meetings with this new team member with the express purpose of going through their queries and how they're progressing.

The idea is that they should save up their questions for this time so that you deal with them all at once (and hopefully, they'll have solved a few of their questions by themselves before the meeting happens).

Set times for the meetings also helps you to dedicate time for these requests and give one-to-one time to the team member.

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  • This is exactly what I needed to hear, I will see how we get on with this as it gives me the ability to schedule this time in and cater for it. I will give this a go first, thank you. – Glitch_Doctor Sep 26 '19 at 15:04
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There are two reasons why the colleague requests your assistance.

  1. The colleague really needs help. This case is simple to understand, the work is only partially, done, and the questions are specific for getting information.

Potential solution: ask the colleague to create a list of questions, and interrupt you only XY times per day. At that time, all questions will be dealt with.

  1. The colleague is insecure, or needs to brag. This is again easy to spot. The work is (mostly) done, no obvious problems...

Potential solution: Provide feedback that he is doing a good job. Tell him that as a result of all the "reviews" done together, you are now confident that the colleague can deal with problems by himself, without the need to interrupt you.

Of course, make yourself available in case of real problems.

With this approach you get to your target, without hurting your colleague's performance or feelings.

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  • I am leaning towards point two, and I think I will use this approach alongside that suggested by @Snow♦ above to gradually reduce the "I did this simple thing in a clean efficient manner, is it obvious enough what is happening?", thank you. – Glitch_Doctor Sep 26 '19 at 15:09
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There is no harm if you express your feeling about this, as a personal feedback. It's not a negative opinion, and you can just request to limit those interactions because you can follow them properly because of your schedule.

Another solution would be also allotting some specific time to go through everything, reducing the time disruptions and having the possibility to review more things at once. So, maybe, think about regular meetings or specific time frames in which you are more "reachable" as a rule.

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