Joined a new org, made an impact and an influential person who is not doing the same role as me is insecure about my skillset. He feels threatened because he wants to climb the corporate ladder.

I have spoken to him, telling him that I would like to form an alliance as opposed to working against each other and he seemed to agree but I haven't seen much improvement in his behaviour.

Manager has sided with him pretty much by telling me I have to keep him happy.

What should I do?

  • 3
    Sounds like you need to keep the guy happy.
    – Kathy
    Dec 13 '19 at 22:53
  • 5
    You're only giving us your conclusions. What happened?
    – dustytrash
    Dec 14 '19 at 0:57
  • How can you tell how someone else feels? What are his specific behaviours?
    – ChrisFNZ
    Dec 14 '19 at 9:14
  • He's directly told me this
    – bobo2000
    Dec 14 '19 at 11:21

As narcissistic as it sounds ,put him out front (which he already wants to do), and let him either get promoted or burnt out.

And not to state the obvious, but this is not your friend to be forming alliances with, this is your co-worker. Keeping it professional should be more than enough.


Document, document, document. If he asks you to do something or you ask him to do something, put it in writing (even after the fact). You can easily spin this to be in the name of collaboration - "Let's use a ticketing system to keep track of our tasks while we're working together, so it's easy to keep each other updated asynchronously." While you're in a meeting without access to your computer, try to take notes and verify with him in the meeting that they are accurate - "OK, I'm going to do A and B and you'll do C and D, and we'll report our progress tomorrow, right?"

It's not clear if he's told you that he doesn't want you to interfere with his chances of promotion, or if that's your interpretation of his behavior. If it's the latter, keep in mind that it's your interpretation and try to give him the benefit of the doubt. If you do still think he feels threatened, you can try to highlight the differences in your skillsets when divvying work, and let him take the lead in meetings on your joint projects with management and stakeholders. Basically, show him that you aren't trying to take the rung he wants.

At the end of the day, there are some people that are so entrenched in the rat race they don't realize not everyone else is, and really think that all of their peers are trying to climb over them. Protecting yourself by keeping a written record of what everyone agrees to do and executing on your tasks is how you keep moving forward - if your coworker tries to play games you can nip it in the bud quickly, and if he doesn't you all look like good, organized team players.

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