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My co-worker is assigned as Team SPOC to a project, my job is client engagement and keeping track of issued POs, we have the same position level. I have asked several times to the Team SPOC to send a PO list and evidence of reception, months pass without answer. I called my client and asked him for the information and during the call I received terrible feedback on the Team's SPOC services. I compiled the information, talked to our mutual manager about how to proceed, and sent an email to all the Team (including the SPOC, and management) to have a meeting to go over this feedback in order to address client concerns.

My co-worker acted defensively, accused me of going over his back and that we should be invited to all calls regarding the project, and remarked that I'm overstepping my responsibility.

I've had those emails and meetings, regarding my performance and customer feedback, and I've never acted that way, I've always thanked the person who sent out the information and I've always worked hard with my manager to address any concerns of client miss information.

Should I have acted differently? even if there will be repercussion for the company if we don't address client's concerns?

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    Can you provide a definition for some of your acronyms? I am not familiar with SPOC and I'm not sure if the way you're using PO is the definition that readily comes to mind.
    – dbeer
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 22:23
  • No, you acted correctly. You had no choice. You can't cover for him. Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 22:29
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    The one weird thing that easily can set off colleagues is that you initiated the topic "publicly" by sending the mail to the team. Typically dealing with negative feedback regarding a particular team member would be primarily something the manager of that team member does. In particular if feedback is directed at a person rather than the team, making this feedback public can have some people react defensively because they feel like you are trying to attack them. The question is, is your process official policy or not at your company? Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 23:27
  • PO = Purchase Order I think
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 14:07

2 Answers 2

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Seems you acted the right way. You asked your mutual manager on how to proceed and made a plan with him. You executed this plan. Coworker was not happy and took it out on you. Tell your coworker to take his concerns to your mutual manager.

Talk to your manager on what happend in the meeting and ask him how to proceed and how to act the next time you receive negative feedback about one of your coworkers.

I would say it's the managers job to speak with said coworker, just to avoid situations like this.

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I have asked several times to the Team SPOC to send a PO list and evidence of reception, months pass without answer. I called my client and asked him for the information

Regardless as to what the "PO list" is, it seems a bit off that you let your colleague go months without answering, and then instead tried to get the information by asking the client to provide it. That's almost certainly the wrong way of doing things.

If you need something from a colleague, you ask them for it, and they go more than (few days ish) without answering, then I would usually do something akin to the following:

  • After a few days, drop by in person, or call them, and ask if they've received your message;
  • After a week or so, send a follow-up email saying you need this definitively by (few days in the future), and if that's not going to be possible please give a revised date;
  • A day or so after your drop dead date (to give some leeway), then forward the message chain to your manager and ask for the best course of action.

Timescales of course depend on urgency - but you definitely don't leave it months then drag the client in. It seems like this may be the root cause of your colleague's annoyance (note he says he should be on all client calls, which may well be the case if he's the single point of contact.)

Beyond that, however:

I compiled the information, talked to our mutual manager about how to proceed

Nothing wrong with that, that's exactly what I'd recommend.

...and sent an email to all the Team (including the SPOC, and management) to have a meeting to go over this feedback in order to address client concerns.

If you decided to do this yourself, then yes, it likely was overstretching (unless it's documented somewhere as company policy.) However, if this was on your manager's instructions, then great. No issue there, and you should just direct any concerns your colleague has to your manager.

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  • Nothing wrong with that, that's exactly what I'd recommend. I think this is a good answer and I've upvoted, but I would recommend something prior to that. Address the coworker, make it clear that you have a concern over the delay, and try to resolve the issue between the two of you once it's clear to them that you have a problem. If that fails, then - yes, by all means - go to your mutual boss. The coworker sounds like an awful person, but they may be legitimately upset about not being given a significant chance to resolve the issue before it was brought to others.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 19:15

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