0

Recently (2 mos. ago) joined a data analysis team at a large U.S. corp. This team is an interesting mix of technical and not very technical people. My boss and I are more on the technical side- can code in various languages, can employ different tools etc.

Co-worker A and B are responsible for analysis of specific data and products- while they cannot code, they have knowledge about their subject matter and can utilize a data visualization tool effectively.

I respect that we all know different things and are experts in different ways. I always try to get my co-workers' opinions on things they know more than me, like their data sets, their products or the company.

The problem is this: I feel like I rub my co-workers the wrong way when I want to be more technical in the way I do things. I get this impression because Co-worker A has told me on more than one occasion that "this team is about X" and "we do things like X".

Here's my issue with that- my hiring manager is happy to have me utilize whatever skills I have to my disposal, and this team knew what I was about when it was hiring me. In fact, we talked about how I like to supplement my work with code or want to do "Y" type of analysis to our data during my interviews. Maybe this wasn't conveyed properly.

My boss's boss is also happy with the direction I take with tasks- he is excited to see me do things that are new for this team. Because of this he invites me to meetings that either co-worker A or B, or both, may not be invited to. This I think is another sore point for both of them, me being new and all- evident by not responding to my friendly IMs, like hey how are you.

I would like to have a good working relationship with both coworkers, but I am unsure how to overcome the "resentment" that may arise because of these issues. I call it resentment for lack of a better word.

More context: co-worker A has been at the company for 3 years, has a ton of friends here, and I think doesn't like that I am not truly a subordinate to him (I think I am, I have told him on more than one occasion he's the expert on X and I trust his on judgement on X etc.)

He doesn't want to teach or mentor me, but I think is more interested in maintaining his power and status; this is evident by him complaining about me asking too many questions to someone from another team. This co-worker is also quite gossipy and may even tell tall, negative tales (though not sure about this).

Problem to solve: how do I survive in this kind of team dynamic?

  • You have no mention of being unable to get work done. I can visualize a couple scenarios perhaps at work, but what makes you think you will be unable to survive your team dynamic? – CKM Mar 10 '17 at 23:03
  • I worry about not being included in projects, and any politics getting in the way of career dev. It has happened that co-worker A arranged various meetings that I could have learned from and didn't include me. My boss tells me there's an expectation that I should be able to support coworker A in his work eventually, but if we don't get along and he doesn't want to teach me, it can be bad. – justsomename Mar 10 '17 at 23:19
3

Right now, the change you bring is perceived as a threat to the status quo established by your co-workers, which may or may not represent the direction your management wishes to go. The best thing you can do is ride the wave out. You continue to go in the direction you're going, especially considering the positive feedback you're receiving from upper management. From your explanation, you don't appear to be going out of your way to make things difficult for your co-workers. It just appears that they are having "cheese" problems--as in Who Moved My Cheese? (Consult your friendly neighborhood Google search engine for more information.)

Continue focusing on doing the best job you can and not caving in to the peer pressure to conform to an acceptable level of mediocrity. Once they stop being butt-hurt and realize you're just doing your job, they'll either pick up their pace, continue what they've been doing all along, or find greener pastures. In any case, you don't have to like them and they don't have to like you. You all, however, do need to find a way to work together. From what you've described, they've got a lot more work to do to find that happy medium than you do.

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.