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I have been at my current company at 2 years as a project manager. Recently a new employee has joined as an account manager and as time has gone on she has been behaving the following way:

  • Teasing me, don't think that this is a BIG DEAL, but I have started to do the same thing back. I am however starting to wonder why she does not tease other members of the team.

  • When I ask her to do something, sometimes makes remarks such as 'I am not your PA' then laughs. Often she does things, but she does not seem to like it when I tell her what to do despite me being senior?

  • Since I am in charge of delivery, telling me when to deliver work, this one frankly annoys me. The other day, I had to tell her directly that the work will be delivered ONCE the resources are free and not to interfere with the delivery cycle. I could tell that she did not like it.

  • Sometimes does not listen to me, I had to raise this with my boss who had a word with her. The other day I needed her help to double check client's work, she just told me flat out that she was busy doing y thing which was unrelated to work. Boss had a word, next day she arrives to work giving me an attitude.

Since she is not that reliable or just generally slows me down, I have started taking some ownership of account management, only to hear a lecture of why I should not be doing it and it is her job.

My current situation:

  • Second in command. Have influence on my boss from proving my worth over the last couple of years.

  • Technically minded, boss likes that. This is the main reason why she cannot replace me, and subsequently don't feel threatened.

  • I now have other perks such as working from home and so on. Account manager doesn't. Whenever we work remotely we are meant to send a google invite to all colleagues to notify them, everyone else accepted, this one declined.

  • Paid more than her

I am not sure what to make out of this situation, but I am thinking of now changing my approach with this colleague. a) Keep her more at arms distance, I was treating her more as a friend previously b) I am not sure if I can trust her, the ultra competitive nature makes me feel that she would if she could, backbite about me to my boss to get me into a bad situation. I feel that maybe she wants my job and pay? Or am I jumping to conclusions?

Am I right to feel weary?

Finally, I feel that there is a lack of respect from her side, that absolutely bothers me. How can I change this? Thanks

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    What is the relationship between Account and Project Manager at your company? It seems you expect her to be your subordinate and she seems to think otherwise. – nvoigt Jul 21 '17 at 10:30
  • She handles external relationships, that includes QAing work, I focus on delivery. That's it. If I ask her to do something related to her work, I don't expect a bad attitude. – bobo2000 Jul 21 '17 at 10:38
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Finally, I feel that there is a lack of respect from her side, that absolutely bothers me. How can I change this? Thanks

Respect is a funny thing, and my first thought would be that you can't make someone respect you. Whether your her senior or not respect has to be earned.

Whether someone respects you or not however should have no bearing on how that person treats you in a professional environment. I've worked for bosses that for whatever reason I didn't respect - but I always remained professional with them.

How you earn that respect will depend on why she doesn't respect you in the first place. That though might simply be something you're not able to get to the bottom of as it could be any number of reasons.

The important thing to remember is that you have the respect of your boss and that's really the only thing you need worry about.


In terms of solving the problem of how she treats you - sometimes the best approach is a direct one. Arrange a meeting, and directly but politely explain to her that you can tell your relationship is strained, and you'd like to know what you have done, or can do, to improve things before it starts effecting your work.

In most cases putting someone on the spot in a frank-but-polite manner can actually be quite disarming, as it's not something they'll expect.

This, in my opinion, would be a much better tactic than simply telling her that her behaviour needs to improve. Her behaviour is the symptom of an underlying grievance - and so it's that that needs to be addressed in the long term.

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