Category Archives: Community Q&A

Community QA

Competing with a Colleague

To help more of our readers with their crucial conversations, accountability discussions, and behavior change challenges, we introduced the Community Q&A column! Please share your answers to this reader’s question in the comments below.

Dear Crucial Skills,

My colleague and I were in competition for a promotion thirteen months ago. I was awarded the position and since then our relationship has changed dramatically. At one point in our careers we shared an office and had a very positive relationship. Now every encounter seems to be difficult. She often reacts to my suggestions with anger and has even been seen to point her finger at me and order me to do things. I do not report to her nor does she report to me. We continue to be colleagues and I do not wish to pull rank—that isn’t how I work. This person is valued and has skills which we need in our organization, but I am not accustomed to this lack of respect and constant anger. How can I approach her to stop the behavior without inflaming an already difficult relationship?

Delicacy Required