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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a coworker who has a very different personality than me.  Up until a couple months ago we worked well together.  Since then our workloads have gone up sharply, the stress has affected us both, and I'm approaching my limit of how much I can take from her.

This came to a head last week with regards to a project we just started.  We clashed and she threatened that I would be taken off the project.  At the time I just backed down.  Since then I've been thinking it might be a good idea.

Before we started the project I was under the impression that I would be working on this one with our boss and she would be doing other projects with a younger coworker.  It was due to bad client timing and pre-existing obligations that she got involved last week.  If not for that, she wouldn't have been involved at all.  I've been realizing that there's other stuff coming up in the near weeks that will take our boss out of the office and that means she'll be involved again.  My enthusiasm for this project has vanished and, frankly, it doesn't need both of us.  But she's a project manager, and I'm not.  With my boss coming and going, it needs her more than it needs me.

I still have other projects with her, but we've gotten into a rhythm on those so she's not as dramatic.  I think part of the problem with this one is that my technical expertise in this area exceeds hers (first time that's happened) so we disagree far more than usual.  I feel like we've got too many cooks in the kitchen, I've got nothing to offer with her hijacking every task, and another fight is just around the corner.  I think I need to get out of this project before it affects our others.  Our drama, so far, has only affected us.  I want to contain it.

I don't know how to approach this.  How do I ask to be removed from a project?  I was really excited to get this one a month ago, so my boss is going to have some questions.  Honestly, I've been avoiding talking about her at all at work because I can't stop badmouthing her in my head.  I don't think I can explain myself honestly and still be professional.
Nick Gagalis

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Posts: 78
Reply with quote  #2 

You may be in a sticky situation, but you have some options. While we wait for one of our experts to chime in, see if these posts might be of assistance.

There are some things you just can't control in your career (and life), but optimizing what is within your reach is important. 
Focus On The Behaviors Necessary For Success In Your Career

One mindset you might agree with may help you with both this situation and in the future. 
Measuring Success Via ROE

This post offers some tips to make sure you don't make the same mistake your co-workers appears to be making.
Promotion Killers: Not Being A Team Player

Let us know if there's anything else we can do to help!

CAREEREALISM User Experience & Content Manager
Don Goodman

Career Expert
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #3 
This is a sticky issue and you need to look at it from your boss' perspective as that is what will affect your career.

It is important that you avoid the impression that you are difficult to get along with and had to be removed from the project. Although you think you have good reasons for wanting to leave the project, the other person will counter your story and it may create additional problems for your boss to backfill you.

More importantly, think about what you need to do to get through this project and impress your boss. 

Consider these questions:

How long is the project? If it is short, grin and bear it.

What do you need to do to ease the tension and meet the project demands?
How can you positively contribute?
What do you need to do to get along with the other person, otherwise this might bite you in the future.

In short, do not let a short-term unpleasant project ruin your reputation and career.

Michael Peggs

Career Expert
Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi jrh987, 

I'm a CAREEREALISM Career Expert, and I suggest speaking with your coworker before meeting with your boss. Most issues are the result of mis-communication or no communication at all. Have you spoken to your coworker and taken the time to clear the air? She may be feeling similar to you, but neither party has stepped up to the plate to resolve the tension.

Consider speaking with your coworker before your boss. If that does not work, decide if you can play a diminished role without jeopardizing the success of the project but maintaining your reputation and professionalism at work.


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