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dearmargaret I've been assigned a project with a coworker, and we are equals as far as the organization chart goes. My modus operandi is to use project management tools and stick with a plan to its completion. Unfortunately, my partner seems to take a relaxed approach, to put it mildly. I've complained to our boss about this, and she doesn't seem concerned. Although my coworker doesn't lack in dedication and hard work, I seem unable to corral her strong points into the plan we set forth. I've talked to her about it, and she, like our boss, doesn't appear to be troubled. It's driving me crazy. I worry that the project won't be completed satisfactorily and on time. What can I do or say to get my partner to stick to the system we agreed upon?
Need Structure

Dear Need Structure: It’s very clear that you, too, are a dedicated and hardworking employee. How perfect that you share those traits. My first thought about this situation is that we never change except in relationship. Your coworker is very likely just as concerned that your project is completed on time and with professional results. While you want to work in a linear fashion, your project partner may be a visionary, look at the project in overview, and see benefits from working on a task head of the scheduled priority. You didn’t mention that the project is suffering. You only mentioned that she is driving you crazy. If you’ve never encountered such an individual in any other relationship, this is a good test for you to allow someone else to operate in the way they are best suited. You needn’t change how you operate, but you might benefit from changing your perception of the importance of imposing your structured methods on others.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.

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