Crucial Skills®

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Confronting the Chief of Staff

For the past several months I’ve been working on a project in collaboration with a director from another department. A chief of staff has expressed concern about why it’s taking so long and has inserted herself into the process. She’s trying to help, but her way of managing the situation is to communicate with me and the director separately via email. Once I realized this, I responded to her and copied the director so we’d all be on the same page. In her NEXT email, the chief of staff indicated she had again communicated with us separately. I’m flummoxed about how to address this. How do I let the chief of staff know that splitting communications results in lack of shared understanding, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased collaboration and unity, even though it may be efficient for her to complete tasks?

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By Emily Gregory
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