Dear Corporate Nanny,

Someone on my team, whom I have a lot of respect for and think she does a good job, is seen by my peers as a “light-weight.” Not really sure what they mean, but it’s disturbing to me. We’re a small start-up company, so if you aren’t up, awake, alert and in action 24 hours a day, you get the “light-weight” title. It’s unfair, but a reality. I believe in this person and want her to succeed? How can I turn around the perception of my staff member’s work?

Dear Ingrid,

Emotions run deep in start-up companies, I know, I’ve been there. With people being “on-call” 24/7 and not getting enough rest and relaxation, it’s bound to get worse. The harsh reality is sometimes it’s not at all about the work performance of the staff member as much as the “trust and respect” factor. Competence aside, people have to have trust and respect for others, especially in a start-up, after all, there’s no place to run or hide when there’s only 10 people in the company! If you feel confident in her ability to make contributions to the organization, and you want to support her, give her a project that is both meaningful and will let her establish trust in the organization. Then ask your peers to give her a chance, and if they can’t, they need to tell you exactly what it is about her so you can address it head-on. Good luck!
-The Corporate Nanny

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