My Employee Keeps Trash-Talking Herself

My Employee Keeps Trash-Talking Herself - Gettyimages 607477429 510631 columnist Alison Green answers questions about workplace and management issues–everything from how to deal with a micromanaging boss to how to talk to someone on your team about body odor.

Here’s a roundup of answers to four questions from readers.

1. My employee keeps trash-talking herself

I manage an employee who engages in constant defeatist self-talk, even though her work is stellar. It’s clear that she is a very anxious person and that’s distorting her view of reality. But it’s frustrating and upsetting as a manager. Every interaction, even routine ones, is about her feelings: Instead of “Should I deal with Ticket X or Ticket Y first?” it’s “I’m so sorry to bother you, I know this is a stupid question, sorry, but should I deal with Ticket X or Ticket Y?” Ignoring it hasn’t worked (“Ticket X, thanks!”); reassuring hasn’t worked (“You’re not bothering me and it’s not a stupid question”) and even raising it in her otherwise excellent performance review hasn’t…

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This article was written by Alison Green and originally published on