The problem child came to me through at least two other people who tried to work with him and failed. First impressions are pretty positive- intelligent, friendly, tries to be helpful. Over the weeks it has become abundantly clear that every last one of those virtues can be perverted into a vice. Super intelligent guy... but absolutely incapable of accepting that he has no knowledge of the specialized field we work in. None. Nada. Zip. Since he can't accept that, he just keeps trying to help. Like by telling the specialists how to do the job. Or explaining to others what is going on when he doesn't have a clue himself.
Very, very friendly... which means he has no boundaries, and that doesn't work when you are surrounded by criminals, officers and soldiers. He is completely incapable of understanding when he is getting on someone's nerves even when he is explicitly told. If you say, "You're getting on my last nerve. Get out of here and leave me alone." He won't- he will sulk and whine and demand attention. That was the last straw with the last team he worked with.
And helpful? He's pleased and honored to make command decisions for you and tell everyone else what you've decided. Without asking you. Just to be helpful.
My usual tactic with this is to be very explicit about what I am doing, what I am saying and why. Communication is about passing information. The information is important, the method or my feelings or your feelings are secondary... but your feeling will affect how you listen, so they become a part of the question. Basically, I use a completely different communication style with a young, eager, up-and-coming junior leader than I do with an old political player who is jealous of his position and worried that someone might know something he doesn't.
I explained the reasoning behind this, pointed out how much progress I've made in some dead zones. My little friend says, "No. You complicate things too much. You should just talk the way that makes you comfortable."
"But they won't listen."
"Doesn't matter as long as it is easier for you." Which, of course, means easier for him. Better to fail easily than to win if it takes effort. The pay is the same either way.
I had to give the 'expectations speech'- a list of behaviors expected and lines not to cross and the consequences. I'm hoping he will listen, but I would place a large bet that he will alternate between sulking and sucking up for several weeks.
On the good side, he's inspired me to write an article on how to utilize an interpreter.
555th post, according to my dashboard.
55th review on Amazon and the latest is by Bob Orlando. My head swelleth somewhat.