Attorney Ignores Coworkers

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about moods of aloofness:

I supervise an attorney who is very bright and good at what she does. However she has a pattern of feeling slighted by a co-employee and then going long stretches (up to a year or more) ignoring them, not acknowledging them in the hall, and making them and everyone around them uncomfortable. What can I do as her manager?

Signed, Supervising Silent Treatment

Dear Supervising Silent Treatment:

Incivility comes in different varieties; even in aloofness and failure to acknowledges that others are alive. You have observed this over long periods by this attorney you supervise. Since you don’t spell out how you have attempted to handle this, I must assume that you have bit your tongue in hopes that Ms. Aloof would get over her feeling of being slighted and that she would engage, at least minimally, in communicating with those she has ignored.

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