My Co-Worker is Driving Me Nuts!

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7 Effective People Strategies To Help You Cope

I met with a business leader today who was sharing his recent successes with me. The growth he had achieved this past year was amazing! Through our work together on the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team he really came to understand the power of a team and what it meant to put his executive leadership team first. With gratitude he told me, “I now know that I have my teammates’ backs and they have mine.” Then the mood changed …

He continued by saying, “I really like everyone on the team except this one person. I just don’t get him and I never will. We don’t speak the same language. If I say red he says blue. It seems we are always butting heads.

Clearly, there is underlying tension between the two that will not go away. Does this ever happen to you? Do you have someone in your life that you can say the same thing about? Conflict like this is a very common workplace issue. What can you do about it?

Here are some effective people strategies to help you cope with that co-worker that drives you crazy:

  • Tip #1:Be careful not to judge others by your own preferences. Each person has his or her own style and that’s okay.

  • Tip #2:Remember that you cannot change the basic personality style of another person. It is better to focus on appreciating what others offer and how that can compliment your own style.

  • Tip #3:Learn to analyze before reacting. Ask yourself, “What is the other person’s frame of reference?” or “Can a basic personality trait help explain my own or another’s behavior?

  • Tip #4:In situations when we find difficulties arising from learned traits, such as feelings of insecurity or fear of closeness, it may be better to be complimentary and supportive of the good qualities we find in each other. If pursued consistently and sincerely, these indirect, non-threatening approaches can eliminate difficulties.

  • Tip #5:Acknowledge your own feelings. You do not have to act on them, but you need to accept ownership of them. Only then can you choose to act on them or not.

  • Tip #6:It is best to catch the disturbing feelings before they intensify and you say something you might regret. Stephen Covey Senior, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, teaches us that you cannot talk yourself out of a situation that you behaved yourself into. You have to behave your way out of it.

  • Tip #7:Be mindful that it is best not to match one negative feeling with another such as hostility with hostility, or anger with anger. The situation can be handled more easily if we do not allow it to escalate.

There are only ten negative people in the world-they just happen to move around a lot. Is there one in your workplace? If so, remember that before you lay blame on another take a moment and look at yourself in the mirror. When your finger is pointing out the faults in other people, turn it around and ask yourself “what is my part in this?” You will gain so much freedom by doing this one little action. It really is a big action.

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team provides you with new strategies to become more effective in working with co-workers who drive you nuts. What will you do today to move your workplace in a positive direction? How will you make a difference?

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