Has there ever been a time you struggled to respond helpfully to a challenging co-workers because of his or her behavior? Rest assured, all people experience occasional rough times with their associates.
Try these techniques to respond to challenging situations with co-workers
1. Have a talk with yourself about the person. Remind yourself to focus on the facts rather than any contrary opinions you have.
* Think about this person: who they are, how they relate to others, and how they relate to you.
* Acknowledge your feelings to yourself about the co-worker.
2. Accept that you don’t have to like all your co-workers. Your only requirement is to appropriately communicate with them about work.
3. Recognize that you have a few things in common. At the very least, you work at the same place and you both want to do a good job.
* Avoid focusing on thoughts about how they don’t act the way you want them to.
* It’s okay and even common for people to behave differently in the same situation.
4. Live up to your standards. Make a conscious decision to act with integrity at work, especially when dealing with the difficult co-worker.
* No matter whom you work with, establish and keep your own standards of performance. Plan to behave in a consistently positive way with everyone at work.
* Set a constructive and affirmative tone during each exchange with the challenging associate.
5. Avoid trying to evade them. Accept that there will be times when you need to communicate with the colleague in question. Remind yourself to behave with acceptance and patience.
* When you must speak to the challenging person, relax, take a deep breath and focus on them; call them by name and make eye contact.
6. Avoid showing irritation, annoyance or dislike. Regardless of how the co-worker relates to you, be consistent with how you address them.
7. Choose to take the “higher road” in the working relationship. If your colleague behaves in unsavory ways, avoid focusing on these troublesome behaviors. Instead, focus on the task at hand. Make a personal decision to be the best person you can be.
8. Stick to business issues when talking with your associate.
* Even if they ask for your opinion, focus on the facts in your conversations.
* Be thorough yet efficient in your exchanges with them.
* Demonstrate through your behavior that you’ll do everything possible to cheerfully complete all work tasks.
9. Treat the challenging co-worker with the same respect you treat other colleagues.
* The more you practice this strategy, the easier it becomes.
* Expect nothing in return. Your choice to be respectful is 100% your decision and isn’t related to how the co-worker treats you.
10. Strive to use a pleasant voice. Recognize that your tone of voice and volume are important when speaking to any work associate. Make an extra effort to keep a friendly or at least neutral tone. Keep your volume to a minimum.
11. Give sincere compliments. Avoid disingenuous exchanges with the challenging co-worker. In other words, don’t compliment their shoes if you don’t really like them.
* However, if you truly have a compliment and you want to share it, do so by making eye contact, using a friendly voice tone and listening to their response.
12. Avoid petty discussions with others about the challenging co-worker. The less time you spend on such exchanges, the more free and focused you are to deal with the business at hand.
* Also, office gossip and scape-goating is unwise, as it decreases morale and creates an emotionally unsafe environment for everyone there, including you.
You are capable of making the decision to successfully interact with challenging co-workers. Actively applying the above techniques will aid you in looking past your personal feelings and focusing on your job. You’ll soon discover you’re dealing with the challenging co-worker the same way you deal with other colleagues: with integrity, honesty and respect.