Each morning, millions of us arrive at our workplace. We greet our co-workers, well most of them, and engage in some friendly chatter prior to getting down to business. So, what about those co-workers we do not talk to and really don’t like, but have to work alongside? Many of us struggle with this issue. It can be quite a task to work with someone we aren’t particularly fond of, but we have to do it. We have to remain professional at all times in order to keep our jobs and perform our assigned duties. There are a variety of strategies we can employ to deal with each and every fellow office personality, whether they are friend or foe.
Take the annoying co-worker, for example. This is the person that never stays on task, makes off-handed remarks or is simply a nuisance. When working in a team-oriented environment with such an individual, it is important to arrive prepared. By having an agenda, a list of goals and each person’s expected contributions; we can keep our co-workers focused. Also, we should utilize professional and relevant communication throughout the meeting. This will set an example and dispel tendencies to get off-topic or distract the team from their goals.
What about those pompous, mean-spirited co-workers? These individuals test our patience and our ability to bite our tongue by putting others down. This is where we can utilize our reflection and reframing communication skills. Whenever such an individual makes a remark to insult us, we can simply reflect the statement back to them in a positive way. In doing this, we do not reinforce their behavior by reacting with anger, as they obviously want us to do. Instead, we find a positive in their negativity and send a message that we will not be affronted.
Finally, how do we deal with the lazy co-worker? This is the man or woman in the office who, somehow, always gets away with doing nothing. They slow the progress of everyone else and make each day more difficult. The best way to put a stop to this behavior is to designate agreed-upon responsibilities for every team member. These responsibilities must be documented and provided to each member of the team in writing. The act of assigning tasks as a team makes every individual accountable, as they have they opportunity to be involved in choosing what their contributions will be. As a result, if our lazy co-worker remains lazy, it will be simple to ensure that they are held responsible for their negligence.
These are just a few tips for coping with those co-workers we’d rather not work with. These strategies can be just as handy for dealing with others in the office, as well. They promote a positive and cooperative work environment, as well as professionalism and active communication. It may take time to adjust to utilizing some of these skills, but once you achieve fluency, it will certainly pay-off!