GET REAL

Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Someone driving you crazy at work?

Here’s an article that I had published this morning in our local paper. What prompted me to write this one was just how many people I’ve met and talked with, in varied work environments, who are struggling significantly at work because of a frustrating relationship with one specific person. If you’re in a similar situation, I hope this will offer you some helpful food for thought.

– – – – -Someone driving you crazy at work?

Originally published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Dec 22, 2015

Many people find themselves struggling with a difficult manager or co-worker and it’s overshadowing their ability to be happy on the job.

If you are experiencing a similar dynamic, you may want to consider the following.

First, set a specific target date, about 6 months out, when you will re-evaluate your situation and revisit your choices. And in the meantime . . . .

– Note what you enjoy about — or how you most benefit from — your job. Are you fulfilled by the work? Do the pay and benefits allow you freedoms in your personal life that you’re thankful for? Revisiting the good stuff can generate gratitude that can help to shift your mood and attitude, which may help you better cope with your challenging relationship.
– Note those things that you find or anticipate as tough or unfulfilling about your role or situation. This will help to clarify the full scope of what you’re experiencing, and/or choosing.
– Ask yourself what might you do differently, if anything, to minimize your contributions to the interpersonal dynamics that are upsetting to you. If you’re dealing with a difficult person over time, it’s natural that your behaviors (or reactions) may now be mirroring some of the behaviors that you dislike in the other person. It’s possible that a shift in your approach will cause a shift in theirs.
– Ask yourself what choices you have at the moment. You may not have a choice in the short term about who you’re working with, yet you may have a menu of choices about the mindset you might choose as you approach and communicate with this individual. Might you have an opportunity to address a conflict more directly and professionally while genuinely recommending a collaborative solution?

There are choices to be made even in the toughest of work situations, and the great news is that many of those choices are yours.

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