Whether it’s the man who interrupts every meeting with his blustering complaints or the gal who stomps around the office for no apparent reason, it’s no fun dealing with a crabby co-worker.
The easy assumption in such situations is the Grumpy Gus you’re up against is purposefully wreaking havoc merely to needle you. That could be true in some instances, but this explanation is much more the exception than the rule. Consider these surprising things about your coworker that can allow you to deal more effectively with his or her boredom.
1) He’s not out to get you. It sure feels like he’s campaigning to get you fired, publicly embarrass you, or would like to take credit for your hard work, but the fact is you should not take his nit-picking personally. He’s not interested in taking anything away from you, per se; he’s really just interested in gaining something for himself. Use open-ended questions to determine what it is he is trying to achieve so that you may help him redirect his bad attitude in a manner that will help him achieve his goals.
Yes, someone out there loves him. He happily participates in interests and hobbies with family and friends where he is actually kind to other people. Try seeing the whole person rather than the little slice of negativity he gives you on a daily basis. Doing this will make it easier to show him a little empathy, which can make even the most icy of peers melt. A well-placed greeting or question about his family will have him looking at you as an ally instead of an enemy.
It might be difficult to fathom, but it’s quite possible that he could actually have an idea or two about how you might take another step in your career or how you could complete your current project with an ingenious twist that’ll get you noticed. Only looking to your buddies for feedback and advice could be a mistake. The office grouch may have a shorter fuse with what you believe are new ideas simply because he has “been there, done that.”
4) He’s bad days, too. Assuming that he never gets up on the wrong side of the bed, does not know what it’s like to have a bad hair day, or never becomes frustrated with a weight loss program puts your cranky co-worker to a superhuman category. And, you know he is not super human, so cut him a little slack. Perhaps there are bigger issues like healthcare, family problems, Orlando FL Raccoon Removal and financial worries that have him seeing the issues at work as minor. His poor behavior might be temporary, so it’s fine to treat it as such.
5) He may be surprised at how his actions impact you. Privately asking if you’ve done something to offend him is a great way to start a conversation about his tone, body language, or strategy. He could believe that he’s coming across as someone who takes his job seriously when, in fact, you’re interpreting his lack of a grin as a personal slight. He’ll love a gentle and sincere approach to what otherwise could be a contentious and defensive debate.
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