Workplace Struggles: Part 2

Monday, May 18, 2015

You know that person at work who is just a downer? Who needs to one up you, or is just a grump? Do you notice how it effects your work, happiness and the culture of your workplace?

I know that person, and it makes work absolutely dreadful. Sundays are now sad days because you have to see that person tomorrow. I, personally, don't want to keep to myself at work. I want to establish a relationship with the people I see for 40+ hours a day. I want to care about them, laugh with them, and see them be successful because I want the same in return.

Then there is that person who you don't want anything to do with. That person who is gossipy, vindictive, kiss ass or downright mean. Those are the people you want to keep at arms length. Stay on their good side, and have as little as possible interaction with them. Talking smack about them only makes you just as bad and is not very attractive or ideal for a promotion. Wish them good morning/ to have a good weekend, but don't take an interest in their life outside of work. Not asking about what they did, or what they plan on doing keeps you away but by saying hello and making small talk will keep things professional but minimize the BS.

If the person is being vindictive, rude or puts you in an uncomfortable position its best to be tactful with problem solving. Don't stoop to their level, rise above, stay professional, and don't take anything personally. If someone needs to make you feel bad about yourself; smile, nod and just walk away. Keep topics regarding business and then vent to friends (not coworkers!). If you see someone being put down, try and find a positive spin on it or praise them for something they do right. Being that person who helps uplift people is not only good for the soul but good for company morale.

For that coworker that one ups you, or feels the need to. Simply just congratulate them. No need to fuss over them, even though that is probably what they want. It's hard not to get sucked into the BS but its just work. You know what you did was great and don't forget that. At least you're not so self absorbed that you need constant acknowledgement from others. Your self praise is the only daily reminder you need.

The key to being a successful coworker are quite simple. Keep a smile on your face, have a great attitude, take an interest in (most) of your coworkers lives, find common bonds with coworkers, always be willing to help, be a team player, and do what is best for the company.

There is a line between having a good work place relationship and being best friends. I am not looking for my co-workers to become my best friends. When I was straight out of college, I expected that work was the place to make friends. While that is possible, it really depends on the person and the workplace environment. You're there to work and be successful. When times are hard or mistakes are made whatever happens at work (lay-offs, reprimands etc) should not be taken personally. It makes it harder to make tough business decision when you care about that person.

I certainly have a hard time not taking work things personally. I believe this is because I don't have a family of my own, so my number one priority is my job. I put my whole heart into it and make it a reflection of me.

How do you deal with difficult coworkers? What is your best tactic? How do you keep a good attitude at work?


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