In fact even the calmest employee has been known to lose his cool once in a while when having to contend with the antics of a sourpuss at work.
The easy assumption in situations like this is that the Grumpy Gus you’re up against is intentionally wreaking havoc just to needle you. That could be true in some instances, but such an explanation is much more the exception than the rule. Consider these surprising things about your coworker that can allow you to cope more effectively with his or her boredom.
1) He is not out to get you. It sure feels like he’s campaigning to get you fired, publicly embarrass you, or wants to take credit for your hard work, but the fact is you shouldn’t take his nit-picking personally. He is 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’s trying to achieve so you can help him redirect his poor attitude in a way that will help him achieve his objectives.
2) Other people like him. He happily participates in interests and hobbies with family and friends where he’s actually kind to other folks. Consider seeing the entire person instead of the little slice of negativity that he gives you on a daily basis. Doing so will make it much easier to show him a little compassion, 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 rather than an enemy.
3) He could add value to your career goals. It may be hard to fathom, but it is quite possible he could actually have an idea or two about how you could 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 might be a mistake. The office grouch may have a shorter fuse with what you think 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 is like to have a bad hair day, or never becomes frustrated with a weight reduction program puts your cranky co-worker to a superhuman category. And, you know he’s not super human, so cut him a little slack. Perhaps there are larger issues like health care, Orlando FL Rat Removal, family problems and financial worries that have him seeing the problems in work as minor. His poor behavior might be temporary, so it’s okay to treat it as such.
5) He may be amazed by how his actions impact you. Taking a few minutes to have a well-intentioned conversation with Mr. Crabapple could change everything. Privately asking in case you’ve done something to offend him is a great way to start a discussion about his tone, body language, or strategy. He could believe that he’s coming across as someone who takes his job seriously when, in actuality, you’re interpreting his lack of a grin as a personal slight. He will love a gentle and sincere approach to what otherwise could be a controversial and defensive debate.
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