Warning: Doesn't play well with others. How to deal with problems at work
Every job has challenges. The stress of a challenge is often closely associated with the interpersonal relationships that surround it. Even a big challenge won’t be a problem if you work well with the others on the team.
Problems at work can often lead to problems at home. The stress that arises in the office can sometimes seem insufferable. When that happens, you may become insufferable. Let’s identify some ways to reduce problems at work.
All businesses face inherent challenges if only the challenge to grow revenue and profits. These challenges don’t usually seem like problems until they somehow become personal. It seems we’re wired to care about what our colleagues think of us. We are genuinely dependent upon our supervisors. When our relationships at work are jeopardized, the stress can quickly spill over into our personal lives and impact our family.
The following ideas are intended to help you manage those interpersonal relationships in the office.
Be a team player
Despite the pressure you may feel to prove your individual level of performance, working well with your colleagues is key to your own success.
You don’t have to be right
There is little to be gained in the office from being right all the time. It is unproductive to argue with your colleagues over most things. When you feel strongly about an issue, it is especially important for you to listen and learn. When something counts, it is always more important to see the issue from all sides so that the organization can ultimately do the right thing.
In all of your interactions with others, be kind. Acknowledge everyone’s contributions. Thank people openly and honestly for the help they give. Forgive people whom you perceive as having sought to harm your agenda, or your career; chances are good they, too, are seeking the best outcome for the organization.
Things take time. Be patient with your colleagues. Don’t risk ruining relationships for the sake of project deadlines or anything else. You have to work with these people again tomorrow.
Don’t take offense where none is intended
When a colleague disagrees with you, remember that she’s spoken up not to embarrass you, or otherwise harm your career but because she, like you, is seeking to do the right thing and make the right decision. All sides of an issue should be discussed for the organization to get and stay on the right course. Don’t take offense when someone disagrees with your position.
You aren’t the only human in the office. Everyone has feelings, and sometimes feelings get hurt, pride is wounded, and offense is given. If you feel like your relationship with a colleague has been harmed, take a moment to mend fences. Often times, a five minute conversation that begins with your heartfelt apology for something can cure weeks of building animus. If you develop the habit of mending fences early and often, the stress level in the office may drop considerably as others adopt your approach.
People like to be around happy, positive, upbeat people. Make it a point to be more optimistic. This will tend to reduce the stress you feel associated with your interactions with others. Look for opportunities to say, “Great idea” more often and say, “Great idea, but…” less often.
By focusing on interpersonal relationships at the office, you’ll find you enjoy your work more and bring home a lot less stress.
Devin Thorpe, husband, father, author of Your Mark On The World and a popular guest speaker, is a Forbes Contributor. Building on a twenty-five year career in finance and entrepreneurship that included $500 million in completed transactions, he now champions social good full time, seeking to help others succeed in their efforts to make the world a better place.