Just about everyone has worked with someone who makes work more difficult. Maybe the person is always angry, or they treat colleagues like everyone is inferior. While it might be tempting to think that you need to change that person, the key to a happier working experience is actually self-improvement.
- Focus on workplace stresses. There is a good chance your colleague is not your only workplace stress.
- Work on mindfulness, which is realizing that your mind is wandering and bringing it back to the focus. Our minds wander roughly half the time, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind, making you more likely to react negatively toward your colleague's words or actions. Mindfulness may need to be achieved through meditation and sitting quietly, allowing your mind to focus on the present.
- Only once you have worked on yourself can you begin to attempt to make a difference for your colleague. If you feel your colleague does not realize the negative influence he or she has on others in the workplace, it is likely time to talk to the person.
- The key is to have someone who is close to the person talk to them to discuss the issues caused by that person's lack of Emotional Self-Awareness. Emotional Self-Awareness is about understanding how your emotions impact your performance and how this influence how other people feel about you. If no one in the workplace is close enough to the colleague to have this discussion, it may require working to befriend the person.
- The discussion about the person’s Emotional Self-Awareness should begin with a warning that you are about to share some feedback on your colleague's performance. This will better prepare the person for what you are about to say.
- When possible, provide alternatives for the person's negative behavior. It is important to realize that while you can give your colleague suggestions, it is up to the person to make the changes. Even if the person does decide to change, you may need to be patient. It could take a while for your colleague to really change.
If interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Self-Improvement section of our blog.
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