How to get along with a difficult coworker and make the workplace more conducive

Is your work place getting so heated up, that you find yourself sweating even when the air conditioner is blasting at its peak? Do you wish you were rather working somewhere else or with some other person? Do you resent going to work just because; you have been unable to figure out how to stand ‘that colleague’ of yours for the next 8 hours? Have you tried out any reparative approaches that do not seem to be working? Is the unpleasant work environment with that colleague of yours affecting your productivity and putting you on edge?

You see, the workplace should ideally be a place for intellectual minds to rub off on one another, and improve their productivity and usefulness to society. And that includes a sound emotional state to tackle the challenges of each day. However, if you find that you are embroiled in a kind of silent ‘war of nothing’ with a colleague at work; that may not be good for both your physical and mental health in the long run, and one that needs to be addressed. If you find that you are sort of stuck with that colleague of yours for a while, then there has to be a way to figure out how to make it work for you guys. Here, I provide some fancy steps that you may want to adopt to improve your working relationship, and increase your productivity.workplace_pexels-photo-450276.jpeg

  1. Focus on being the better, nicer person. Many times, we are so blinded by our interpretations of the actions of others, and fail to critically analyze our own dispositions. We are quick to see what everyone else is doing wrong, except that we do not take the same time to see where we may not be reaching the mark. Before you can effectively see the wrong in someone else’s life, try and conduct an introspective analysis of yours first, and remove the log in your own eyes; which would put you in a better place to see the speck in someone else’s eyes. For all you know, that other person is just as uncomfortable with you, as you are with them. Take the best first step to becoming the one with the winsome character, and watch what happens.
  2. Before you get all caught up with everything that is not right with that other person, take a moment to identify and appreciate ‘the good’ in them. As humans, we all have our weak points, as well as our strong points. If you are interested in building healthier working relationships, then you would want to divert your attention from everything that nauseates you about them, to something; anything that is at least “great” (or maybe not so great) about them. This may just be the fact that, they are the ones to load the paper tray at the printer, or place the bin in the hallway at the end of the day. Even though things of this sort may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that they are indeed responsible enough to do something that affects a common good, may be a great soft landing, for the mind to begin its rewiring process, about that person.workplace2_-2277292_1920
  3. Consciously make up your mind to be cheerful with that person ALWAYS! From my own experience, I can tell you that the person would notice the change, and it would only take a while for them to come around. Imagine continuously pouring water on a fire source. What do you think would happen after a while? The fire would most definitely go out. Even if that person continues to manifest an attitude of negativity, make up your mind to grow up and be the bigger person. Apply the STAt principle (Stop, Think, Act) in your dealings with them, and always be pleasant and appealing in the way you relate with them. I tell you, either they would completely do a 360 degree turnaround and reciprocate your gesture, or they would be too ashamed, and do everything possible to get out of your way.
  4. Never participate in petty office gossip, and talk behind that person’s back to someone else. Because that would only go to further fuel the fire. Please note that anything that has already come out of the mouth is no longer a secret, and the tendency for those clandestine discussions to become public discourse is high. And if you truly want to improve your working relationship with that person, the least you would want to do is to let them find out that you have done a broadcast behind their backs, without them being present.
  5. If possible (Note that it’s a IF), try and address whatever is the cause of the heat with the other person. I use the word if, because some persons are very difficult and would never lend themselves to resolving any form of conflicts. If this is the case, as previously stated, focus on being the better person, and give yourself the gift of a clear conscience, so that you do not spend valuable time, thinking about issues that add no value to your life. Let them instead be the ones to have palpitations, when you show up on the scene. Not you.

I hope you will take the necessary steps to create a more productive working environment for yourself. Note that you do not have to be friends with everybody at work; but for the 8 hours of your day you need to spend with others, it shouldn’t get more complicated due to a difficult colleague. Because I can imagine that your job is probably already complicated as it is. Do not allow any human make it more so!

To your continued success. Cheers!!!

Evi Abada


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