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Working with a Difficult Coworker

Working with a Difficult Coworker

How we all wish that we only got to work with people we get along with like a house on fire (how much sense does that metaphor make, really?). Unfortunately, no matter how hard we wish this will never be the case. The world of work is a diverse, ever dynamic space. And very much a part of the tough, real world which teaches us very many lessons about life. One being, regardless of whether you like it or not, there will be times when you have to work with a difficult coworker or two. Maybe even coworkers you say you ‘hate’. Now, while hate is a very strong four lettered word (which is also injurious to health), we do understand the strong sentiments at play there.

While you cannot avoid these situations where you will be needed to work with coworkers you don’t exactly get along with, here are some tips that will probably lessen the suffering.

  1. Stop. And Breathe.

    It is strange how much we underestimate the value of this critical life function. Breathing is the only thing that separates life from death. ‘Take a deep breath’, is the most under rated thing. Every time you feel overcome with anxiety and pressure because you are unable to cope with a difficult coworker, breathe. Just remind yourself to breathe. You will be surprised how effective this technique is. Try this zen technique called STOP: S- Step back. T – Take a breath. O- Observe. P- Proceed.

  2. Take it as a challenge

    This situation won’t last forever. But while it lasts, how about you make the best of it? If nothing else, let it teach you how to function in what you may call, adverse situations. Does it feel like if you survive this, you can survive anything? Well then, you’ve got to get through it. Anything that makes you feel invincible is worth it. Find a way of making this seem like a challenge, and then take on it. By the end of it, you will feel proud of yourself.

  3. Play by the rules

    In case the lack of harmony between you and the other party concerned stems from mostly difference in opinion regarding the work you are doing, play by the rules. That way, you cannot get into any trouble and any cause of discontent regarding the rules is not your problem. You did not come up with them, you are simply following them. Every time you need to remind your co-worker about the same, do so gently. And do let them know that they have the option of taking it up with the management.

  4. Don’t make the mistake of trying to change them, change yourself

    When we are sure that we are right, we bend over backwards to ‘prove’ to the other person that we are right. What we do not understand is, that the person at the other end perhaps also has his/ her very strong reasons in believing they are right. Which they are hell-bent on proving. Getting into a tussle of this sort in a professional space can be extremely draining, not to mention a serious deterrent to your productivity. So instead of trying to change the other person involved, change your approach. You can have absolutely no control over anything which is beyond yourself. The sooner you realize this, the more time and energy you will save. And by no means will you be conceding defeat in any way by doing this.

  5. Be professional – No matter how angry you are

    Dislike for a difficult coworker is no reason to display unprofessional behavior. Remember that by doing so you will be harming no one but yourself. No matter how angry you are, handle the situation professionally and in a respectful manner. When you feel that the situation is getting out of hand, reach out to the management for a conflict resolution intervention. Take care for the situation to not turn into a judgment call on your reputation or professionalism.

While it can’t be easy to deal with a situation like this, it surely isn’t impossible. And like they say, it is the worst situations that bring out the best in you! What is the worst quality of a someone you would call a difficult coworker? Comment below and we will include your take on that, in our next blog!

5 Quotes that Sum up the Essence of Team Work

5 Quotes that Sum up the Essence of Team Work

Great teams are not built in a day. It takes perseverance, patience, unmatched leadership, hard work and the many other ingredients that make up the magic sauce of Team work. To create magic as a team, it takes individual and collaborative synchronization.

Today we send some inspiration your way in the form of some very effective insights / quotes that will inspire you to be a great team player, and illustrate what real team work looks like.

1. Alone we are a drop in the ocean, but together we are the ocean itself.

“Team work is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

2. Like the age-old saying goes, united we stand.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard

3. To begin, to forge ahead, and to succeed.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford

4. Because no great team is built without a great leader. It takes a good leader to take responsibility, to share success and to never forget the pat on the back!

“If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” ― Paul W. Bryant

5. Mistakes happen. What is more important is sticking together unconditionally because after all you are a team. You must finish well, what you started together.

“We’re a team. It’s part of our job to help each other out, and to forgive each other quickly. Otherwise, we’d never get anything done.” ― Jeramey Kraatz

But what is most important is to realize the transience of bad things, and good things. To realize that winning is great, but losing gracefully defines who you are better than a win does. No one says it better than Lance Armstrong in these very powerful, and beautiful words.

“When you win, you don’t examine it very much, except to congratulate yourself. You easily, and wrongly, assume it has something to do with your rare qualities as a person. But winning only measures how hard you’ve worked and how physically talented you are; it doesn’t particularly define you beyond those characteristics.
Losing on the other hand, really does say something about who you are. Among other things it measures are: do you blame others, or do you own the loss? Do you analyze your failure, or just complain about bad luck?
If you’re willing to examine failure, and to look not just at your outward physical performance, but your internal workings, too, losing can be valuable. How you behave in those moments can perhaps be more self-defining than winning could ever be. Sometimes losing shows you for who you really are.” ― Lance Armstrong

Love working as a part of a team? Prefer working alone? What do you think is a better way to be most productive? Share your thoughts on team dynamics and we’ll be happy to share them further!