Dealing with Negative Co-worker

Angry, Mad, Upset, Person, Young, WomanThe simple assumption in such situations is the Grumpy Gus you are up against is intentionally wreaking havoc just to needle you. That may be true in some instances, but this explanation is more the exception than the rule. Consider these surprising things about your coworker that will help you deal more effectively with his or her boredom.

1) He is not out for you. It sure feels like he is campaigning to get you fired, publicly embarrass you, or wants to take credit for your hard work, but the fact is you should not take his nit-picking personally. He’s not interested in taking anything away from you, per se; he is really just interested in gaining something for himself. Use open-ended questions to determine what it is he’s trying to achieve so that you may help him redirect his poor attitude in a way that will help him accomplish his goals.

He happily participates in interests and hobbies with family and friends where he’s actually kind to other people. Try seeing the whole person instead of the little slice of negativity that he gives you on a daily basis. Doing this will make it much easier to show him a little empathy, which can make even the most freezing of peers melt. A well-placed greeting or question about his family will have him looking at you as an ally instead of an enemy.

3) He could add value to your career goals. It might be difficult to fathom, but it’s quite possible he could really have an idea or two about how you could take the next step in your career or how you could finish 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 might have a shorter fuse with what you believe are new ideas simply because he has “been there, done that.” You won’t know unless you ask, and you just might learn a thing or two in the procedure.

4) He has bad days, too. Assuming that he never gets up on the wrong side of the bed, doesn’t know what it is like to have a bad hair day, or never becomes frustrated with a weight loss program puts your cranky co-worker to a superhuman category. And, you know he is not super human, so cut him a little slack. Perhaps there are larger issues like healthcare, Orlando FL Animal Removal, family issues and financial worries that have him seeing the issues in work as minor. His poor behavior may be temporary, so it’s fine 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 if you’ve done something to offend him is a great way to open a conversation about his tone, body language, or strategy. He could believe that he’s coming across as someone who takes his job seriously when, in fact, you’re interpreting his lack of a smile as a personal slight. He’ll appreciate a gentle and sincere approach to what otherwise may be a contentious and defensive debate.


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