Difficult coworkers can make the workday an unpleasant place to be; in fact, it can be one of the top reasons why someone leaves their job, particularly if it is the boss. What makes someone difficult depends on the make-up of such a person and how they approach their work. I don’t think people plan to be difficult.
When differing personalities and way of working come together challenges will arise. When Nancy sees the project moving in one direction but Jeremy sees it in the opposite way, problems will arise; George is used to the daily routine of the past three years but the new boss wants changes, barking orders in the process, Jeremy now dislikes and avoids his boss. These are just a few examples and stories like these are not uncommon.
Difficult coworkers are often ignored, overlooked, or avoided by others who don’t want to deal with their shenanigans. But what if these individuals were treated with more love, i.e. empathy and understanding, as well as kindness. Would this type of interface changed their adverse behavior?
We never know what individuals are struggling with, or have somewhere in their past. As we’re all raised differently, we tend to adapt and adopt the behaviors and values of those who helped to shape and mold us. We will use these in our interactions often without being consciously aware. But, by using empathy, it can give you a differing view of that person, which softens your attitude towards them and allow you to become more open towards them, becoming less defensive in the process.
Likewise, the other person will do the same; if not, then you can at least feel good about yourself and find that you care less and less about how they act. It will make for a happier workday. You can now focus and show love on the rest of the team.
Hopefully, the more kindness and understanding shown, bad behaviors can become a thing of the past. People soften when they feel understood. It all starts with one person – let that person be you. It doesn’t take much to smile or ask how someone is doing; try it, you might be surprised at the results.
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