Recounting the flaws and annoying habits of a co-worker fuels your anger, frustration, dislike—and burnout. Like a brushfire in the woods, your negative comments run around, igniting anger and job dissatisfaction—and make others wonder what you say behind their backs. But you don't have to bottle up your annoyance: Use it. Confront the co-worker in a friendly, productive way. Here's how.
When you speak to the co-worker in question, keep personal issues out of it by focusing on behaviors that cause problems, be supportive and team-focused, and maintain a friendly tone of voice. Here's an example veterinary consultant Debbie Allaben Gair, CVPM, gave in a recent article: “When people talk to me while I’m on the phone, it drives me crazy because I can’t concentrate on helping the client. If you need to correct what I’m saying, please tell me after I hang up. Then I’ll call the client back if necessary.”
You can never guarantee the co-worker's behavior will change, but taking the high road and addressing the issue sensibly and fairly will make you feel a little more connected and refreshed—guaranteed. Hey, it beats becoming the office complainer.
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