Let’s face it. Working with others can be hard even when you get along with them. People have different work styles, work at different paces, and this can get frustrating. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make this easier. There are ways to work through difficult situations to keep you from becoming too frustrated and acting in a way you’ll regret down the road.
Try to Understand How the Person is Feeling First
Let’s be honest. Sometimes the way a co-worker is acting can be flat out annoying and working with them becomes impossible. Obviously, you know you cannot control their mood or behavior in this situation, so what do you do? Take a step back and realize why they may be acting the way they are. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you would feel. For example, perhaps a customer of theirs has requested something sooner than anticipated and is really pushing your coworker to get it done. Would you become frustrated and possibly difficult to be around? Perhaps you’d be better at handling the situation, but it’s important to understand why a coworker may be behaving in such a way. This will shift you from thinking they are impossible to work with to feeling empathy for their situation.
At work, especially if you are in the early stages of your career, it can be easy to become over accommodating. You say yes and agree to take on too much to the point you begin to feel stressed out and resentful of all the people asking you to do things. To avoid these feelings, you have to know your limits and be able to say no when it is necessary. Obviously it is not a good idea to say no to a superior all the time, but at times it is necessary.
For example, if you are given a deadline that just is not realistic, it’s better to ask for more time upfront. If you say yes and then are nowhere near done at the deadline, it becomes awkward and frustrating for everyone involved. It will be appreciated much more if you are open and honest in the beginning.
Don’t Beat Around the Bush-Say What You’re Thinking
When you get stuck in an awkward situation with a coworker, it’s natural to try to do anything to make it less awkward. However, this does not get you any closer to a solution. A key to good work relationships is being open and honest in your communication. If a coworker is doing something you think won’t work and should be different, be open and say what you want to say. It’s important to provide a different solution and say why you think that solution might be better. Don’t just say you don’t like an idea for no reason. You’ll probably feel more assertive doing this, and over time you’ll see your work relationships improve.