Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are you Difficult to Work With?

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Written by Lauren Lind


Everyone has that one co-worker that just irks him or her. Whether it’s their constant nagging or over-sharing, you try to dodge their presence at all costs. You, on the other hand of course, are the perfect co-worker. You are always pleasant, always meeting deadlines, easy to get along with, and are never annoying...right? Unfortunately, we all tend to think that the issue could not possibly be ourselves, myself included. Have you ever considered that YOU may be the co-worker that is snickered about or is draining energy from your office?

I found myself the other day going on and on about how much I hated the Bachelor Juan Pablo and didn’t realize I was using my co-worker as my sounding board. I never considered that I could be draining my poor co-worker. After some self-reflection, I have realized that I have things that can be worked on as a co-worker so that I am a more enjoyable person to work with. We all have little things that can be improved upon. Simply put, we are all human. I want to be the co-worker that I expect my fellow colleagues to be.

Valued qualities in a co-worker and employee are:

1.    Empathy
Being empathetic is important because it shows that you care about more than yourself. Have you ever had a co-worker that could never empathize? It is not enjoyable to work with him or her because they show little concern for anyone but themselves.

2.    Autonomy
Have you ever had a colleague that needed hand holding through every project? Being able to work on your own and taking the initiative makes working together easier for those involved.

3.    Interpersonal Skills
There are some boundaries that should not be crossed in the office. Showing interpersonal skills and being able to “play well with others in the corporate sandbox” can get you far. Learning how to manage conflict and not talk negatively about your less favorable co-workers can get make you a person that people want to work with.

4.    Flexibility & adaptability
Being the co-worker that has to have their way no matter what gets old. Really listening to other’s ideas and trying to compromise can go a long way. Also showing the ability to rearrange meetings and making time for the people you work with to talk face-to-face can help combat aggressive emails that can lead to conflicts.

5.    Positivity
Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy are just plain energy suckers. Remaining upbeat and positive about the on-goings within your organization or company will help the overall morale.


6. Self-awareness
It all boils down to being self-aware. As I mentioned before, we all tend to think that we are never the ‘problem co-worker,’ but are you being honest with yourself? Doing a self-evaluation can help the office be a better place in general. Be the co-worker that you want everyone else to be.


You may or may not suck to work with. Either way, it is always good to look internally and see how you can make your workplace better. The less ‘suckiness’ in the world, the better right?

Hat tip: Arnie Fertig