Professional Development

Recently, we reviewed a Blog by Cheryl Stein, A Monster Canada Personal Coach.  At the same time, we read this, we were teaching a Professional Development course, so timing was right.  Below is the entire article.

How to Get Along with a Coworker You Hate

By Cheryl Stein, Monster Canada Personal Coach

The reality of life is that sometimes we have to work with people we don’t like. Worse than that, sometimes we end up working with people we absolutely hate and wish we could vaporize into oblivion.  Although making people disappear is not a good (or viable!) option, these six ways can help you make the problem disappear.

 1. Be Brutally Honest with Your Coworker
Confronting the person who is making you sick and telling him really nicely what he’s doing to make your workday awful can sometimes get him to stop.  Much of the time, people are completely oblivious to how their behavior makes other people feel. Bringing their lousy behavior to their attention can be the wake-up call they need to change their ways.

2. Rise Above Bad Workplace Behavior
Is there any way to ignore or avoid the person who’s driving you crazy?  Like your mother taught you when you were little, pretending that you aren’t affected by the way someone is behaving can get him to stop — especially if he’s behaving in a way that is intentionally aimed at hurting you.

3. Reframe Your Perspective
A good coaching exercise is to focus on the good qualities this person possesses. This act of appreciation can get you to notice when she is being nice and help you ignore her when she’s being nasty. Try making a list of all the good things she does and intentionally notice those things during the day.

4. Use Honey
Try to connect with the person to develop a closer relationship. Sometimes getting to know someone a little better and extending a hand in friendship can make the person start to go out of his way for you.

5. Use the Opposite of Honey
Sometimes the only way to get someone to back off is to show her what she’s doing.  You’ve probably been told before not to sink to anyone’s level, but once in a while , a bully needs a good kick in the shins. Be careful, however, because if you end up having to go to a higher authority to get this person to stop (see next step), you don’t want her to have any ammunition against you.  If you try this approach, explain why you did it. For example, “I shot down your idea in the meeting because that’s how you always speak to me. If you don’t like how that feels, maybe you shouldn’t do it to others.”

6. Report as a Last Resort
You never want to be labeled the workplace tattletale, but some situations are just impossible to live with. If all else fails and you feel an intervention is needed to stop the behavior, tell your boss. If you go this route, make sure you speak in terms of how the behavior is impacting the organization.  Reducing creative thinking, impacting productivity and damaging team morale are all reasons for a boss to get involved because it will impact his bottom line.

It isn’t reasonable to expect to have only coworkers you like, but if you have to work with people you can’t stand, at least you have options to make your days a little better.

Thank you Ms. Stein:
We found this article interesting and very provocative in that Ms. Stein is very correct about everything she wrote.  We read this article about the same time that we were teaching a class to groups of graduating students regarding professionalism.  During our time with our students, we discuss several philosophies.  We call two of them, “G-Skills” and “K-Skills.”  G-Skills are Job-Getting Skills and K-Skills are Job-Keeping Skills.  For many people, they suffer from the lack of certain professional skills that make working with them, very difficult.  One may think that those from certain social economic circles would be more at risk of unprofessional behavior then others.  As true as that may be for some, we have found that knowledge of professional behavior as well as acting professionally escape many despite their socio-economic backgrounds or their upbringing. 

It is obvious to us that training, coaching, and sometimes continued coaching is required for many; and there is nothing wrong with that.  Moreover, we at M302 suggest that continuous training is a mark of a good Manager and Leader.  As an interviewer for many companies, we have found that hiring “The Smile and Training,” or better yet, hiring a Coachable candidate that has a Positive Attitude is so much more important than hiring one with only skill.

One note about teaching professionalism.  It is very difficult and uncomfortable to do.  Whether is one on one, or in a group, showing or telling people how they should act in particular situations is tough.  It take time, effort and training, to do it right.  Much more then we have time for here.  We will cover more techniques, but for now,…

Lesson One:

Keep it professional: at all times; especially during one-on-one discussions.  People do all sorts of ridiculous and or unprofessional things all the time, for many different reasons; so a Leader must discover why they are doing certain things.  We aren’t sure which ones are harder to fix, but discussing them in a professionally manner and at the right time and in the right place will go a long way towards teaching professional behavior successfully.

More Later:
We Wish You Peace,
M302