You might have encountered an unreasonable boss, customer or petty co-worker from your everyday work, which can affect your emotions and thus the delivery of your work. Remember that we're all human. No matter how professional you want to be, a destructive behavior from them can affect you. Since you can't change them, here are some tips to help you overcome these challenges.
Be tolerant of different team dynamics
You go to work everyday to earn a living and for self-growth, but there will always be external influences that may affect you or your work. Stay focused at your job and be tolerant of others with different personalities and approaches. Some people like to take the lead, while some are "slackers" who like to remain status quo, some are perfectionists, while some are error-prone. We may work better with some than others, but at work, we have to work as a team to produce good results. Build rapport with your colleagues to understand them better and why they do things the way they do. If you think you can influence them positively, do persuade them and share your views.
Your customers, colleagues or boss may have unreasonable demands of you, dumping urgent work on your desk at the last minute or expecting you to top the sales chart in the shortest amount of time with little resources. Have a conversation ahead of time with them to discuss about what's needed and expected. If you are unable to cope, affecting the results of your performance, you might want to sound it out to them. If you do not, it is assumed that you are able to complete the task, so do not complain behind their backs to others, because it will look bad on you to the listeners and to your boss or colleagues who might find out from others. Communication is key. But this is different from refusing to do extra work for the team due to unforeseen circumstances and you are still able to cope. If it happens once in a while, as a team member you should take up the task so that things move. Think big picture for the team's performance. However, if a member is frequently absent, you might want to have a conversation with them on the work load you have been taking on, on their behalf.
When someone starts to behave differently, which can be destructive, the roots of the problem may lie deeper than what it actually seems at work. It could be health, psychological, emotional, life transitions or family issues that this person is going through, that might affect their work performance. Keep your cool and have a logical and rational discussion with him/her to de-escalate the situation. They might just need a supportive conversation with someone. If you think the situation is more complex and you are unable to resolve it, you might want to bring it to the attention of someone more qualified to handle them. It could be his/her boss, HR, Counselor, or their close friend at work.
Take note of toxic individuals
You might come across some individuals at work who are psychopathic in their behavior. They are ruthless, fearless and are not constrained by ethics or moral code. Beware of them, as they are manipulative and have no compassion for any damage caused. Signs of such individuals could be they would always approach you to share the negatives and flaws of others. Very often, they might also do the same to you. They like to resort to lies to gain sympathy and they like to be liked by everyone. They may seem harmless to you, but behind your back, they may send toxic messages about you to your boss to stain your reputation. Such individuals may seem nice to you and do not communicate their unhappiness and rationalise with you to resolve matters. They might plot ways to destroy you and the team. You might not be able to avoid them as they are working very closely with you. But once you sense that something is not right, cover your back, and strategise how to go about communicating with this person. If he/she is still not honest and forthcoming with you, you might want to make sure your boss is at your side.
R. Arlette is a consultant and trainer for corporate organisations and educational institutions who specialises in the following: 21st Century Skills, Personal Mastery & Peak Performance, Communication SkillsInnovative Thinking, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking, Personal Branding, Problem Solving & Decision Making, Service Excellence, Effective Networking, Public Speaking & Presentations, Team-Building & Cohesion, TetraMap®, ProfilingCareer, Guidance Interview Skills, Sales Techniques, Negotiation Skills, Brain-Based Learning. For any enquiries, do email to email@example.com.