October 15, 2015

Getting Along with Difficult Coworkers

by TrueNorth Desks

Office conflict is going to arise occasionally, no matter how solid a team you have. From time to time, you’re going to have to deal with coworkers who are difficult to get along with. But it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Here are three tips to do just that.

Address the situation
There are lots of ways conflict can affect us negatively in the workplace; one is being afraid of it. Avoiding conflict at all costs can lead to an intense amount of internal stress. Many chronic conflict-avoiders internalize that stress, which can be very unhealthy and can also lead to that stress coming out in ways that only make situations worse. Instead, address your interpersonal problems head-on using positive and clear communication.

Make things personal
Sometimes our work relationships are too…well, business-like. It’s tempting to treat them differently than our personal relationships, because it feels like we need to keep our business and personal lives separate. But sometimes investing in a difficult work relationship like you would a friendship can pay dividends. Take the time to get to know that difficult office person, and look for ways to extend kindness. Bonus: even if the relationship doesn’t improve, you’ll already be better off from having done the hard work of being kind.

Recognize what you can control
No matter how difficult your coworker is to get along with, he or she can only stress you out if you allow it. And one of the biggest sources of stress is when we try to control what is outside of our control. Trying to make difficult coworkers be different than they are isn’t just futile—it’s kind of silly. You know what you’re going to get out of those difficult coworkers; whether that’s conflict, poor performance or bad attitudes. If you can come to terms with who they are and adjust your expectations you’ll be able to at least ease the amount of stress you get from the situation.

Difficult coworkers can kill an office environment faster than just about anything else, and office environments are something we’re passionate about. If your office vibe needs some sprucing up, taking steps like buying ergonomic office furniture, or corporate furniture like stand up desks that foster creativity and collaboration, can help. Check out our TrueNorth Balance line, or contact us today for info on what will work best for your needs.

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