Let’s face it, its tough working with people. There are days where you feel that you’ve earned grounds to ask for a raise when dealing with challenging co-workers. Fellow team mates that fall into this category are influential in their tenure or their position, they are demanding, unforgiving, and very impatient. They can often be very rude and display aggressive behavior that is just below detection from the powers that be. They are also quite intelligent and usually possess a high level of mastery in their field. Despite all efforts on your part to build a reasonable working relationship, you seem to miss the mark time and again. So how do you progress? How do you get through another day?
You must survive
The last thing most of us want to do is to pick up the phone and complain to HR about a troubling co-worker. We think of all the drama, tension, and turmoil that will follow once you make that call. Not to mention, it’s a risk to your reputation and how your other co-workers will perceive you once the dust settles. It’s a bell that can’t be unrung, and you’re reluctant to make that call.
First, breath. This is often a very stressful situation to be in and the stress can really weigh on you heavy. Your second course of action would be to meet with the person and calmly make an honest attempt to mend some of the rift that may have occurred between the two of you. Be mindful that if this is a person of influence and power, your efforts may backfire and the situation could become worse. However, if you have to make the call to HR, the best ace in your sleeve is to share that you have made attempts to rectify the situation by meeting with the person, but the desired result or middle ground was not produced. Nobody can fault you for trying. In fact, it’s the most professional approach you could make in this type of scenario.
Regardless of how the conversation goes, you need to focus on your survival. It’s vital that you conduct yourself accordingly in a professional calm manner. Even if you want to scream, yell, and pound your chest, you still need to keep your wits about you and always stay calm. It’s also a way to disarm the person who is making trouble in your life. If you remain calm, they may try to push harder, however, it will also catch them off guard.
If you find yourself remaining emotionally calm through most encounters, then you have found your roadmap for survival. The good news is that the more you are able to deal with this type of behavior, the less other stresses will impact you as well. Being able to work with a bevy of personalities is a skill that employers are searching for when moving talent up amongst the ranks. If you are able to master this challenge and navigate through it safely, then you have conquered a mountain that few actually consider venturing over. For many, it’s much easier to quit, walk away, or run than it is to take on a challenging personality.
Hostile work environment
There is a significant difference in dealing with a crass or unseeming co-worker and dealing with hostility. When employees are pushed to the point where coming to work is scary, intimidating, and horrifically uncomfortable, then it’s time to re-evaluate your scenario. Hostility in the workplace is something that nobody should tolerate and as an employee, you are legally protected. Most mid to large organizations have resources for employees to reach out and report excessively harsh behavior. There are significant consequences against hostile work environments. If you feel that you are a victim of a hostile work environment, contact your HR representative. It is best to protect yourself against the threat of another employee than to face unnecessary abuse on a regular basis.