Build effective working relationships

We have all come across co-workers who we value but annoy us. Either they make offensive statements, or interrupt repeatedly or get into an I, Me, Myself mode. Whatever may be their failings, you need to come out of it, unscathed.

The offenders: When a co-worker makes an offensive comment, we feel hurt. Sometimes it is direct. At other times it is couched in sarcasm or stereotyping. A useful antidote is to respond “Could you please repeat what you just said? I am not sure I heard you right”. A momentary silence will follow as he/she realizes they have been called out. A weak response and a weak apology may follow. More important, the offender, will refrain from similar conduct in the future, at least with you.

The Interrupters: Some of our otherwise excellent co-workers may be prone to interrupting. It is useful to preface your statement to them with “There are three / five reasons, underlying my reasoning and I would like you to listen to all of them before responding.” You can then list the reasoning one by one. This usually works.

I, Me, Myself Types: This is a tough one. Those with very low self-esteem as well as those with a grossly inflated view of themselves show this attitude. A useful interjection is “It is not about which one of us is right but about ensuring our organization is right.” This will hopefully work.

Remember. It is your responsibility to build productive working relationships with co-workers, in the organization’s interest. Focus on that. Don’t waste time trying to change others.

– By Ravi Santhanam for Zeus

Next: Disagree with your Boss – Constructively

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