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Chapter 19. Difficult Colleagues > The Work Killers - Pg. 201

Difficult Colleagues 201 Negative, blaming, or aggressive thinking and self-talk is liable to kill you, or at least reduce your quality of life. Don't do this to yourself. Take control of your own reactions by talking to yourself differently. Now, I'm not going to snow you here. These kinds of techniques need to be practiced consistently, but if you can modify your lifestyle and self-talk style, you will make a huge leap towards making yourself almost invulnerable to your annoying, frustrating, and obnoxious co-workers. Insider Secrets We have a rough idea of how long it takes to learn and stabilize new behaviors, habits, and self-talk. Generally, it will take at least six weeks of working at it to succeed, and you have to work at it consistently. Then you will probably find that your new way of self-talk becomes more of a habit. Monitor your self-talk as often as you can. Identify the kinds of ineffective self-talk you use. Every day remind yourself to use more constructive self- talk that will help you stay calm. Consider writing some key positive self-talk phrases out and putting them where you can see them. Some people actually incorporate them into their computer screen savers. Remind yourself to use those key phrases. You can do it. The results may extend beyond your work life over time. The Work Killers The work-killer colleagues are different from the annoying ones. Their difficult behaviors actually interfere with your ability to get work done, so it's a double whammy. Not only are they annoying and frustrating, but they cause real concrete problems for you and your work unit. We have a two-pronged approach. The first is the things we mentioned in becoming less reactive. You must control your annoyance and frustrations first before you deal with the concrete problems these people create. Employee Handbook Work-killer colleagues interfere with your ability to get work done. They aren't just annoying. Here's why. When you get annoyed and frustrated you're less likely to see the issues clearly. There's a tendency to make things personal and to forget you aren't out to "get the person" but to solve a work problem. So you do things to make a bad situation worse. But there's a more important reason. It has to do with the perceptions of others. When people around you see you are bent out of shape