You spend nearly a third of your life in the office, so it stands to reason certain things are going to get on your nerves. Like, say, your co-workers. The workplace chatterbox. The lunch thief. All those pointless meetings. We've all dealt with annoying workplaces and co-workers at some point.
The reality is that it's an issue we all have to face – but thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make communicating with these types less stressful.
Be an "Active Listener"
Some people talk non-stop. It's tempting to just tune these people out, but this rarely stops them. If anything, they'll talk and argue more forcefully because they'll think nobody cares about them. The best thing to do is to use good, normal active listening techniques, as you would for anyone else. Say things like, "What I hear you say is _____. Can you give me some examples of when I've done that?" Force them to give you specifics since comments like "you always put me down" aren't helping anything.
Let the person know where you are coming from
One thing that has worked for me is to let the person know my intentions behind what I am doing. Sometimes, they are being resistant because they think you have a hidden agenda. Letting them in on the reason behind your actions and the full background of what is happening will enable them to empathize with your situation. This gets them on board much easier.
Don't make it personal.
Everyone has a story and most of the time we don't know it. Don't make the other person seem like the enemy and don't act like a victim (or equally bad, superior). Try to level the playing field by focusing on the facts.
Move to problem solving
People who whine a lot often feel powerless and believe that the situation is hopeless. Your only chance of ending their negativity is to help them to move into a problem-solving mode. This doesn't always work, but it's the only antidote known.
No matter where you work, you will always run into some annoyances. However, don't let these get you down and spoil your day at the office, rather use it as ways to engage more with your colleagues and understand what makes your team dynamic and unique.
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