How to … Handle Difficult Colleagues

In the previous blog I briefly touched on the subject of handling people you don’t always get along with. Because sometimes, when you are both busy and stressed, fuses become shorter, moods become worse and frustration gets expressed instantly. And trust me, even meditation gurus experience this. So… what to do?
1. When you receive an email that makes you angry, don’t immediately start typing a frustrated reply. Leave it for five minutes, one hour or half a day, depending on how much time you need to cool off.
2. If the email does require an immediate response, take a ten deep breaths, and follow these consciously all the way into your lower abdomen towards your pelvis. Bonus: this also works as an instant stress release.
3. Then type your reply but ask your colleague to quickly read it if you worry about how the message will come across. Remember: text can very often be interpreted in multiple ways.
4. In serious cases, grab the colleague you are frustrated with into a conference room for a brief conversation. Or even better: take them to Costa for a coffee. Take it easy and remember they are human too and feel stress as well. Yelling and long discussions don’t make anyone feel better. Focus on the goals and the decisions on what needs to be done.
5. Important: don’t bottle everything you feel up, but keep an open communication. That also includes giving compliments about the things your colleague does do well!
6. Finally, if you are not comfortable sharing everything that is on your mind (just yet), ask the emotion to quiet down (you can just have a conversation with it in your head!) for the time being. Then when you are able to let it out (when you are in the gym/on the dancefloor/in your bed/at your therapist), tune into and feel the emotion, recognise it, and breathe it out through a deep sigh.

Good luck and stay upbeat!

Seek to be Whole, Not Perfect

- Oprah