Submitted by guest columnist Shelley Buck
Do people run away from you as soon as they see the expression on your face when you walk in the office? Does it feel like a team member is your friend one day then the next day barks at you?
Life may be perfect on television, but my experience is that everyone has at least one challenge to overcome every day:
- Car breakdown
- Disagreement with a loved one
- Family or friends fighting a battle (health, work, etc.)
- Just not feeling well
- Not sleeping well
Whatever you’re experiencing, everyone around you is experiencing too. Most people don’t know how to leave work at work and home at home, and sometimes you just can’t.
Two things to keep in mind at work:
1. You: How are you treating others at work when something happened the night before or that morning? You should always try your hardest to remain professional at work and control your emotions. If what you’re feeling is so overwhelming that you can’t control it, then communicate to your supervisor and possibly your teammates that something has happened, that you’re not well or that you may have a need for space.
This shouldn’t be everyday though. Do you know someone who is constantly making excuses for being “grumpy” or “moody” everyday because of some drama? Don’t be that person! Complaining about the same situation every day for 15 minutes, with, alas, no plan to correct the drama, doesn’t help anyone. That drains others and wastes time.
2. Team member: Have you had a teammate walk in with a horrible attitude? Don’t ask yourself “what did I do and how can I fix it?”, but ask “is there something going on that I’m not aware of?” Treat them as though you would any other day or even nicer. Trust me, this is hard! If it’s bad, then stay away as best as you can until it blows over.
If you have a good relationship with them, ask what you can do for them today or on your break offer to buy them a coffee. This usually opens the communication lines. They may not tell you what’s going on but it shows you’re there. As you build your trust, they will fill you in. You will be the best judge of how long to keep this conversation going.
And if you work with the person with the constant drama, mentioned under #1, and you get caught into the 15 minute talk – get out of it as soon as you can. Don’t you hear your telephone ringing – conveniently? This is not good for you and would only encourage them to come to you tomorrow.
So, how does following #1 and #2 make you irreplaceable at work?
It shows you:
- can remain professional
- can communicate appropriately
- can be human
- can be trusted
- respect your team members