3 Ways To Stop Your Co-Workers From Driving You Nuts (& Creating Drama At Work)

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The madness must end.

It's tough to confront people. Well, at least that's what 90 percent of the population says. Is your tendency to avoid or (even worse) deny that difficult issues exist at your office?

It's so much easier to blame others for the conflict at work because they're impossible to work with. We live in a "he did it, she did it, they did it" world. It's always easier to fall asleep at night judging, blaming, or attacking others. Then we're ok with falling asleep with an angel halo above our own heads, with no regrets as to how we may have contributed to the matter.


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To be a successful and good leader, you need to look at situations through the eyes of a great parent. It's not really that different. When conflict arises, instead of waiting for that pot of anger to boil over... act.

Here are 3 on how to get along with co-workers and stop the madness before it takes over your home life too:

1. Don't leave things hanging.

The first way to stop someone from driving you nuts is to be decisive. Ambiguity leaves lots of room for misinterpreting a situation. That's a recipe for disaster.

When in doubt, speak out. Ask questions. Don't just assume the annoyance will blow over. It will just hide in the corner and then show up even bigger and noisier, and usually at the most inopportune time.

2. Communicate with conviction.

Use strong words and be bold. Say you are upset, angry, or damn mad. The softer the words, the less you will be taken seriously.

Think about how you reacted when you were told to go to your room as a kid — no if's, and's, or but's. You went. You paid attention.


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3. Do what you say.

No threats. They won't hold water. What works is saying why you are frustrated, annoyed, and damn mad. Paint the picture for them.

Remember how one of your parents (the one you really listened to) said that your behavior was creating havoc, dissent, a nasty situation...and they said what they would do and then they did it?

We can compare these three ways of stopping your co-workers from driving you utterly insane much like gravity.

If someone throws a ball in the air and you are standing right where the gravitational pull is, you will get hit on the head. Gravity won't apologize or feel sorry for you. It, well...it just is.

Be like gravity. Once you are decisive, stay that way. Once you speak out clearly with conviction, don't change your words. Once you do what you say, don't start to make excuses.

Good leaders are like good parents. You don't want to destroy your co-worker, or boss, or direct report — you simply want them to know their behavior is frustrating you.

And like a good leader or parent, you also want to give your colleagues at work the opportunity to respond to you.

Work relationships — like any other relationship — are complex and curious. They demand attention and live in the realm of shades of gray. There are many shades of gray to contend with and you will be the winner if you say what you mean, communicate it with clarity and do what you say.

Great leaders and great parents are skilled at confronting others with grace and ease. If you need help in facing others, practice talking to yourself first, a friend second, and then go for it.

The more you speak out clearly, the more confident you will be and better yet, the more emotionally intelligent you become.


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Sylvia Lafair is a noted authority on leadership and a consultant to family firms, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs, her message is unique and timely; her insights universal and relevant.

This article was originally published at Inc.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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