How to #handle difficult #people at #work!

We don’t evolve much beyond a grade school caste system. We grow up, enter the workplace, supposedly mature and revert to the same social constructs we tried to fling off as kids: the workplace’s cool cliquey group, the brains of the office, the mean girls, the goobers.

How to #handle difficult #people at #work!

How to #handle difficult #people at #work!

This article is dedicated to the latter group: The workplace goobers. From a performance standpoint there’s little to complain about, but personality-wise, they’re the well-meaning employees who are just a little bit socially awkward and socially annoying. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, it’s probably because you know who the goober is at your job. If you’re not nodding your head in recognition, then be warned: The office goober just might be you.

Whether you’re the one doing the annoying or the one being annoyed, follow these tips for more workplace harmony.

For the Annoying …

1. Watch what you say. Figure out your work-to-chat ratio and err on the work side. You should be social in the office, but not so much that you’re siphoning productivity. Also note that sometimes it’s not about how much you talk, but how you’re doing it and what you’re talking about. “People write to me about what to do with close talkers a lot,” says Richie Frieman, the Modern Manners Guy for and author of “Reply All … and Other Ways to Tank Your Career.” “It’s the person in the office who stands too close, who invades your space.” Also be careful of revealing too much personal information, either about your life or the lives of your colleagues.

2. Be careful what you send. The way you communicate electronically could be just as annoying as verbal communication. With office email, keep in mind the reply all field should be used only when all really do need your reply. Alexandra Levit, author of “They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World,” suggests you avoid it. “People really overuse that field, and it gets you into trouble.” The carbon copy field, or CC, should be filled with recipients who need information from the email, but who do not necessarily need to take action themselves. Dawn Rosenberg McKay, career planning expert for, says you also want to be careful when populating this field. “One real problem with using the CC is that it clogs up people’s inbox. Liberally using this field starts to affect productivity and performance, and that can be annoying to people as well.”

Blind carbon copy, or BCC, is used to furtively inform recipients of an action within an email, and it’s the devil’s field. “The thing that’s really problematic with that field is that it’s usually used to convey something negative or something that you don’t want to be public knowledge,” Levit says. “But the fact that it’s on email means it is public, and if whomever was included as a BCC doesn’t realize they were a blind copy and decides to reply all, then everyone will know what was going on.”

3. Blend in. Shake things up with innovative ideas and make an impression with your work ethic. But when it comes to office culture, adapt lemming behavior: Observe how the other staff interact, and follow suit. If emails don’t ricochet back-and-forth after hours and on weekends, then don’t be the gadfly who insists on corresponding with non-urgent emails on a Saturday. If most people in the office leave their cubicle to answer personal calls, then avoid being the sole employee who has a long and loud personal phone powwow in an office common area.

4. Be a team player. “It’s frustrating when a co-worker steals credit for work they didn’t do,” McKay says. “Or if someone is always running to tell the boss what’s going on in the office.” You want to earn your boss’ trust and respect, but you’re on track to lose the respect and trust of the colleagues who most affect your day-to-day job satisfaction and potentially, your success. “Shirking off work or delegating your responsibilities to someone else will also be a problem,” Levit says.

For the Annoyed …

1. Have compassion. “There are two types of annoying workers. One is completely naive, not malicious and just doesn’t get it. To put it bluntly, he’s a doofus,” Frieman says. “That might sound harsh, but with that person you can reach a resolution, because he probably can easily take a critique and will want to take the steps to get along with you better. The other type of person has a built-up ego, is aware of their actions and personality, and doesn’t care how they affect others. That guy is being malicious.”

2. Allow three strikes. Peter Bregman, leadership adviser and author of “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” has what he calls a rule of three. “If someone does something that I find annoying or disturbing the first time, I rarely say anything,” he says. “The second time I make note of it because it could be a pattern and not an aberration. I may or may not do or say something at that point, depending on what the offense is. But by the third time, you have to take an action to resolve the problem. Otherwise, you’ll become annoying yourself by constantly complaining about your situation instead of taking steps to fix it.”

3Be careful whom you talk to. Venting your frustrations with other colleagues is counterproductive and will only make you feel better temporarily. Instead, confide in someone with the agency to change your situation. “People almost always would rather go to their boss with a complaint about a co-worker instead of going to the co-worker themselves,” Bregman says. “And almost always a boss will rather that you resolve those situations yourselves. The goal of a good manager is to build an independently capable team.” If speaking with your boss, frame your complaint in the context of how your co-worker impacts performance; otherwise, you run the danger of looking like a whiner and nothing more.

4. S often the blow If the issue you’re having is really just a personality clash, then it might be best to speak with your co-worker one-on-one without involving a supervisor. Be constructive and direct, but honest, Bregman says. “It’s worth the risk to say, ‘May I share some feedback with you?’ Most people will say ‘yes,’ so you can then preface what you say by expressing the fear you’ve had to say anything at all,” he says. “Calling what you’re about to say ‘feedback’ makes it more constructive, and expressing your fear for how the conversation will go will help them to trust you more.”


12 #Ways To Be #Happier At #Work In Less Than 10 Minutes

What’s the key to workplace happiness?

12 Ways To Be Happier At Work In Less Than 10 Minutes

12 Ways To Be Happier At Work In Less Than 10 Minutes

If you ask bestselling author Sharon Salzberg, she’ll tell you that it’s a combination of knowing what you’re doing in the moment and feeling like your work is meaningful.

At the intersection of that in-the-moment awareness and overall meaning is mindfulness, Salzberg argues in her new book,  ” Real Happiness at Work.” As one of America’s leading meditation teachers, the book is a toolkit for incorporating mindfulness — and thus real happiness — into our daily working lives.

Don’t worry, “mindfulness” doesn’t require sitting cross-legged in your conference room. As Salzberg explains, it’s about having a “balanced awareness” of what’s happening around you, so that you can understand it rather than  just react to it.

With that in mind, here are a dozen simple ways to be happier at work, in less than 10 minutes each:

1. Remember that happiness at work comes from having a sense of meaning.

“People say that the largest contributing factor in happiness at work is  meaning, which you sometimes find in the job description or sometimes outside of it,” Salzberg says , “and one of the largest sources (of unhappiness) is feeling unappreciated.”

Research backs it up. Harvard professor Teresa Amabile has found that feeling like you’re making even incremental progress in your career  leads to happiness at work, while experiments by Wharton professor Adam Grant have shown that people are more engaged when they feel appreciated — and they perform better, too.

2. Take note of how many people you rely on — and how many rely on you.

“One of the reflections I ask people to do is: How many people need to  do their jobs well for you to do your job well?” Salzberg says. It helps you realize how much you rely on everybody else.

A programmer can’t make the next great app without a designer, and that product won’t move without a sales team. In this way, you get a greater sense of how much your work is linked to others, and it feels more meaningful as a result.

3. Before a big meeting, think about the outcome.

Before you have a major conversation or get on an important phone call, Salzberg says to think about what you want to get out of the encounter.

“You can just ask, ‘Do I want to be harmful? Do I want to be  helpful? Do I want to put the other person down? Do I want to find a  resolution?'” Salzberg says. Then you’ll have an idea of the outcome you’re hoping for, which will make the day feel much more under your control.

4. Find ways to “break the momentum” of the day.

Our workdays are full of emails, meetings, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. That can lead to feeling out of control. A lot of the work of injecting happiness into our days is stopping that momentum, which you could do by pausing to breathe for a few seconds before you talk to, call, or email someone.

“Without some breathing space in the face of constant demands, we won’t be creative, competent, or cheerful,” she writes. “We won’t get along with others, take criticism without imploding, or control the level of our daily stress.”

5. Don’t pick up the phone on the first ring.

Instead of picking up the phone on the first  ring, breathe and wait until the third ring,”  Salzberg says.

By waiting for those two rings, you’re adding in much-needed breathing space into an action that would otherwise just be a reaction.

6. Wait to click send…

“Don’t click send on the email right away — breathe and reread it,” she says. “The classic example would be getting irate and sending something with hostility. Although Gmail gives you a few seconds, life doesn’t give us that many unsend buttons, so give some space to see if we’ve crafted a conversation we actually want.”

To Salzberg, much of real happiness is a matter of being aware of what you’re doing while you’re doing it — and enraged people aren’t typically conscious of their actions.

7. …Or send the email to yourself first.

Receiving your own email gives you the experience of being the recipient. Instead of getting into an energy-sapping misunderstanding, you can actually get a sense of how your message will be read.

8. Monotask at least once a day.

When you get halfway through your day, drink a cup of coffee, and only drink the coffee.

“Just drink the coffee — rather than being on a conference  call, checking your email, and having a TV on mute so you can read the  crawl,” she says. “It’s  another way of breaking that high-pressured momentum.”

Even though multitasking might feel more effective, it’s not.

9. Remember that the people in your meetings are people, too.

When you sit down for a meeting, look around. Salzberg says it’s a great way to remember that each person wants to be happy, even if they have different ideas of what that might look like.

This helps build compassion for others’ experiences, Salzberg says, which makes you better able to relate to people — a major source of meaning — and be patient when they have an idea you disagree with.

10. Schedule a one-minute meditation session.

As Salzberg says, a meditation practice is really just paying attention to physical sensations. And doing it for a little bit every day has major affects on anxiety, stress, and depression. How do you do it? Here are the instructions she gave us:

“Use the body and breathe. You don’t even have to close your eyes. Tune into the actual sensations of the breath so you can feel it come in and go out. Notice the thoughts and emotions that come, and try your best to have an interest in them as experiences in the moment. Mindfulness is all about relationships. It’s not about stopping the thoughts and blanking out; it’s relating to them and watching them, rather than being taken over by them. Then we have a choice: I’m going to let that thought go, or I’m going to act on it.”  11. At the end of the day, reflect on both the positive and the negative.

Most of the time, heading out of the office is the time for rehearsing everything that went wrong that day. Salzberg suggests also reflecting on what went well. That way you’re not denying that some things went poorly, but you’re getting a richer picture of what happened.

12. Throughout the day, set a reminder.

When you start a task, you can set a timer on your phone or in your browser to ding every 25 minutes or so, giving a little reminder to clear out any distractions. This allows you to be more aware of whether you’re on task or if you’re lost in an Internet rabbit hole. In this way, you can enlist your phone to help you be more focused, more conscientious, and ultimately happier.

“Mindfulness isn’t hard to accomplish,” Salzberg says. “It just  tends to be increasingly hard to remember.”