Patience, Samsung Friends
You know those horrible work scenarios in the TV show Friends? Like when Monica got off on the wrong foot at her new restaurant job? The staff went so far as to play practical jokes on her, which resulted in a spaghetti sauce mess on her uniform. Or in Joey’s case, a co-star showed up drunk for filming. He ended up having to officiate a wedding dressed in War garb as a result. It makes for great laughs on TV, but what about in the real world? All the yelling and over-the-top drama or odd work situations make for great entertainment on a screen, but how does one maintain patience for real work bullying or lack of accountability or slacking of coworkers?
Well, patience is a dwindling quality in a modern age. With instant access to our wants and needs through iPhones and laptops and now even Samsung Smartwatches, who needs to have patience anyway? Unfortunately, as a society we’ve grown accustomed to receiving immediate gratification and are losing the ability to show perseverance to work through tough situations. We’ve settled on winner-takes it -all retaliations, or pushing down emotions by keeping busy.
Can you relate to these awkward co-worker situations?
Co-Worker is doing something regularly that’s irritating.
They’re always late to work, which throws off everyone’s schedule. Or maybe you share an office suite and they won’t lower the volume on their music, which is distracting. It feels like they have no regard for anyone else’s needs. If you’re extremely unlucky, you find yourself in a situation like Joey’s. A co-worker has shown up unprepared and is greatly delaying work progress. This effects more than your job because it eats into your personal time.
Co-Worker said something that confused you or significantly hurt your outcomes.
It’s clear this person has an issue with you. They’re lying about your performance or deliberately saying or taking hurtful actions against you. At some point you overheard them undermining your authority, or creating false scenarios about you in the break room. Every time that happens, it feels like your patience level is one layer thinner.
Co-Worker and you differ in opinions, which effects the way you roll-out projects.
You just see things differently. It doesn’t matter how many times the two of you discuss a topic, someone ends up frustrated. It goes so far that both of you struggle to get your competencies applied to the project, because the partnership is failing. As a result, there is growing irritation. Your chest gets tight and you feel you just want to yell the next time they say “I don’t understand.”
Quick Tips for Patience with Co-Workers:
Well, if any of the situations are relative for you, or a friend, than listen up. You probably feel like you’re losing control of the situation and yourself. Frustration, anger and hurt feelings build up, which lands you in a compromising position. Here are tips to avoid a storm.
- Anticipate and calm yourself before interacting with the individual in question.
- Train yourself not to react with a knee jerk response.
- Learn to tell yourself positive thoughts in tough times.
- Focus on the good qualities about the co-worker.
- Process the situation and try to understand their perspective.
- Evaluate if you or others encourage poor behavior and make changes accordingly.
- Depending on the severity of the situation, consider conflict resolution training.
- Help prevent conflict by investing in headphones or avoiding certain conversation topics (your action varies depending on your scenario).
- If you must confront the individual, do so politely and avoid accusatory statements.
- When all else fails, discuss the situation with your upper-management, but remember to be motivated by finding effective outcomes, not assigning blame or punishment.
We all love Chandler from Friends, but whatever you do, don’t take his advice “All right, look if you absolutely have to tell her the truth, at least wait until the timing’s right. And that’s what deathbeds are for.” The absolute worst way to handle frustration and impatience is burying it away.
Stick to the ten steps above for exercising patience with difficult workplace relationships. Each of us has quirks and downfalls. At some point in your life, someone was angry with you. As you practice the advice above in dealing with the individual in question, keep in mind how you would hope someone might handle your unintentionally irritating behavior or short-comings.