The simple assumption in situations like this is the Grumpy Gus you are up against is intentionally wreaking havoc merely to needle you. That could be true in some cases, but this explanation is much more the exception than the rule. Consider these surprising things about your coworker that can allow you to cope more effectively with his or her boredom.
1) He is not out for you. It sure feels like he is campaigning to get you fired, publicly embarrass you, or would like to take credit for your hard work, but the fact is you should not take his nit-picking personally. He is not interested in taking anything away from you, per se; he is really only interested in gaining something for himself. Use open-ended questions to determine what it is he is trying to achieve so that you may help him redirect his bad attitude in a manner that will help him achieve his objectives.
He happily participates in hobbies and interests with family and friends where he is actually kind to other folks. Consider seeing the entire person rather than the little slice of negativity that he gives you on a daily basis. Doing this will make it much easier to show him a little empathy, which can make even the most freezing of peers melt. A well-placed greeting or question about his family will have him looking at you as an ally instead of an enemy.
It might be difficult to fathom, but it is quite possible he could really have an idea or two about how you could take another step in your career or how you could finish your current project with an ingenious twist that’ll get you noticed. Only looking to your friends for feedback and advice might be a mistake. The office grouch might have a shorter fuse with what you believe are new ideas simply because he has “been there, done that.”
4) He’s bad days, too. Assuming that he never gets up on the wrong side of the bed, does not know what it is like to have a bad hair day, or not becomes frustrated with a weight reduction program puts your cranky co-worker to a superhuman category. And, you know he is not super human, so cut him a little slack. Perhaps there are larger issues like health care, Orlando FL Squirrel Removal, family issues and financial worries that have him seeing the issues in work as minor. His poor behavior might be temporary, so it is fine to treat it as such.
5) He may be amazed by how his actions impact you. Privately asking in case you’ve done something to offend him is a excellent way to start a conversation about his tone, body language, or strategy. He could believe he’s coming across as someone who takes his job seriously when, in actuality, you are interpreting his lack of a grin as a personal slight. He will love a gentle and sincere approach to what otherwise may be a controversial and defensive debate.
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