Dilemma: How do I turn down the heat under my collar?
One of my staff members makes my blood pressure rise on a regular basis. I don’t know if it’s his attitude, his tone of voice or something else. But whatever it is, I know I have to maintain my composure. After all, emotional maturity in the workplace is one of the keys to success. Any suggestions for keeping my emotions in check?
— Veronica, Trade Show Marketing Director
Keep your cool, no matter what
Veronica, there’s an expression, “You can’t change another person’s behavior; you can only change your reaction to it.” That’s certainly true in this case.
Consequently, our readers suggest you:
- Find some humor in the situation.
- Try to find common ground.
- Let him know his behavior’s a problem.
Find some humor in the situation
When you deal with someone who rubs you the wrong way, you have a choice: Suffer or smile.
Jill Gill, in sales at Gately Communication Co., believes you should opt for the latter and provides an example of how to do it.
“Just picture him sucking a bottle while he’s in a diaper.”
Try to find common ground
More than likely, your staffer has no idea he irritates you, so a face-to-face meeting may benefit both of you.
Madeline Van Dyk, a payroll coordinator, details an approach you may want to take.
“Sit down with him at a quiet place other than work and talk openly and honestly. Get to know him and discuss how the two of you can better communicate.”
Let him know his behavior’s a problem
On the other hand, you’re the boss, and it’s up to this staff member to act appropriately.
Jamie Green, a business development associate, thinks a warning may be warranted, but after that ….
“We all understand different personalities exist within a company, and sometimes, two people just don’t connect. However, this staffer is obligated to act in a professional and respectful way with you, and you shouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior. Meet with him and share your concerns. If the behavior continues, fire him.”