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Your career plan for 2014 – Part 1

Part 1: The importance of getting along at work

Was the company office party awkward because there is a colleague you wanted to avoid? Is there a relationship at work that went sour this past year? This is great food for thought for the new year to help you consider how to turn over a new leaf with your boss, a co-worker or anyone else in your office. Why it is important to nurture not just your talents and skills but also those relationships with your colleagues…. Thank you to Terry Wynne, one of our associate coaches, for this post!

*This is the first in a series we will do over the next few weeks to help you develop your career plan for 2014!

How important is getting along with colleagues, customers, and managers at work? Getting along is very important and can mean the difference in getting a raise versus being asked to leave. Getting along with “difficult people” is not always easy however.  “Difficult people” include those who are argumentative, controlling, excessive talkers, criticizers, or other traits you’d simply like to avoid.

The issue is that avoiding such people altogether may be unavoidable. So how do you get along with them? Learning effective coping skills is helpful. Two excellent books that explain detailed coping methods include Coping With Difficult People by Robert Bramson, Ph.D., and When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith, Ph.D.  Both books explain exactly what to say to that oh-so-difficult person.  For example, one technique Robert Bramson recommends for dealing with an explosive personality is to calmly say, “I want to hear everything you have to say, but not this way.”  On the other hand, in a situation where you work is criticized, Manual Smith would recommend asking for more information such as inquiring, “What is it about this report you don’t like?”

Learning effective coping techniques doesn’t mean “difficult people” don’t still aggravate you. Surprisingly, you may find that they become your friend or that you become a model for others in your organization to learn how to deal with them.  Just think how surprised your boss will be when you say, “Feel free to send difficult customers to me – I know how to handle them!” So take control, learn coping techniques, and earn the reputation for being the person in your organization who is able to get along with anyone – even people you really don’t want to be around!

Hallie Crawford and Terry L. Wynne
Certified Career Coaches

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