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Work with Irritating People?

Here are 3 Ways to Deal With This

· Leadership Articles

by Phyllis Reagin, Executive Coach & Organizational Effectiveness Expert, CSRH Consulting, LLC

Is someone's behavior annoying you and making work uncomfortable and uneasy? Such annoying behaviors can include someone who talks too loudly, interrupts conversations, is persistently late, or complains all the time. Other's annoying habits can drain your energy and morale.

Why is important for you to stop ignoring annoying behaviors? Failing to do so can leave you feeling helpless, deflated and miserable. Eventually, minor annoyances turn into a major distraction, and it may cause resentment and anger to build up. This can threaten personal and team relationships, and impact your productivity.

3 Ways to Deal with Irritating People:

1. Avoid Gossip: It can be easy to vent your frustration about your irritating colleague by complaining about him to another co-worker. Don't do it! Spreading rumors can be divisive and destructive. Not only that, but you might find that it backfires on you, and you could end up looking like the "bad guy."

2. Assess the Impact: What you may find irritating can be very subjective. So, before you decide how to approach the problem, take a step back and look at it objectively. How much does your colleague's behavior really affect you? Do other people on your team seem bothered by it? Can you cope with it on your own? Or, do you need to refer it to your manager or Human Resources? The level of action that you take should correspond to the seriousness of the behavior.

3. Keep Your Emotions Under Control: It can be hard to keep your emotions in check when you are faced with persistent, irritating behavior, and "bottling them up" can often make things worse. Remember, it is the behavior that is the issue, not the person. Your colleague is likely unaware of the impact her annoying habit is having on you. Be tactful when you confront her and make the conversation as work-focused as possible. Assert how you feel, but avoid making it personal, as this may cause her to become defensive or angry. For example, you could say: "Kimberli, I enjoy hearing your viewpoint in our staff meetings but could you please let me finish talking before you speak? It would really help me with staying focused."

"There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them."

- Phyllis Bottome

These strategies will leave you feeling empowered and hopeful.

Phyllis Reagin, High Performance Strategist and Executive Coach with CSRH Consulting, guides senior leaders and high-potentials with mastering their leadership. To receive bi-monthly blogs that examine leadership lessons from the entertainment, business, and political worlds, join At The Coach's Table blog.

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