AP9 BusinessMax Offers Advice on Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers

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AP9 BusinessMax provides members with discounts on office supplies, travel arrangements and other small-business costs.

I haven’t been able to focus on my work lately because the chatter level seems to be rising. Do you think there’s a way we can tone down the volume a little bit?

Let’s face it: We’ve all met people who get on our nerves. Most of the time, we try to reduce the aggravation by avoiding those people whenever possible. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find ways to elude them when they share an office with you every day. However, when escape is impossible, there are a few steps you can take to try to get along with -- or at least tolerate -- difficult people, notes AP9 Business Max, a leading small-business discount membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC.

Except for size, an office environment isn’t much different from the world outside of it. In most offices, there will be social cliques, gossipers, best friends, reliable sources and even, occasionally, enemies and backstabbers. Ideally, the bulk of your worktime will be spent with folks you enjoy, but most of us don’t work in such ideal situations.

So what can you do to work out problems with unpleasant co-workers? AP9 BusinessMax has a few ideas:

--Consult your inner circle. This includes not only your close friends and co-workers but also yourself. Sometimes, aggravation comes from within, and we transfer those feelings onto others. Make sure you’re not blaming someone else for frustrations that originated with you. Then talk it over with a friend. Venting can help you to reduce your frustration level, and your friend may even have some ideas about dealing with the unpleasant co-worker.

--Discuss your concerns with the co-worker in question. Approach this person in a calm, agreeable manner, and talk to him in a way that focuses on you rather than him (to avoid sounding accusatory or judgmental). Say, for instance, “I haven’t been able to focus on my work lately because the chatter level seems to be rising. Do you think there’s a way we can tone down the volume a little bit?” If need be, of course, you should diplomatically mention your co-worker’s role in the problem. He may not even be aware of the issues that bother you and may be willing to adjust his behavior to eliminate the points of contention.

--Discuss the situation with your boss. Ideally, your boss wants to sooth tensions and create a pleasant working environment for everyone who reports to her. Meet with her privately to explain the problem(s) you’re experiencing, and discuss potential ways to solve the problem. Be sure to mention any ideas you have about the solution, and ask her to take the appropriate steps in a timely manner. This assumes, of course, that your boss isn’t the difficult co-worker. If your boss is that person, or if your boss isn’t willing to address the situation …

--Discuss your concerns with Human Resources or your boss’s boss. HR staffers are often trained to handle situations like this and may have some ready solutions for your problem. If they don’t (or if you work in a small company that doesn’t have an HR department), sit down with your boss’s superior to discuss the situation. If other co-workers are experiencing the same difficulties, bring them in to the discussion as well. There’s strength in numbers, and most companies would rather satisfy the needs of a large number of workers rather than cater to the whims of one unpleasant employee.

--If all else fails, look for a new job. That could mean transferring to a new position within the organization or finding a new job elsewhere. While this may seem like you’re punishing yourself for someone else’s behavior or personality, your peace of mind and happiness are ultimately your responsibility. If sticking around isn’t worth the aggravation, leaving can sometimes be the best thing you can do for yourself.

Facing difficult co-workers is an unpleasant reality of the business world. A little diplomacy and a tactful airing of grievances, though, can turn an unagreeable situation into a tolerable one, notes AP9 Business Max.

About AP9 BusinessMax

AP9 BusinessMax is a leading membership discount program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in both membership and loyalty programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at DealPass, an online portal for Adaptive Marketing membership programs. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs, such as AP9 Business Max.

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