Co-Worker Moods & Games

Question:

There is a co-worker who supervises others, not me directly. She is rude and hasn’t got a clue on how to treat people. She has been in the system over 30 years. She has a Dr. Hyde Dr Jekyl personality. Each supervisor tried to make her do her work, but none can change her performance. Except one, who would return from another department. What can we do to change her behavior, moods and game playing? Thank you,

Signed,

Tired of the Diva


Answer:

Dear Tired of the Diva:

You are annoyed by the Diva. Yet, you don’t indicate that her mistreatment affects your work. You simply feel that this long-time employee shouldn’t be allowed to be rude. Would that I had a civility-be nice pill that you might give her. However, a one-year habit that works for an individual is hard to break, and a 30-year habit probably is nearly impossible to change. And who are you to change the Diva? Have you earned her respect? Will she listen to you? You say that the only supervisor who could shape her up is in another department, if I understood what you meant by that reference. Therefore, you are left with few options: · Live with it. Gossip about her rudeness to vent your displeasure · Have ready a few “stop it, Mary” remarks if she is rude to you, such as; “Mary, how does that talk fit into the Golden Rule of treat others as you want to be treated?” or “I hope you aren’t as mean as you sound, Mary. We are here to work together and work is hard enough without your tough talk.” · Report her behavior to Human Resources and request work group training in civility. · Privately confront Mary and say, “Mary, I have something on my heart that bothers me. You and I don’t work together often, but I feel I am wrong not to frankly tell you that how you treat coworkers is unkind. Are there things that I do or others do that really troubles you? Do we rub you the wrong way? Is there anything that we might do or not do to make you talk less harshly to us?” Or more simply, “Mary, what bothers you so much that you are rude to us coworkers?” · Approach what annoys you indirectly, such as by starting a workgroup effort to improve quality; ways to cut wasted supplies, time, energy and to make each other’s jobs easier and more effective. In sports that’s the purpose of skull sessions after and before each game. When work groups focus on delivering high quality goods and service to internal and external customers, how they treat each other can change, especially when and if a work group makes it a practice to periodically ask and answer such questions as: How well are we communicating as a team? What’s working well? What could make our work with each other better? Do any of these options make sense to you or spark an idea that might work? You are right to feel that putting up with rudeness should not be a job requirement. So put on your thinking cap and think about how working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Is not that really what you want; to enjoy working with your coworkers?

William Gorden