Working with Difficult Coworkers (Podcast)

Lee Cockerell Creating Disney MagicAll of us will work with a difficult coworker at some point in our career.

Communication and patience are the best options when working with a difficult coworker. You can create an environment to communicate with the coworker about your working relationship. Communication can possibly help you create a better working environment. If not, you need patience until the situation changes. Or, you can get yourself out of the situation.

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1 Comment
  1. Lee!

    Another great PODCAST full of good sound advice. Thanks for hanging in there and continuing to share your wisdom and advice through these weekly podcasts. I’m glad to hear they are therapy for you!

    I think you really hit the nail on the head several times with this episode, and how important environment and relationship is on being able to have a positive influence on a difficult coworker or colleague. I think that the reason that feedback sometimes isn’t received as well as it could be is because it is given when the relationship and environment aren’t really right. I know that sometimes, the feedback is given more out of frustration than it is given to help the other person. I think the point you make about giving feedback to try to help people is a huge factor in how they might receive it. If it comes across that your intent is really to help them, they may be more willing to listen. If they think you are being critical or are just complaining, it’s pretty certain that you won’t improve anything, and probably will make matters worse. We have to see people as people first if we expect to communicate with them. Until we see them that way and understand that they are individuals who have their own story that we know nothing about, we probably won’t get too far trying to help them improve.

    So, even if you can’t control the environment so the feedback will be received in a positive way, your advice to just be your self is great. We can always control who we are and how we act. It seems to me that authentically positive and helpful people can certainly be contagious! They can have a positive influence on people they don’t even realize they have had an impact on. Having a helpful attitude and outlook is great medicine not only for those we’re trying to help, but also in making ourselves feel better. We know it is the right thing and a good thing to do. Kind of magic the way it works, really!

    This subject of difficult coworkers and bosses comes up a lot from students in my course… being your self or behaving authenticity, and having the right intention (to help people be better, not force them), and having the courage to have the right conversation can really help. And like you say, sometimes, the person is just not going to change, and you’re wasting your time trying with them. I tell my students that when the person remains miserable to work with after they have tried their best to make things better, there is still a positive lesson to take away from the unpleasant experience… I tell them to just look at the person, and see in them a perfect example of the person you don’t want to be…how you don’t ever want to behave toward people.

    …Then, look for a better environment! Sometimes, that is all you can do.

    Anyway, lot’s of great advice as usual! I’m looking forward to the next episode already!

    Thanks again Lee, and I hope you continue to feel better each day.

    Best wishes!


    PS: I’m still going to buy you that coffee one of these days!

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