Effective teammates make the dream team and dream work. You might have heard this slogan in one of your team building workshops. Unfortunately, working in a dream team is not a reality always.
When you are spending 40 hours a week with the same group of people, something or someone is bound to start getting on your nerves. Of course, you will connect with some good coworkers who will help you grow in your life. You might also become friends with them, which is a great thing. However, you will also come across one or many challenging, difficult, or otherwise annoying teammates. Some of your coworkers can really get in your way and even get on your nerves if you are not careful enough. Thus, it is crucial to work with them effectively.
Moreover, when you are working with one of those troublesome teammates, your so-called teamwork can soon become a living nightmare. Completing tasks takes much longer, productivity gets reduced and there is tension in the air. Such an unhealthy work environment can result in unhappiness for both you and your other teammates.
Moreover, this unhealthy working environment can create several issues for you and your other team members. For instance, issues such as annoyance, frustration, and unnecessary tension can skip in – which can hamper your overall productivity. And because positive teams are more productive, it is imperative to deal with such troubling teammates effectively. Only then you can ensure the smooth functioning of your team.
In this article, we will discuss three issues that can arise when working with troublesome teammates and how you can avoid your coworker from getting onto your nerves.
Problem # 1 – Annoyance
It is no secret. When you are working with a troublesome teammate, you are bound to get annoyed. And this annoyance can greatly influence your work quality in your organization. From missing tight project deadlines to not finishing your assigned work – several things can wrong when you feel annoyed.
Of course, troubling teammates can affect your professional life. But the annoyance caused can also take its toll on your personal life. Therefore, it becomes imperative to deal with such annoyance appropriately. In the following section, we will discuss some of how you can maintain your cool when your coworkers are annoying you.
1. Give yourself some timeout
Giving yourself some timeout does not mean that you have to count to ten and then respond to that annoying coworker. It means that you have to take a breather when your teammate is getting onto your nerves.
Get your own space for some time. It is the most effective way to avoid saying something that you might regret later on. If possible, take a walk or speak to someone close to you. This will help you clear your mind. If not, you can even have a seat alone in the conference room and breathe out whatever is troubling you.
Having a timeout is crucial because nothing good is going to come out of emotion in the workplace. The one who gets emotional is the one who stands to lose the most. Therefore, step away and clear your head. This will allow you to focus on your job more effectively, resulting in better productivity.
2. Do not take it personally
Of course, there will be some personalities in your workplace that are completely exhausting. For instance, you will have some coworkers who are passively aggressive or are micromanaging everything.
But there will be some personalities that are simply not compatible with anyone. For instance, listening to loud music, eating food in a crowded space, and clipping nails during the meeting. However, rather than taking it personally and letting them crawl under your skin, it is better not to take their impolite behavior personally.
It can be a case that they are not doing it personally to irritate you. The behavior is a reflection of simply who they are. Having said that, they might not even realize that they are doing something that is annoying you. Therefore, it is better to not take it personally and focus your attention on something else which is more important.
3. Look at one positive and keep focusing on it
For many, annoyance has the tendency to grow. Such is human nature. When you notice something about someone that character flaw can riddle with your patience. In other words, it becomes easier for you to see more and more of that flaw.
Having such a habit can be really dangerous for you. Especially, if it keeps boiling your blood for weeks, months, or even years. Thus, it is crucial to look for a silver lining whenever possible. Try and look for at least one positive trait in that troubling teammate and keep focusing on it. You can even try to compliment that coworker on that positive trait and start a new budding relationship.
Doing so will allow you to stop focusing on the negative aspect and put much more emphasis on the positive side. Therefore, ensuring that you can work with complete concentration and productivity. A win-win for everyone.
Problem #2 – Frustration
Working with troublesome teammates can also lead to immense frustration. And just like annoyance, frustration can also have an impact on your workplace productivity. The fast, tense, and competitive workplaces are already taking their toll on your mental and physical health. Therefore, you do not have any unnecessary frustration arising because of a coworker who is constantly getting onto your nerves.
As it can result in reduced productivity sooner rather than later, it becomes imperative to address such a situation as soon as possible. In the section below, we will discuss some of how you can address the arising frustration and does not let it hamper your productivity.
1. Find the root cause
If the frustration is going way beyond your control and has already started to impact your productivity, it is time to go deep and find the root cause. Determine whether the team member is difficult to deal with because of their poor work ethics, bad attitude, or lack of right skill sets.
For instance, say that you are frustrated with a team member because of their tardiness. Only telling them not to be late anyone is not going to cut to the chase. Of course, there has to be some problem that is making them late consistently. Therefore, ask them what the problem is about and listen to their response.
If the problem is minor and something that you can assist with, then speak to them and provide them the guidance they need. If the problem is more major, then maybe you can ask your manager to get involved and see if the problem can be resolved. Tell your manager that it is affecting the team productivity and getting the problem solved is in everyone’s best interest.
2. Do not beat yourself up
Dealing with troublesome teammates can be an exhausting and time-consuming experience. However, it does not means that you will beat yourself up and try to look for some other position in a different organization.
If it is the case, you might end up working with an even worse team member at your next job. Therefore, giving up is not the right solution. Of course, growing frustration will make you think so. But it is not the right choice by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, you should focus on improving your productivity.
Try to distract yourself from that troubling team member. Maybe a change of desk or swapping your responsibilities with another team member will help increase the overall team productivity. There are several things that you can do at your end to avoid frustration. You can even ask your manager to let you work remotely for a few days. This will help you reduce the frustration at your end and will also not impact your workplace productivity.
Problem #3 – Tension
Both annoyance and frustration can turn into unnecessary tension very quickly in workplaces. If this is the case with you, then your productivity is certainly hampered already. However, you cannot let it continue the way it is, as these workplace tensions can soon also affect your personal life.
Therefore, it is crucial to get a fix immediately to this troublesome teammate problem. The following are some of the ways using which you can handle the situation much more appropriately.
1. Look for some common interests
If you are continuously rubbing shoulders with that troubling team member, you are possibly better off looking for a common interest. Having common ground with someone makes life much easier.
Even if the common interest is the simple dislike that you have towards coffee it is well and good. Therefore, look for something common between the two of you and speak about that with each other. This will help you in working with each other more tolerable. And thus, subsequently resulting in reduced workplace tension.
2. Show them your kindness
When you are dealing with a workplace bully or a negative person, it is essential to maintain a calm attitude and remain kind towards them. Even when your team member is going completely out of his/her way to bring you down, don’t let them get under your skin.
Instead, you should focus on staying out of arguments and debates as these can affect your workplace productivity. All you must focus on is to do your work to your fullest potential. Moreover, as you keep working, as usual, you should continue to smile and be kind towards them. This will make them understand that you are not worried about their attitude and at some point in time, they will give up.
3. Remain assertive
Even when you have tried everything and still your team member continues to annoy you, then you have to take the matter in hand. Stand up for yourself and your needs. Tell your team member that he/she is distracting you and it is impacting your productivity negatively.
Of course, make sure that you are doing so in a polite manner. You do not have to get into arguments and debates. But make sure that you are assertive. If they still do not understand the issue, it is probably time to involve your manager. But do so only when you have tried every other possible way to resolve the issues.
There is going to be one guy at every organization that will make life difficult for other team members. Therefore, giving up is not a solution. However, you cannot even let that annoying and troubling team member bring you down at the workplace.
Therefore, it is crucial to find appropriate solutions and deal with the situation in the right manner. Of course, one solution is not going to fit every situation and circumstance. But as a good team player, it is in your hand to determine the best course of action that can help in improving the overall team productivity.