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Interpersonal Issues at Work

Closeup portrait of man woman couple standing with backs together covering ears, closed eyes, not listening to each other isolated on white background. Negative human emotions facial expressions

Interpersonal issues at work can be a major cause of stress. We don’t get to choose necessarily who we work with, but we are obligated to treat others at least cordially.  All of us have good and bad days and a multitude of factors affect our behaviors in ways that can have a positive or negative effect on others. These interactions affect the overall ethos of an organization.

What can you do to make sure you treat and are treated well by your co-workers?  Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been written on these subjects. In previous blogs, we have discussed how we handle such issues from procedural perspective and how we create a culture that seeks to create a caring and productive environment. The intention here is to discuss our individual responsibilities and a possible framework for dealing with others.

We are immersed in an overall culture where blaming and finding fault are prevalent. As individuals, we are first and foremost responsible for our own behavior. Controlling one’s own behavior is a challenge for most of us (e.g., changing a habit that may not be desirable to us). A good starting point may be trying to listen imagine how you would feel if someone said or did the same action to you before you do that action.  Taking actions in a thoughtful and kind manner is more likely to produce a good outcome than spreading negativity. This approach may not always be rewarded, but it is likely better than reacting thoughtlessly.  Just taking a minute to think about the consequences of an action or verbal statement can prevent some interpersonal issues.

Because many of us work closely with each other and spend much of time at work, it simply makes sense to try to make our relationships more giving and positive. Negativity is a poison that that we need not choose to drink.

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