Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
Speaking Information at (727) 467-0202 or e-mail

Deal with the Jerks

What can you do when you have to work closely with somebody you can’t stand? What if you have to deal with the jerks? Take a good look at that person. Certainly there must be something positive about him or her on which you can connect. Maybe he or she has a good sense of humor, or an appreciation for the same kind of music that you like. Maybe the connection is that you both have children the same age, or that you love golf. As hard as it sometimes is to overlook the huge negatives that a rival or foe may carry, try, try, try to find some common ground. You may be right that the person is a jerk, unethical, amoral, incompetent, or something else, but if you have to deal with him or her, stop focusing on how you feel and start strategizing a way to make the relationship work in spite of those bad qualities.

Force yourself to step out of the immediate situation and evaluate it for what is really going on. I am sad to say that I have said, “I’d rather work for a man than a woman” many times in the past. Of course I did! The women I worked for were in no-win situations, being undermined by people above and below them. We all called them bitches, and maybe they were. But they were bitches because of us, and I wish I’d taken a minute to see what they were up against. We expected so much more of them than our male bosses. They had to be competent and kind. I had no idea what kind of a high-wire they were dancing on until the moment I crossed into management and had to dance myself. Ever clumsy, I quickly dropped to the ground.

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