Work: I can not stand my colleague, what to do? - The360 Lifestyle

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  • Saturday, November 30, 2019

    Work: I can not stand my colleague, what to do?

    Work: I can not stand my colleague, what to do?

    Relationships at work are sometimes very friendly, sometimes more tense... What to do when the relationship turns to conflict and welfare suffers? We asked two experts. 


    Christophe Deval and Sylvie Bernard-Curie are both director and director of human resources in companies, also psychologists and therapists, coauthors of the book Simplify your relations with others, at InterEditions.

    Relationships with co-workers can range from wonderful to frankly unpleasant. If some of them become friends and spend - in addition to working time - weekends and holidays together, others multiply tensions.

    Often a lack of organization

    There is what we can call the little fakes of daily life: because of the light or the air conditioning in the common space, we speak in an unpleasant way. And then there are people who do not like each other, almost animal, but it's much more rare. "Often, it is a fault in the organization of work that can cause tension. Faced with the workload, for example, some dare to say no, others do not. This can generate frustrations. "Explains Sylvie Bernard-Curie. This is the famous pile of files: when one always takes the smallest part of the pile, and the other the most important, there can be tensions.

    What place for the manager?

    "It is also possible that management is lacking and let people fend for themselves, adds Christophe Deval. There comes a moment when you have to ring "the end of recess". But beware, this same management can not do everything: the proximity manager is often overwhelmed himself, it is not necessarily bad because it does not solve the problem. He is just facing the same situation as the others: too much work and not enough resources."

    What to do in the event of a crisis?

    It is better to act before reaching such a state of exasperation towards the colleague that it becomes difficult to discuss. "I advise at first to try to fend for oneself, advises Christophe Deval. For when a problem is traced back to its hierarchy, it often becomes a source of problems. On the other hand, when the conflict is as inactive and the communication is difficult, it is necessary to appeal to a third party."

    And Sylvie Bernard-Curie adds: "I often see this from my experience in business and in my office: the problem is that people talk to everyone except the person concerned. At home, their spouse, other colleagues at the coffee machine... In short, all those who can not help it. "

    What if we tried to change our point of view?

    To solve a conflict, certain steps are important, as described by Christophe Deval:
    • First identify exactly what the person doing the problem is doing. "A typical general judgment" I do not support it "" leads to nothing. Define precisely what strikes one's own values.
    • Then, try to understand the other to defuse some of his anger. "What the other is doing is perfectly understandable from his point of view, even if I do not share it. "
    • Last step: to be well aware that the other is not going to change behavior under the pretext that one demands it. "It's valid at work as in the couple: the horrifying person will change (sometimes) only if, itself, one changes his behavior. What am I doing to create an opportunity for the other to change? "This implies that we must not have reached the stage where we are totally exasperated, adds Sylvie Bernard-Curie. Since in this case we can neither be lucid nor effective. "
    • And, in the best case, suggest to the person to drink a coffee and talk. The conversation will then be on a non-emotional level, staying focused on the common work and the practices to evolve, not on the person.


    In summary: when there is tension with someone you work with, the best solution is not necessarily to discuss it by saying "I see that there is a problem." It is often better to stay at work, wondering: "Do we always agree on the common goals and the means we take to achieve this?" to bring down the emotional charge and to bring back possible exchanges on a concrete plan. "Again summarize our experts.

    Do not encourage the situation

    For the future and not to reproduce the same situations, it is necessary to make a point and - delicate exercise - recognize its share of responsibility in a conflict.

    "That's the whole point of our book," explains Sylvie Bernard-Curie. Often, the frustrated person unconsciously reproduces and encourages this situation that exasperates him. The relational mechanisms are the same, whatever the context. " How to do ? If for example I get the whole pile of files and I grumble, I try the next time to take only half. If I am exasperated because one comes to me all the time to ask me for advice, but every time I answer and give advice, I necessarily encourage this behavior that I am supposed not to support .

    "In the couple, they are the same mechanisms, adds Christophe Deval: be furious with the behavior of the other without that nothing was said or done that encourages him to change. And, of course, blame him. "

    And in case we are the person "not supported"

    We talked about the case where we do not support his colleague, but the other side of the mirror deserves to be addressed. The case of Patrice, 43: "I work in open-space and a colleague has an openly unpleasant attitude towards me. I only see the jealousy to explain this behavior, but I can not even go see him and say "you're jealous but I can not help it!"

    What to do when faced with the hostility of a colleague? To this question, Christophe Deval responds with another: "The question then becomes: who has the problem? And two solutions are possible, as Sylvie Bernard-Curie develops: "In the face of an aggressive person, there are two possibilities: either we choose to live with the principle that" this problem does not come from me, it do not belong to me, so I do not have to solve it ", or a discussion arises:" Do you accept that we take a coffee to make things better? "Both attitudes are possible. The important thing is to make a clear choice.

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