Do you ever get frustrated with the people you work with? Do you think they’re not doing their jobs or that they’re out to get you?

Workplace relationships might be the most difficult part of the job.  More difficult than learning the skills to master your position.

In my many years managing hundreds of associates, I saw employees lose a lot of time thinking and talking about their co-workers: what they were doing or not doing, how they were acting, and how they just didn’t get it.

I saw this decrease productivity and happiness in the workplace, making people get caught up on the little things more than the big picture. They didn’t perform well, they looked miserable, and they vented their frustration with other co-workers, which made for a tense workplace.

A stressful work environment isn’t the only bad result. When you get frustrated with your co-workers, you lose focus and it’s pretty much impossible to “kill it” at your job. [click here]

The best thing you can do is get out ahead of your frustration.

The Big Secret About Frustration

I want to help you decrease this type of frustration in your job. But you’re going to have to trust me because what I’m about to tell you is going to sound completely backwards.

Ready? OK, here goes: Your co-workers can’t cause your frustration. They can’t cause the feelings you’re experiencing. Your feelings can only come from how you’re thinking about your co-workers.

Stay with me here. I know you’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute! I have a whole list of things So-and-So said that were completely off-base!”

Here’s the thing, though. When you allow someone to control how you feel with their behavior, you give away all your power.  And that’s when you start to react in a way that is defensive, and you’re no longer dealing with the situation and the relationship with integrity.

So-and-So might have been the one saying aggressive things in the meeting, but when you get mad and act defensively or bad-mouth that person to someone else, you sink to that low level!

All of a sudden, you become as icky as So-and-So. Is that what you want? No way, right?

Instead of focusing on feeling frustrated, focus on the results you want and how you want to be perceived.

If you handle the situation with integrity, it’ll be So-and-So who looks like a spoiled toddler, not you. It will be clear that all the negative energy is only coming from the other person, not from you.

Frustration First Aid

The first step to handling these situations with integrity is to simply allow people to be who they are and say what they say. That doesn’t mean you don’t say something back, but it means you don’t react without thinking. You don’t allow yourself to slip into negative emotion based on what someone said.

Instead, stay calm and get curious. Say “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying. That’s an interesting opinion.” You change the whole experience when you know that what that person says has everything to do with that person and nothing to do with you.  Once you bring calmness and curiosity to the situation, it opens up a discussion instead of a conflict.

Remember, you’re all in the same boat at work, and you want the same results. You all want the company to be successful, and you want a healthy work environment.

It can be hard to see this about your co-workers sometimes, and setting aside your frustration is definitely a skill you have to build over time — you won’t perfect it overnight.

If you want support in dealing with your frustration about co-workers and building better relationships at work, click here for a free mini coaching session.[click here to get free mini-session]