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Do You Play Well With Others?

3 Ways To Be A Team Player And Deal With Difficult Behaviors


No matter where you are or where you go, you will be interacting with others. The workplace is no exception, and it is arguably one of the more important social environments you will face. It is where you will spend a lot of your time and energy, and it involves high-stake interactions. 

Additionally, the reality is, even if you are the world champ of social interactions, there will always be those that bring difficult behaviors along with them. It could even just be your personal preference that gets in the way of positive interactions. 

So, what does all of this mean? There is no avoiding social interactions or difficult behaviors; we can only do our best to be a positive influence and manage our team effectively. Here are 3 tips for how to be a team player and deal with difficult behaviors:


1) Remember the goal

Does your project have a clear “why”? One of the main reasons projects fail is either not setting a clear goal - or “why” - or not communicating that “why.” Your “why” is a great thing to refer back to when questions arise, when you need to make decisions, or when there is a disagreement. Recognizing that we’re all here for the same reason can help you work even better together with your team. 


2) Be sensitive to progress-preventing behaviors

People don't mean to prevent progress, but sometimes difficult behaviors can get in the way of reaching that aforementioned common goal. First, understand and acknowledge that behaviors are not people. Using appropriate and sensitive guidance, difficult behaviors can be counteracted with the right compensatory actions on your and your team's part. Use new tools and/or nonverbal cues when appropriate to offset or realign certain behaviors. For example, if you have a team member who can be a bit . . . overbearing, keep a roles and responsibilities sheet handy that outlines who's doing what, and refer back to it if boundaries become blurred. The roles reference keeps everyone's toes happy and out of harm's way, without anyone cast in the role of The Bad Guy.


3) Know when to walk away

We're not going to lie--there are times when you just can't deal with certain behaviors or you might go nuts. Know your triggers, know your limits, and don't lose your self control. This could result in making a toxic behavior or situation even worse, and it will undoubtedly do more harm than good. Richard Manly recognizes, "one of the strongest workplace emotions is rage." Know that nothing productive will come from losing your cool, and if you find yourself in a situation where this becomes a real possibility, take a step back. Take a minute to put things in perspective (remember the goal!) before negative behavior takes a toll on you and manifests in poor performance.


How else can you be a team player? How do you respond to difficult behaviors? Do you play well with others? Let us know in the comments! 



Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Communication & Collaboration, Leadership & Influence

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com


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