Nov 20
In the Office – My Colleague is Rude

Q. I care a lot about the people on my team, so it’s frustrating when one of my “intellectual” colleagues with whom we collaborate talks down to them, is rude and insulting to the group.  What can I do to improve the situation for me and my team?  

A.  Great question! In any situation, there are three options; blame (people, things, environment, etc), change your procedure or change your perception.  Most people blame.  It’s easy to blame him/his behavior but the reality is you can’t change him so it’s not an effective approach.  Another option would be to change your procedure which may mean going to a superior, requesting a new collaboration partner, or talking with human resources to name a few.  The most powerful and personally empowering choice is to change your perceptions of him.

First, focus on the positives; make a list of the characteristics that make working with him beneficial for the team.  Since you get more of what you focus on, it is important to keep these characteristics in mind when you are dealing with him.

Second, understand that certain behavioral styles are more task-orientated than people-orientated which means it may not be natural for him to consider the impact of his behavior on your team.  A 2mm shift in perception from “he’s rude and insulting” to “it’s simply not natural for him to think of others” may allow you to neutralize your feelings about his behavior when you’re working together.

Remember, it’s our natural tendency to judge others based on our standards and then create a story around why they don’t respond the same way we would. When you and/or your team are feeling this way, it’s helpful to ask yourself the following questions:  Is it true?  Is it really true?  Is there no other possible reason in the universe this person could be behaving this way? How does thinking this way about him/her serve me?  If it doesn’t serve me, what else could I believe?  Once you are open to seeing other possibilities you become resourceful allowing room in your thinking to shift and relationships to change.

laughingLaura Treonze, serves as Chief Life Strategist with LMT Consulting, which helps executives and teams create massive success through self-awareness. Her life-changing approach has transformed individuals and families and has redefined the way non-profits and corporations “do” business.