Even if we like it or not many of us spend most of our day at work. If you add the sleep hours you need, plus the time spent on the commute, in many cases we spend more time with our coworkers than with our family and friends. In such situations, it is almost impossible not to have conflicts with some of them. To make your life less painful we will show you how to manage 7 difficult situations at work. These are the most common cases you might encounter.
1. My boss doesn’t like me
This is a hard spot to be in. This can drag you down and make your life a living hell. The first step of getting out of this situation is to find out why he dislikes you. Rather than guessing I would recommend you have a straight discussion. Don’t ask why you don’t like me. Maybe ask him how does he think you can improve your communication skills, your performance or become more productive. From the answers he gives, you can figure out what his problem is. Read between the lines.
Once you know what bothers him do all is in your power to meet his expectations. Meanwhile, try to notice any behavior change towards you. Does the attitude improves or stays the same? If you consider appropriate, you can have another talk with him and analyze together what you did well and what still needs to be improved. Make sure these meetings are initiated by you. In this way, he can notice that you really want to self-improve.
It might happen that your boss doesn’t like you as a person. There are cases where there is just no chemistry between two people. That is much harder to overrun. In the end, in this situation, all will resume to the capacity of both to be a pro and judge one another for what you do and not what you are.
2. I don’t feel appreciated enough
It is statistically proven that most people feel that they should be praised more for what they do. If you get to the point where you feel frustrated about it, this turns into a problem. You will lose motivation and in time your productivity might get affected. The only solution for this is to motivate yourself and find methods to see the good side of your work. Try to focus on the advantages and benefits you get. Things like personal development, people you get to know, certifications you might obtain using the knowledge you acquire at work, maybe flexible working hours and so on. If you reach the conclusion that despite all these you still don’t get the value you want from your job start looking for a new position somewhere else.
3. My salary raise was declined
If your salary raise was declined you still might not leave empty handed from your manager’s office. For this, you need to understand how money moves in a company, especially in multinational ones. Let me explain you something that applies to most of them.
In general, all salaries on a project are deducted from one cost center, while other expenses are supported by another cost centers. So if your raise was declined it might be because there are no money left for this on that specific budget. Try to obtain other benefits financed from somewhere else. This includes performance bonuses, more vacation days, a more flexible working schedule, discounts for different products or services (like transport to and from work), medical or life insurance and even company stocks at a special price.
4. I don’t get along with one of my colleagues
This is one of the most common difficult situations at work and is similar with the first one (where your boss doesn’t like you). The solution is the same: open discussion about what bothers both of you about each other and a strictly professional relationship if things don’t get better after this talk. Make sure you do your part so no one can accuse you of not doing your job. If your colleague doesn’t change his attitude you also have the possibility to escalate him to his boss.
Tip: I strongly advise not to escalate your boss to his supervisor. Do this only after eliminating all other possibilities to get along with him. I am not saying not to stand up for yourself but if you choose this path, make sure you have a strong case and solid proofs. This can easily backfire at you if it gets to your word against his.
5. I have an underperformer in my team
Underperformers are very common, especially in big teams where their lack of involvement can be easily covered by others and pass unnoticed. Yet, in a three men team, an underperformer can really drag down the whole project. If you notice an underperformer in your team you can act based on two aspects:
a. You are his colleague
In this case, is better to let his manager know about it and let him handle the situation. Why? Because the reasons behind his poor results might be multiple. Including personal reasons like health, family problems and so on. Is better to stay away from this.
b. You are his supervisor
If you are his manager the first thing you need to do is to find out why he is not delivering. Have a calm talk with him without accusing him of anything. Once you know the reason, agree upon a plan to improve his performance. Set strict tasks and deadlines. Follow up on the plan every week and make sure he sticks to it. Do micromanagement if needed.
6. The client has unrealistic requests
This is one of the situations where most people get stuck. As the client is always right, they end up spending resources and energy on a request that leads to nowhere. Fortunately, you can solve it really, really simple. All you have to do is bring valid points and arguments against it. If you know you are right, get proof and share it with your customer. He will understand if he is smart enough. If he still persists try to discuss with his manager and try to reason with him. If you already discussed with the final decision maker, and can’t find the middle ground, maybe it is time you consider your whole contract with him. Believe me, you don’t want a client with who you cannot reason. He will keep asking impossible things and cause you too many problems.
7. It seems you just can’t come to an agreement
You get along just perfect with your colleagues, your boss, and your customers. You have no major problems at work and you like what you do. The only thing is that today you just cannot agree upon a point with your fellow colleague. Both of you have good arguments and none wishes to give up. What can be done?
First of all, remember why you come at work every morning. If you are a software developer your purpose there is to create new apps. A small detail like having the most beautiful PowerPoint presentation has absolutely no importance, so don’t waste your time arguing about it. You are there to code! Just move on.
Second of all, try to be reasonable. As in a marriage, the relationship with your coworkers requires a lot of compromises. Even if today you consider to be right, maybe cut your colleague a slack this time. Let it be his way and have the favor returned some other time. In the end, that is a temporary problem and a problem usually has more than one solution.
If things still cannot be settled, let your manager decide for you. In this way, the problem is out of your hands and you have to comply even if you like it or not.
How do you manage difficult situations at work? Are there any others you often encounter? Let us know in a comment below. Thanks!
Tip: having problems with time management? Learn how to manage your time better.