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Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Annoyance Factor -- Is It A Deal-Breaker?

Hi All:

I've written before about people getting the best of us -- "Under Your Skin," October 21, 2012.  I talked about controlling our anger, identifying the chink in our armor, and sealing it up.  Only problem is, when circumstances require us to be around those very people who still keep scratching up the armor, it's only too easy for our "shields" to malfunction under heavy (read irritating) firepower.

Let's say it's someone at work who just doesn't get it.  They might even acknowledge the situation and say, "I know, it's annoying, I'm being a pain when I do this," and then they still persist in doing it.  The time it takes to deal with what they do takes time away from everything else you need to do.

Here's a somewhat modified answer for this situation:

(1)  As stated before, don't lose it.  You'll let this foolio look like a victim, a martyr, and an innocent bystander, which we all know is not true.

(2)  Make it clear that what this person is doing, or not doing, is not acceptable, and must change.  Don't be swayed by excuses, blaming, apologies, or proclamations that this person is somehow a misunderstood genius and you should love them -- just lay down the law.

(3)  Most importantly, don't forget what you said.  If people like this see that you don't follow through, then they'll just walk all over you.  But if they see that you mean what you say, which may require you to repeat it again, and again, and again, and again (which in itself is frustrating when you think that this person is a fully-formed adult), they will get the point, and either adapt or leave.

(4)  Set boundaries.  If they can't respect them, then talk to someone at a higher rank and grade who has authority to deal with it in ways that you can't.

The trick is to be firm, but not ferocious.  To be assertive, but not furious.  To be friendly, but not weak.  To be honest, but not insane.

So many of us live in a black-and-white world, where no gray areas exist.  But all individuals are different, and so are all situations.  Find the gray area that colors you the best, and sends them the right signals.

Thanks All -- Spring is Coming!!!!

DISCLAIMER:  The above message was not meant to describe any actual person, or to insinuate or imply that anyone is actually taking advantage of the author of this message.  Any misunderstanding is entirely the responsibility and the perception of the reader.