Preventing Molehills from Becoming Mountains

We tend to get angry over the little things – the way someone says something, an employee late for work, making a computer mistake, not being friendly in the workplace, the coffee not being there, etc.

The question is why do the little things get to us? Why are they such a big deal? The real reason goes much deeper. Using insight, intuition and reasoning, you can get to the heart of the matter – if you want to.

Let’s analyze that list above. What all of those annoyances have in common is that someone did not hear you or listen or give value to your work or business, which means that they do not care. That translates into, “I or my work is not important enough, not worthy enough.” So what we do instead of facing these feelings is to get snappy in our tone, or we get quiet and detach. Some of us get angry and scream.

The solution? Simple, but not easy. First, you have to get to the bottom of your feelings and admit how you really feel without making excuses. Then, you have to find a way to share those feelings with the other person. Words to begin with are, “When you do this, I feel…”  There is no blame here. This is how you feel. If the other person gets defensive and angry, let them know that these are your feelings and focus on solving the problem where you both can create a positive solution in the workplace. The goal here is to catch this before it escalates. You may need help, but if you value your workplace relationships and want to make them work, you need to address the deeper issues of the annoyances. Wanting to work things out, finding the right support, and developing and following an action plan are key ingredients to working through the “small” issues that have large emotions attached to them. It’s never too late when you make up your mind to give it your best shot.

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