It can be tough to work with rude people at work. That’s the topic we are covering in this week’s Virginia at Work segment written and reported on by Bill Wadell at WFXR news. Here’s the script for the news segment that will appear on tonight’s 10pm news. At the end look for 3 great ways to handle someone rude at your workplace.
Anchor: The weekend is over. Chances are you or someone you work with will be battling the Monday blues in the morning. For some, a cup of coffee or a good joke turns everything around. Other’s may bring a bad attitude for the day or the whole week. Bill Wadell shows us how a rude attitude can bring everyone down in tonight’s Virginia at Work.
Bill Wadell: Whether a construction sit, a busy office, a factory or a store, chances are there’s at least one boss or worker known for their attitude.
Lynda: “I think it’s important for people to have good relationships in the workplace and to know what you think is rude and what someone else thinks is rude. So depending on your behavioral style, it really makes a big difference.”
Bill Wadell: Some of us brush off a rude attitude or cold shoulder. Others will dwell about it for days. Lynda McNutt Foster says one bad apple can spoil a bunch.
Lynda: “It’s not just about the boss. If you have rude coworkers. Even one, they can set the tone for the entire day for everybody on the team.”
Bill Wadell: What is it like where you work? Friendly and upbeat? Or crass and filled with complainers?
Lynda: “Culture is just how we do things around here, and if rudeness is accepted and it’s not discussed in any way and it sort of gets out of hand and becomes the culture, productivity can go way down. I mean do you really want to work with someone you consider to be rude do you daily?”
Bill Wadell: Whether it’s venting, complaining, overhearing conversations or not respecting personal space, the situation can be worse in close work spaces.
Lynda: “Think about cubicle world right now. You’ve got people sitting next to each other in cubicles. Can you imagine sitting next to someone for 40 hours a week that you consider to be rude. not pleasant.”
Bill Wadell: It’s much more than just feelings. A rude leader or coworker can drag down production and morale. That can cost the business money, growth and even good employees start looking for a new job.
Lynda: “We think oh, it’s just isolated to this one person. No, that one person is affecting the happiness, the satisfaction of everyone else in their department. and they’re probably doing work around around that person which is highly inefficient.”
Difficult people at work are tough because you probably need to make a living which is why you are having to put up with the person. Remember, though, they may also be having to put up with you as well, perhaps. You can, of course, file a complaint when the behavior is out of bounds. You can also choose to change departments or leave the organization if the situation is causing you to lose sleep, change your demeanor in a negative way, or find yourself consumed with being annoyed by the person on a regular basis. You are not in control of other people’s actions. You are in control of how you respond, though.
For situations where you think or believe that improvement is possible, here are 3 ways to handle a rude coworker.
- Have a conversation, in a team meeting, to establish what is considered rude behavior. What is considered rude, many times, is cultural. A group in New York may have very different sets of what is considered rude in their workplace than someone in Roanoke. If someone is coming from a different work environment or culture they might not even know that what they are doing is rude.
- Don’t take it personal. Sometimes what is considered to be rude is due to a difference in behavioral styles. If one person is focused on task and the other person is focused on making light of a situation, there can be a clash of styles wherein one person feels the other is rude. Take notice of whether that person is what you would consider to be rude to just you or are they rude to others as well? If so, refer to great way number 1.
- Use humor. We forget to laugh when we are frustrate or insulted. When we are stuck in our “should” library of how someone else should behave we have a difficult time seeing the humor in a situation. If there is any way to laugh with the person it could open up an open dialog that allows the other person to see how what they are doing is affecting you.
Consider this from Will Smith.