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Oh, today’s the last day in March. I sure hope you had a great month! Wishing you the very best in April.
It can be a little bit difficult to work with a coworker who wouldn’t want you to do your job. I know you may be of the opinion that that’s good news for you. But, to a certain extent, you may also want to really carry out your assignments and prove that you are up to the task. You also don’t want to appear to be a lazy person to your boss: and whoever may be watching you! These things could also affect your performance at work.
Some people find it difficult to give others autonomy over their job. It’s worse off if you are working with someone who probably got employed in the company before you and has to put you through certain processes, or if this person is your supervisor and won’t let you work the way you’d rather prefer.
Point blank: this person just wants to end up doing most, if not all of your work. It’s sort of terrible, because at some point you may end up wondering why were even hired in the first place if you can’t even get the job done by yourself.
The good news is that this post has very good suggestions that will help you maintain your sanity and keep you happy at work.
1. Get this coworker to trust you
I believe that people value your worth most when they can trust you. When they trust you enough to believe that you are capable and can handle your job. Find out what interests them and stir up a conversation, bit by bit. Try to know them beyond just work related matters. Build a relationship. People at the workplace are not robots but humans and they certainly have feelings and things they do outside work.
I’ve noticed that people love to talk about themselves, so make your coworker chat and become free enough with you, enough to trust you to do the job. Be careful and ensure that you don’t begin to pry into very personal affairs.
I saw this quote online and it made so much sense to me:
Personally, I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?”
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
2. Accept changes and demonstrate cooperation
If you notice that this person is interfering in your job with new ideas, then you may have to look at things from a different standpoint. Is this coworker bringing valuable suggestions and making a useful input to the growth of the company? Is this coworker proactive and ambitious?
Some people interfere at other people’s jobs at some point or the other, your ability to cooperate and also add value, which shows some level of team spirit, plays a huge role in determining success in your job too. This is because the management would definitely notice how you react to such actions by others.
Once you begin to look at it as competition between the both of you, it may turn out to be very unhealthy. With this in mind, discuss with your coworker on ways you can share the tasks so that you can both meet up with overall goals. After all, you both are working towards the success of your company in the first place.
Discuss how you will coordinate the smooth run of your tasks and work to celebrate success together.
3. Evaluate your workflow
Is this co-worker taking up much of your tasks and leaving you with nothing? Are there other things that you can do? Does this co-worker have so much to do because he/she has decided to carry on your responsibilities?
If there are other tasks for you, the ideal thing would be for you to focus on that and bring out quality work. Your coworker would realize that indeed you can handle certain matters.
Let’s be honest, this may affect your performance. It’s important for you to access and evaluate your workflow so that you have a fair idea and you are in a better position to speak with your co-worker in a bid to work things out if need be.
4. Let your colleague know that you appreciate his/ her efforts
I know that this sounds quite odd to you, especially if you are going through a similar situation. I was having a conversation with someone the other day; we discovered that from some research most workers who act this way may feel really insecure about their job and have low self-esteem. In this case, showing appreciation and commending him/ her for the effort will go a long way in making this co-worker trust you and possibly have a change of heart towards you.
If this person is actually doing a great job, let him/ her know and go on to inform him/ her that you can also handle the task.
For instance, “John, you really did a great job on the report and it was fantastic. I would love to work on it with you next time.”
If possible, show appreciation towards this co-worker in front of your manager or supervisor. Most times, your manager can notice an over-competitive person at work, but how you handle the situation goes a long way.
And when a ‘next time’ comes, and you both work on the report together, you want to let your co-worker realize that you can handle the task on your own and help reduce his/ her workload. These things take tactics if you ask me.
While these tips are so valuable, it’s also important that you remember to put in more effort to your job and provide good quality results. I always say to work hard and smart at the same time.
If all fails
If all fails (which I hope not), you may need to talk to this co-worker in person. Organize a meeting and speak to him/ her about your concerns, but don’t be confrontational.
If that doesn’t help out (with time), try to speak to your manager/ human resources personnel to find better ways to resolve the issue. However, it’s good to note that initial steps should be taken by you. Don’t just rush upfront to your manager.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond as soon as possible.
Also, I want to hear your thoughts on this topic. How will you handle a co-worker that interferes with your job or won’t let you do your job? Please share in the comment section below. I love to hear from you!
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