Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Hazel
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:15 pm

Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by Hazel »

Hello all,

Recently I became the senior person on my team and I'm finding it maddening. I'm used to working with people more skilled and knowledgeable than me and I have very little patience for people not able to do their job at a level of quality that I find acceptable - or let's face it, approaches I disagree with.

There is a certain person I have become so frustrated with, I dread working with them and interacting with them makes me bristle.

They are a kind person with a good heart and I am sad that I have likely treated them poorly due to my frustrations. I am definitely the one in the wrong here, even though I think they are unqualified to be on the team.

What should I do!
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

You say that you are used to working with people who are more skilled and knowledgeable than you?
Maybe ask them how they were able to deal with you?
:rolling: :rolling: :rolling:

Actually, I've experienced that, or something similar to it,
working with people who really didn't seem to have a clue about what the goal of the project was.

This reminds me of the movie, Kung Fu Panda, when Master Shifu gets frustrated with Po, the Panda.

I think, from a Dharma perspective,
We can say that expecting others to live up to our expectations is an ego trip or whatever, but that doesn't really help.
It's easy to talk about having patience, some compassion, equanimity and so on.
But that also needs some kind of foundation. If it was as easy as just saying "practice patience" and snapping your fingers,
it wouldn't even be an issue.

In my experience, I mean, what I realized when I was dealing with that, was that
we only see the immediate thing that's going on. That's what we become frustrated with.
But everything is the result of causes and conditions, and those are all interconnected in many ways.
I realized that the person (people, actually) that I was working with had very different life experiences than I did.
They had different experiences in terms of education and training, and also, people had different "levels' of expectations of them in the past.
Of course, I also had an image in my head about "how it is all supposed to look" and that wasn't happening.

So, maybe keep in mind that they are not you.
they don't have your expertise, your experiences, your standards or whatever.
But, also consider that your inability to lead that person is also your flaw, not their flaw.
Perhaps, they've actually revealed to you your own weak spot.
Use training them or leading them patiently as your own opportunity to improve yourself.
To put it into Buddhist terms, that person becomes your teacher.

Then, you might not have to suffer from being mad at them.
.
.
.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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justsit
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Location: Delaware

Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by justsit »

Ah, you've met a Bengali tea boy! Very fortunate. :tongue:

https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/t ... li-tea-boy
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Kim O'Hara
Former staff member
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by Kim O'Hara »

justsit wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:33 pm Ah, you've met a Bengali tea boy! Very fortunate. :tongue:

https://www.buddhistdoor.net/features/t ... li-tea-boy
:good:

The idea of the annoying person as our best teacher of patience and compassion was also stressed in the meditation group I used to attend, and it has often helped me. Their other way of looking at the problem was to point out that we have no control over the other person's thoughts and actions but we can (hopefully) (sometimes) control our own. Controlling our own reactions is therefore the only possible way of improving the situation and is definitely worth a try.

:namaste:
Kim
SteRo
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Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by SteRo »

Aggregates.
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Hazel
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Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by Hazel »

Thank you for all the responses so far! :bow:

I talked to our manager about the coworker's performance and my manager said she agrees, but thinks with a good and dedicated mentor my coworker's performance can be turned around.

I've volunteered to be that mentor :twothumbsup:.
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:52 pm You say that you are used to working with people who are more skilled and knowledgeable than you?
Maybe ask them how they were able to deal with you?
:rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
:rolling:
Kamshan
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:41 am

Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by Kamshan »

The following verse from Thubten Chodron encourages me to transform my attitudes towards work, coworkers, and clients (see https://thubtenchodron.org/2012/07/mona ... g-service/):
Instead of seeing your job as work, see it as offering service to the Three Jewels and to sentient beings. Recite this verse every day before going to your job.

We are grateful for the opportunity to offer service to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and to sentient beings. While working with others, differences in ideas and ways of doing things may arise. These are natural and are a source of creative exchange; our minds don’t need to make them into conflicts. We will endeavor to listen deeply and communicate wisely and kindly as we work together for our common goal. By using our body and speech to support the values we deeply believe in—generosity, kindness, ethical conduct, love, and compassion—we will create great merit which we dedicate for the awakening of all beings.
muni
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Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by muni »

If these people are not qualified, are there no possibilities to introduce/educate them, help them, in order to be qualified enough, if the lack of being qualified influenced there work? ............. to give those poor people a chance?

Since Thubten Chodron is here mentioned, creating harmony in the environent (or at least wishing to do so) is good medicine for frustrated mind. While wishing all are fitting, feeds frustration.

This from H H Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron:
Ethical conduct means to refrain from doing harm. It applies to both monastics and lay followers because all of us need to refrain from harming ourselves and others in order to progress on the path and to create peace in the lives of those around us.

from here: https://www.lionsroar.com/ethical-condu ... -practice/

Good luck! :namaste:
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
muni
Posts: 4943
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by muni »

Hazel wrote: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:51 pm Thank you for all the responses so far! :bow:

I talked to our manager about the coworker's performance and my manager said she agrees, but thinks with a good and dedicated mentor my coworker's performance can be turned around.

I've volunteered to be that mentor :twothumbsup:.
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
LittleDee
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Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:30 pm

Re: Dealing with Frustrating Coworkers

Post by LittleDee »

I have had many situations where I had to deal with toxic people taking things way too seriously and or just in general being mean spirited.

(Factory / warehouse work and restaurants)

The reality is, it’s everywhere you go.

I have always been passive and quiet. It seems to invite it towards me - but mostly everyone else also noticed the behavior of these kind of people and can look past it.

For me, when I have to deal with these brutal types of people, I just remain aware of the emotion it causes, breath and stay focused on what I’m doing.

It doesn’t seem to make much sense to engage these kind of people, and if it does get to the point where I want to lose my patience, I turn to management to diffuse the situation.

I don’t know really the right way.

Do we need to fight every single person that seems to carry that passive aggressive, negative energy towards us?

I would be afraid that always having to take a defensive act against people pushing our buttons or being difficult would lead to a vicious circle wouldn’t it??
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