Every workplace has them—those employees who always seem to be in a bad mood. Sometimes their frustration is totally justified, but the truth is that dealing with them can really destroy your productivity and even crush morale. You can’t totally sever ties with that person—you work with them, you need to collaborate and communicate with them on a daily basis. So, how do you deal without being dragged down? Here’s how to handle a co-worker who’s always upset or frustrated. 


Stay calm


It might be tough to stay cool and collected when you’re talking to someone who’s fired up, but as soon as you start to get emotional, you’ve put your focus in the wrong place. They might be venting to you or trying to rally you to be an ally, or they might even be attacking you or treating you rudely. Either way, you need to stay calm. An emotional or angry reaction from you will only make the situation worse.   


Ask questions


Show a little compassion. Ask some open-ended questions to find out what’s making your co-worker so frustrated. Is it just work or are there some factors in their personal life that are also causing angst. And if they’re angry at you, let them express that, acknowledge their feelings, but don’t take responsibility for their bad behavior.   


Express your feelings


Let your co-worker know how their negativity affects you. Tell them it distracts you from your work and destroys your good mood. And explain that a positive, optimistic environment is a lot healthier for your whole company. Encourage them to roll with the punches and focus on the things they can control. Set boundaries—let them know you’ll only hear out their gripes and complaints after hours. Or at lunch or break time when your productivity won’t be impacted.  


Ignore it


Sometimes showing compassion and empathy takes up too much time, especially if this co-worker really is always in a bad mood and soothing them becomes a daily task for you. If you tried setting boundaries and your co-worker is still coming around, dragging you down, try nodding, smiling and telling them you need to get back to work now.  


Talk to human resources


A consistently bad attitude at work is no joke. No one needs to deal with that when they’re trying to get work done. So if their bad mood and complaining persists even after you set boundaries and tried ignoring it, speak to someone in human resources. It’s unfortunate, but a formal reprimand might be the only thing that gets them on the right track again. If you can, prepare a list of specific instances so you have some documentation when you go to HR.  


For more tips on helping your company cultivate a positive work environment, contact PrideStaff Denver NW today. 

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