You are feeling great today. You got up early, got the kids off to school and made it into work with time to spare for a cup of tea. You step over to your co-worker’s desk to ask a question, and their sharp response takes you by surprise. You did not deserve to be treated that way and are pretty stunned. Wow, they are in a really bad mood, what should you do?
Do you go back to your desk feeling hurt, dejected, and angry? No, you need to find out what is going on, but how? You certainly do not want to put yourself in a position where you might get snapped at again, so what is the best plan of action?
There are five things you can do to make a situation like this better for you and possibly your co-worker.
1. Be nice. This sounds simple but if you have just been “snapped” at by your co-worker it might not be. The first important fact to realize is “you have not done anything to deserve this response” so there must be something else that is going on. Just be nice, do not react to their sting, something is wrong in their world and probably does not involve you.
2. Ask them if there is anything that you have done to upset them. By asking this simple question you not only are making them stop to examine what they have said, but also how they are behaving.
3. Listen to what they have to say. They may be short with their answer and make sharp remarks, but try to read between the lines to figure out if you are the cause of their behavior. You can figure this out if they say nothing that concerns something you did.
4. Once you realize that there is something else going on and you are not the focal point of their mood, practice “simple acts of kindness” to him or her, realizing that this happens to every person that has ever been created and it may be you tomorrow.
5. Smile and make sure that you do not wear their mood on your shoulders. Bad moods do have the tendency to jump from one person to another, especially in the office setting. Keep your guard up and don’t let this happen to you or your teammates.
Go on with your day as planned doing the best that you can under the circumstances. Also, put this experience in the back of your mind ready to pull out if you are ever in a bad mood. Hopefully, by remembering the situation you will be able to rise above your bad mood and not bring it into the workplace with you sparing your co-workers of any potential “bites.”
“Let small issues go, but remember the lessons learned” ~ Unknown