High Maintenance Colleagues: How NOT to Be Annoyed w/ Them #PeopleSkills

Have you ever thought of some people in your circle as high maintenance colleagues? Perhaps you even think about being free of them because you see them as an annoyance. Well you can get rid of your annoyance without getting rid of them. The first step is to know exactly how you define high maintenance and why that annoys you. Then move on more easily to having a positive relationship with them instead of enduring annoying interactions.



High Maintenance Colleagues: Image is pencil broken in two pieces.

High Maintenance Colleagues: Why Are You Frustrated w/ Them?

Image by Eric via Flickr Attribution-NoDerivs License.


High Maintenance Colleagues – Who Are They?

How do you define high maintenance? Through years of consulting, I have found that mostly you use it to mean someone who wants lots of attention and support. You use it if you are more independent and deep-thinking. Mostly you communicate for a purpose and that purpose is often to convey information or your view.

When you meet people who communicate to connect, understand, expand views, build a relationship, and/or feel good, you see them as high maintenance. Ask yourself, though, how do they see you? Is it possible that to them, you are high maintenance colleagues? They feel they must spend more time drawing you in to get the information they need and the interaction they want.


Why They Annoy You & You Annoy Them

  • You all have different personality types, learning styles, and conative styles

  • Differences trigger your suspicions and fear of being manipulated and controlled.

  • All of this is far outside your habit and comfort zone.


High Maintenance Colleagues: How to Replace Annoyance w/ People Skills

  1. Start with the awareness that the annoyance is mutual.

  2. Replace avoidance of them with a basic respectful conversation about your differences.

  3. If possible, take personality/social styles indicator so you can clearly see how the differences have caused annoyance. Instead of labeling each other as an annoyance, see the differences and how to close the gaps.

  4. List some tangible accommodations you will each make to the other to have a positive relationship that does not overburden any one of you.


Why Bother?

Your career will take many twists and turns. You will never know whom you will meet and need to work with. Avoidance of what you see as high maintenance colleagues now, can easily become a pattern that will limit your career success in other places. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, people know when you are avoiding them. Annoyance and avoidance can easily become resentment and silence all around. Once that happens, it is difficult to undo. Don’t let it happen. Replace annoyance with mutual understanding and accommodation.



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From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2024 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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