There are people who drain me – by negativity, by unwillingness to change, by ignorance. Working together with them is difficult at best, aggrevating at worst. So what can I do?
I can avoid working with them.
Sometimes it’s possible but most of the times it’s not my choice. Removing myself from a difficult situation also keeps me from a learning opportunity. And there’s nothing I appreciate more than learning.
I can ask them to be more considerate.
Sometimes the other party is not aware how they affect others around them, so it can be a good idea to let them know, explain how they make me feel and discuss how we can work together better.
I can try to convince them.
I’m not good at debates even though I absolutely value their significance. A good discussion can open up avenues that none of the parties considered before which is a big win. In my experience though, it’s rare that we can have cultured arguments that don’t turn personal.
I can change the energy of the conversation.
I learnt this at my last coaching session. When we talked about this topic, my coach helped me realise that if I feel depleted after a particular meeting, it’s just as much my doing as the other person’s. So what can I do to change this energy?
He called it hype yourself up.
He reminded me to enter the conversation with a positive energy. If needed, to find something that can quickly lift my spirits before the meeting: a walk, a song or a breathing exercise.
He said to try to leave it positively as well. To summarise in the end what we achieved, how it will help our common goal.
I tell you, it had great results. It helped me take back some of the control I thought I lost, and it also helped to be more open to the other person, as I wasn’t that busy licking my own wounds.
It’s still a work in progress, but I highly recommend it.