What if that annoying colleague stopped being annoying?

We’ve all been there. We may not  have actually taken out our anger on the person but we’ve wished to.

So, what if that annoying colleague stopped being annoying? How would that be?

And why are they annoying anyway? Are they annoying for everyone or is it just you that they rub up the wrong way??

Are you maybe annoying them? How would it be if you were not annoying either?

I’ve been doing some thinking about what makes us annoying and how that affects our work relationships.

You probably already know that there are some things you do which annoy your colleagues – some of mine would be:-

  • Interrupting people with questions when they are trying to concentrate
  • Being optimistic that everything will all work out when there is no evidence to suggest it will
  • Changing my mind about what I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it
  • Always asking for other people’s opinions instead of just having my own opinion
  • Just not being that motivated to complete a task but instead being much more concerned that everyone is feeling involved and happy in their work

I’d better stop there although I could think of plenty more.

The problem is, that’s just me, that’s how I am so how can I stop annoying other people without feeling that my style is being cramped?

So that’s my first problem but what bothers me more is my, oh so annoying colleagues (bless them!)

Why can’t they:-

  • Try out some new ways of doing things?
  • Be flexible if there is a room change or the meeting time changes?
  • Look up a bit more often from their beloved computer screen?
  • Brainstorm in meetings without having to have forewarning about what we’re going to be discussing?
  • Open up a bit more about themselves?

According to a survey quoted in the Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/quiz/questions/0,5961,991685,00.html one in three workers in the UK have considered leaving their jobs due to the irritating habits of their colleagues.

So what is to be done? Fortunately there is a really useful tool which can help us understand why we do what we do, why others do what we do and how we can change or adapt our behaviour so that we can get along together better . You may even have used this tool but since first being given it have metaphorically put it away and forgotten all about it.

I’m talking about the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I’ve been learning from, and adding to, my knowledge of the MBTI for years. It doesn’t excuse bad or incompetent behaviour but it can sometimes explain why it may occur. Best of all it can help you to understand why someone else operates so differently from you and what you can do to work with each other well despite or even sometimes because of your differences.

Will it stop your annoying colleague being annoying? Well maybe it will, maybe, to misquote a common quotation, ‘annoyance is in the eye of the beholder’.

I am often asked about ROI (return on investment) on one to one and team coaching as well as on psychometric analysis such as MBTI. My question would be, if one in three workers in the UK have considered leaving their jobs due to the irritating habits of their colleagues, how many have actually done so and how much has that cost the company? If coaching and/ or the use of MBTI could iron out even some of those irritating habits, how much would you value that?

If you have never looked in to MBTI or if you ‘did it’ some time ago and have put it on the back shelf maybe now is the time to consider how it could improve your personal effectiveness, your team work and ultimately your productivity.