WORKPLACE / OCT. 22, 2014
version 7, draft 7

Don’t Avoid Working With an Insecure Colleague

Don’t avoid working with an insecure colleague there may be a valuable lesson to be learned. Dealing with an insecure colleague can be stressing. It’s never easy to deal with an insecure co-worker, but because for the most part they think you are out to get them, and that you are gunning for their job there may be a valuable team building lesson to be learned. Yes, it can be frustrating working with someone that is insecure, but if you handle the situation with finesse you can actually learn a lot about team building and leadership.

Don’t avoid working with them

Our first inclination is to avoid working with an insecure person, because we really don’t understand their insecurities or want to deal with their personality, but instead of shunning them why not take a proactive approach and work with them. You should take this opportunity to challenge yourself and become a better leader. It doesn’t take much to reassure them of the value they bring to the table. If you are constantly avoiding working with them, you are probably fueling their insecurities.

Your co-worker will feel left out and unwanted. Why not try to include them to your team. Include them in all the emails. Don’t side swipe them, include them in all aspects of the project even if it is not relevant to them, they will start feeling included and essential to the team. They will probably feel somewhat relieved to know that you are not gunning for their job.

Praise their work

It may sound over the top to have to praise a person’s work every five seconds, but it will do the trick, and it will also give you leadership training. We are not all wired the same, and we don’t all feel the same way about work methods, but if you show a little appreciation for the smallest of details towards an insecure person’s work this will make everyone’s life much easier and pleasant at work.

If you are worried that in praising their work you are taking the spotlight out of your own accomplishments think again! It’s to your benefit to be seen as a team leader. Chances are everyone in your office knows the modus operandi of your colleague, and they themselves don’t want to deal with them including your boss. The less headaches your boss has to deal with, the better it is for them, and if you so, happen to be the one keeping the team together this will not go unnoticed. You can learn valuable team skills by working with different personalities and work styles. Someone’s got to take the initiative… So, why shouldn’t it be you?

Never get into nitpicking situation

It’s common when working on a project with multiple people to have someone want to have the last say in the project especially if your colleague is insecure. Let’s take for example the following situation… your team has finally finished designing a campaign, and you have decided on a slogan, content marketing, and logo, but of course there is always that insecure colleague that wants to nitpick the final detail and change a letter, or a color, or something in the formatting to have the final say in the project. Your first inclination might be to say… “What difference does it make?” and this can bring on unnecessary headaches and arguments that you and your team members don’t need.

The reality of the situation is, chances are everyone knows the value each team member has contributed to the project and getting into an argument over something small is not worth anyone’s time and effort and it only takes away from all the work you and your team members have accomplished. Let them have that last paragraph format change. It’s probably not going to make that much of a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

So, before you go head to head with an insecure person over a small matter take a second, breathe and ask yourself… “How does this really affect my work?” Chances are everyone on your team knows how insecure your co-worker is and why they are doing what they are doing. Don’t play into the game. Praise their work, include them in all emails, let them make that final formatting decision, remember your boss, as well as your other colleagues know your value to the project. At the of the day, by showing your team members grace, you are training yourself for bigger and better things in the future as a Team Project Leader.

 


Image Source: jenniferdziura

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