Thursday, December 28, 2006

Working With You is Killing Me!

It's 6 PM and I'm behind schedule. Some errands must be run and a hot dinner date awaits.

Dagnabit! I'd resolved to blow this joint. But bag in hand, I was making tracks to turn off my computer and put on my coat when Kate Lorenz's article caught my eye: MSN Careers/Career Advice - Working With You is Killing Me!

The title compelled me to cool my heels long enough to peruse the piece, blog this post, and urge an acquaintance (who sorely needed to read it) to take a look, too.

Here's why the article is so compelling:

The book, Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work (Warner Business Books, 2006), is a worthwhile read. Months ago, I'd read the editorial reviews, seen TV interviews with the authors - Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster - and resolved to book 'em for an upcoming Lisa Tolliver Show.

The characters and emotional traps the book addresses are, regrettably, all too familiar. Thanks to countless colleagues, clients, subcontractors, students, and even relatives and radio guests I've had occasions to collaborate with in one way or another, I've seen it all. You probably have, too. Consequently, it's common knowledge: all the expertise in the world can't stave off encounters with people and situations like those Crowley and Elster describe.

Hence, the value of the serenity prayer and the book's five steps for effectively handling almost any interpersonal situation at work. The process works elsewhere, too.

  1. Acknowledge that there is a problem. Get out of denial. Acknowledge the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral signs that you are "hooked" in an emotionally distressing situation. Once you do, you can make a new plan, Stan, to empower yourself to manage your reactions to stress-provoking personalities and situations. To do so, you'll have to...
  2. Unhook physically.
  3. Unhook mentally.
  4. Unhook verbally.
  5. Unhook with a business tool.
You can read the article and book, Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work, for yourself. You might also want to keep your eye on my events calendar so you can join the authors and me on air.

But right here, right now:
  1. I acknowledge the need to unhook from work mode and to end this post.
  2. I'm donning my coat.
  3. I've mentally mapped my exit route. (Out the back, Jack.)
  4. I'm saying "hasta la vista" to my colleague.
  5. I'm turning off the computer.