Have you ever had that new co-worker that just irks you to no end? Here are a few ways to subtly let them know so that hopefully everyone will start to get along rather than plot to kill the new gal around the water cooler.
Casually tell stories that illustrate office and company culture. It’s fun to start out with, “did we ever tell you about the time that” and lead into a story that shows the fun side, the productive side, the causal side, the professional side, etc. What is this new person lacking that you’re hoping to see? Teaching through storytelling might be a great way to get through without nagging or hurting feelings and creating a rift between you and the new guy or gal.
Hey, between you and me... Have you caught the new assistant playing solitaire on their computer? Seen her mid-day Facebook posts about Lady Gaga when you aren’t in the music business? Figured out that he comes down for lunch at the exact same time every day and rolls out of the office 2 minutes before quitting time regardless of whether that project is finished or not, and when everyone else is toiling after hours? Sometimes starting constructive criticism with the phrase, “Between you and me” can make you look like the work pal and help your criticism come across as advice rather than an order, demand, or spying. “Hey, between you and me, I saw you playing solitaire the other day. I would recommend that you not do that when we have a big project and a bunch of us are working late. I don’t care what you do as long as you do your part, but I wouldn’t want the rest of the team or the boss to think you’re goofing off during the work day.”
Did you realize…? Sometimes people have annoying quirks that they don’t realize bother other folks. Sometimes just starting a conversation about it can spark some self-awareness and rapport so that you and your co-workers get along better. “How’s lunch? Hey did you realize that you come down at the EXACT same time every day for lunch!? Since I sit between the stairs and the break room I noticed that you come down when my clock says 11:58 every day!” Inside you might be thinking, “Dude, how can you eat at the same time every day!? I eat at varying times depending on my work load and where I am in my project. HOW are you NEVER in the middle of something at 11:58?” This may spark a conversation about their paleo diet, workout scheme, or health reasons for a strict eating regimen. Or it may make them realize that in the real world, you can’t let lunch and recess be your favorite parts of the day.
Rather than steam about the new guy that you wouldn’t have chosen as part of the team, look for ways to like them. This isn’t the playground and you can’t just tell your mom. In real life, we deal with people we don’t like. Having someone new on the team can add a whole new perspective. So integrate them instead of hate on them.