How to avoid catching a bad mood from your coworker

We have all at some stage within our working careers had that one particular co-worker in the office, that no matter what you say to try to help their current situation or maybe just in general, has had a bad mood or attitude at work.

Sometimes it can be that your co-worker will be in this mindset for a few hours, and for others it maybe all day. The fact of the matter is, it can be somewhat of a challenge to be able to deal with this type of behaviour.

When you look at the broader picture outside our traditional family and friend unit, we spend a 1/3 of our lives within the working environment.

So you maybe asking the question, how do I avoid catching your co-worker’s bad mood?

Here are some helpful tips and strategies that you may want to look at next time you are placed within this situation:

  • When the Problem Continues

When we look at the overall picture of life, each and everyone of us has our good and bad days.  When we are put in the situation where by our colleague’s negative attitude is persistent and affect your quality of work, start by talking with them over a coffee and explain to them about their attitude and how it is affecting both your work and the team’s work.  By talking it through your colleague will hopefully be more aware of their behaviour and look at ways at changing.

  • Signs

You will find that sometimes your coworker may make it clear to you and to others that they are in a bad mood and may not want to talk. Watch out for body language and clues that say “Stay Away”.  A closed office door or a turned back to you are signs that someone may not be feeling chatty.  Moody people with send out signals that they aren’t feeling great, and its up to you to pay attention to them.

  • Being a Friend

By showing kindness to a moody coworker can be helpful to them.  Look at offering to treat them to a coffee or lunch, invite them to take a walk outside or grab a snack from the vending machine.  Don’t repeatedly ask your coworker what’s wrong, maybe look at saying something like “You seem a bit out today.  Is there anything I can help you with?” By doing this, it not only tells you colleague that their mood has been noticed, it gives them an opportunity to share what’s wrong or adjust their attitude.

What strategies have you used in your workplace when you have been faced with this situation?

amandaAmanda Ogden is from Sydney Australia, and has spent the past 13 years working within the welfare industry in both administration and case management assisting people with mental health issues, mild intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, drug & alcohol, homelessness gain employment. She also loves travelling, creating jewellery, music, friends and family.

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