Stay Sane in the Fast Lane: How to Deal with Hurdles at Work

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Your manner of approach to each hurdle you come across decides who comes out on top - you or the hurdle. Here's how to deal.

"Success attainment indicates hurdles have been surmounted." - Saheed Oladele

Can I be straight up with you? You’ll definitely face hurdles in your endeavors. It’s just the way it is. Life is full of hurdles; some will take control of you while some others, you will surmount.

Your manner of approach to each hurdle you come across decides who comes out on top - you or the hurdle. There’s no running away from setbacks, you just gotta face them.

In this piece, I’d categorize life hurdles into two categories:

  1. Hurdles at home: Obstacles or disturbances caused by friends, family, and/or neighbors.
  2. Hurdles at work: Obstacles or disturbances caused by colleagues, boss(es), and/or other work related pals. 

However, it is noteworthy that neither of the above-listed hurdles are obstacles. Our manner of approach decides what they are. Each of these hurdles are what molds us into what we are today. We couldn’t be who we are today without one of them.

Related Article:Mental Health In The Workplace: 5 Effective Methods To Reduce Stress-Related Illness

Scenarios of Hurdles at Work

Scenario 1. Natural occurrence

Here is a discussion between a newly employed, his immediate boss and a third-party.

Newbie: Good morning sir.

Boss: Hi, how are you? Good morning. Boss turns to ask the third party.

Boss: Who’s that?

Third party: He’s a new guy, HR brought him in this morning.

Boss: To work with us?

Third party: Yes.

Boss: I don’t like him, I doubt I can work with him.

I know what you’re thinking, how can he not like him at first glance? Well, it happens. That’s a great obstacle on a first day. Isn’t it?

Scenario 2. Competition

This occurs when colleagues strive or seek for the same reward or position. It could be for promotion or for a vacant boss’s seat. They tend to pick on themselves over unnecessary issues. This gets worse when one of the contenders is a people’s person and the other is not.

Scenario 3. Behavioral differences

Even though we’re all humans, each person has his own uniqueness. Some are temperamental, some are principled, some are soft, some are daft and some could be one of many other behavioral differences. These differences cause impossibility of teamwork between two or more people. For example, two aggressive people can’t work together. One needs to tolerate the other, while he’s aggressive and vice versa. And teamwork increases productivity.

Related Article: Transcendental Meditation: The Solution to Stress in the Workplace

How to Deal With These Hurdles

  • Be patient. Don’t be in a haste to climb success ladder. " He that can have patience can have what he will." - Benjamin Franklin

Take a step at a time. Two at a once could either collapse the ladder or ruin your leg. Life is a long journey, it’s not just about who achieves his goal. It’s about who can achieve it and maintain it. Neither is it about who achieves it first. Rather about who achieves it without losing most of his friends. Remember, a sad life is as worse as an unfulfilled life.

  • Never judge anyone. "Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging other we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitles to as we are." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There’re many things involved in reasons why you see people behave the way they do. You don’t even know about their pains and renunciation. You end up judging wrongly because you’d judge with what you see, neglecting the unseen. Many a time, you lose focus because you’re busy judging others. You forgot who you used to be, how can you remember who you want to be?Desist from being judgemental, and if you have to be, judge yourself!.

  • Embrace feedback. "Courage doesn't happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life." - Shannon L. Alder 

No one wants to talk about what he ‘s bad at. We all want to propagate what we’re good at. Why propagate our strengths and neglect our weaknesses? No matter how well you think you’re doing it right, there’s always a room for improvement. Feedbacks make us a better person. It sheds light on our weaknesses, it gives us a view of how people perceive and regard us. This invariably gives room for improvement. Embrace feedbacks and works on your weaknesses.

  • Respect everyone. "I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university." - Albert Einstein

Never look down on anyone, it’s the easiest way to make an enemy. Be straight up with all your colleagues. Forget the fact that he’s the gate-man, what happens to you if he’s not there? You’d come down from your luxurious car to open the gate yourself, else no entering into the working premise. It’s as simple as that. You’re not better than anyone because you’re their boss. As I said before, “teamwork increases productivity”. Respect and regard for everyone assure team work’s possibility.

  • Avoid unnecessary arguments. " You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into." - Ben Goldacre 

Your opinion about an issue is a function of what you’ve been through. Two different persons can face and overcome the same obstacle, yet perceive it differently. There’re some issues we’re entirely ignorant of, yet we argue over them. Many a time, we think we know, whereas we know nothing! Moreover, a dispute is a dispute, either verbal or physical. An argument is a verbal dispute, shouldn’t you avoid unnecessary disputes? Unnecessary arguments births unexpected grudges and grudges is bad for work.

  • Be yourself. "Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else." - Judy Garland 

Mimicking a colleague births an unexpected enmity. It could be from you (for not being able to be the other person) or from the person you’re trying to be (who’s upset you’re making a photocopy of him). Besides, who said you’re not better off being yourself?

This comes back to our uniqueness, we all have our potentials - things we’re extraordinarily good at. Work to maximize your potential(s) and forget about trying to master another person’s potential(s). Take it or leave it! We can’t all be Bill Gates, neither can we all be Mark Zuckerberg. Rather, we can be ourselves.

Related Article:Leading by Example: Can Managers Reduce Stress in the Office?

Don’t try to impress anyone, just be yourself and do your job.

Other Ways to Avoid These Hurdles Include:

  • Be open-minded
  • Tolerate others and
  • Understand your colleagues’ strength and weaknesses

Don’t forget, when you face these hurdles, who comes out on top (you or the hurdle) is a function of your approach.

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