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CAREERS CLINIC

<strong>RICHARD REID</strong><br />PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND DIRECTOR OF PINNACLE PROACTIVE<br /><strong>&ldquo;I work in a small department, and have completely fallen out with a colleague. He questions everything I say, and I feel I can&rsquo;t express my ideas. There&rsquo;s a lot of tension between us and it&rsquo;s beginning to affect my work, but my manager won&rsquo;t stand up for me. What can I do?&rdquo;</strong><br /><br />Firstly, be aware that we interpret the world through our own filter, and what may seem undermining and antagonistic may not be intended that way at all. Have a quiet word with an objective colleague, and see if they agree with your take on this situation.<br /><br />If they do, before escalating it and taking it to management &ndash; and it sounds like that won&rsquo;t be too helpful anyway &ndash; a more powerful solution is to sort this out calmly yourself. Try to speak to the person in question, but be sure you don&rsquo;t let your emotions carry you away. If you go in with all guns blazing, they&rsquo;ll just take it as an attack and nothing will be resolved. Prepare what you&rsquo;re going to say, and say it in a sober and businesslike way. Rather than being general, refer to specific situations, explaining how it makes you feel, and look for a solution.<br /><br />You need to let the other person feel heard too, so give them plenty of opportunity to respond. The more you can make it seem like a two way conversation, the more likely you are to effect the kind of change that you want. That means also being prepared to think about what you could do differently &ndash; often it&rsquo;s because they feel threatened or unhappy in some way that people act in this way. Make sure you agree on it, rather than just raising it and not resolving anything.