<strong>RICHARD REID</strong><br />PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND DIRECTOR OF PINNACLE PROACTIVE<br /><strong>“I work in a small department, and have completely fallen out with a colleague. He questions everything I say, and I feel I can’t express my ideas. There’s a lot of tension between us and it’s beginning to affect my work, but my manager won’t stand up for me. What can I do?”</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 – and it sounds like that won’t be too helpful anyway – a more powerful solution is to sort this out calmly yourself. Try to speak to the person in question, but be sure you don’t let your emotions carry you away. If you go in with all guns blazing, they’ll just take it as an attack and nothing will be resolved. Prepare what you’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 – often it’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.