Business as UsualStay calm when dealing with “roosters”

It is difficult to stand with some colleagues
It is difficult to stand with some colleaguesGetty Images

Jens is in his early 40s and has been with a medium-sized company for almost 20 years; he has been in charge of finance for five years. He is a correct and at the same time sporty, competitive type. Everything was fine until the company owner brought in a new export manager without his consent. He’s in his late 30s, uncomplicated and likes to talk. Jens he was immediately extremely unsympathetic – he just calls him “the rooster”.

Jens left him alone for the first few weeks and eyed him critically. After that, in his opinion, it was obvious that the colleague “can’t do anything”. The owner, however, was impressed that he deliberately overheard every snappy remark about the new colleague. So the months passed. Months in which Jens turned so high inside that he got a stomach ulcer.

His problem: an extremely high level of identification with the company. Feels like: his shop. The wish to join the management in the foreseeable future had long been openly expressed. Going wasn’t an option for Jens. The feeling of being trapped in this situation was all the worse for him.

He starts talking – nevertheless afterwards everyone is satisfied

With the stomach ulcer at the latest, it was time to look at the situation from a different perspective. The goal: to find out what the red cloth is made of, with which “the rooster” provokes him every day.

For this purpose, Jens has started to observe himself. What exactly happens when the guy walks into the room? What does he have to say to make the stomach feel immediately Jens wrote that down. Nightly. And found that the rooster does pretty much everything differently than he does: apparently comes into meetings unprepared and starts talking – nevertheless afterwards everyone is satisfied. Or he thinks out loud about innovations that Jens blocks immediately – but which, on closer inspection, are not that bad. In addition, the rooster is provocatively relaxed and seems to go his way calmly.

At some point, Jens realized that he might be able to learn a few things from him: Maybe to be a little less strained. Maybe even let five be straight and not doggedly chasing numbers every day.

Cooler and more relaxed

How long did that take? Half a year. The rooster leaves Jens cold today. He has become a little cooler, more relaxed, also towards his employees. The stomach ulcer is gone too.

What can we learn from it? That it may have something to do with ourselves when other people impact our emotions as directly as the rooster did with Jens. The knowledge is useful because if the worst comes to the worst, it can help us to free ourselves from this emotional jail. Until then, you can sit back and relax. Perhaps in the meantime you will call out to your dear colleagues that you actually think they are really nice.

Anne Weitzdörfer As a consultant and coach, she has been accompanying companies and executives for many years. Here she writes on topics from the professional world

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