Wheelchair Basketball And Relationship Building


Over the last two weeks I was fortunate to be among those presenting workshops for my colleagues in the Social Services Department where I work. This was an inaugural event; hopefully the first of what will be an annual undertaking. I say I was fortunate because there were only 3 workshops offered in any one day and to be involved in facilitating 1 of them was my privilege.

In addition to the workshops, there was a keynote speaker, some testimonials from those in receipt of our services both past and present, and there was a presentation on local workforce statistics too; giving us a fairly tight day. There was of course a much-appreciated luncheon too; if you feed us, we will be happier!

I tell you though, one of the most unusual and looked-forward-to activities of the day however was the opportunity to play some wheelchair basketball with my co-workers during our lunch break. It wasn’t the only option either. Some staff opted to join a drum circle; where 2.5 foot bongo-style drums appeared and a trained player came in to lead whoever opted to join the activity in learning how to play.

Oh and the third lunchtime option was sitting down and learning how to turn those plastic milk bags – the ones that hold three plastic milk bags inside – into a weaved mat for families in poorer parts of the world to sleep on as a makeshift mattress. That was even more unique than the wheelchair basketball; I’d never heard of such a thing and it was indeed something to see completed.

My choice was to get out on the court and try out my skills while confined to a wheelchair and unable to use my legs in the process. It was so much fun the first day, that when I returned on the following two days, I opted to play a second and then a third time too. As those attending each day were different people, it gave me the chance to interact with fresh faces and play with or against co-workers I both seldom see or work with. Our department is very large you see, and we are spread across 5 locations so we don’t actually meet face-to-face often.

If like me, you’ve never had the chance to sit in a wheelchair and play the game, you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity if you can. Forget about your natural talent or lack of it. This wasn’t about finding out who the great athletes are and separating the good from the bad. This was all about having fun and interacting with people we’d only normally interact with in a strictly work-like capacity.

We’d all assemble on the court, strapped in to avoid falling, and then experiment with manoeuvering around the floor. Learning how much speed we could generate, how to turn left or right, how to pick up the ball from the floor and most importantly of course, how to shoot the ball without being able to generate any power whatsoever from our legs. That was a great leveling experience! One of the adaptations we were glad to see was the hanging of two hula hoops from the basket at each end. The lowest hoop counted as a point, the higher one worth a couple and if you did score in the traditional basketball net, it was worth three points.

Make no mistake it was fun; it wasn’t about which team won, how many points were scored or defended against.  We had I suspect about 7 players on each team, although no one really stopped and counted. There were no substitutions or referee, no out-of-bounds even when the ball did go where the traditional boundary lines were painted on the floor. We were lucky in fact that there was netting all around the playing area to catch stray passes and missed shots.  We were onlookers too; curious co-workers cheering on the group of us, curious enough to hang out with us but not interested in actually playing.

Like a lot of activities it accomplished what it was designed to do. Give staff the opportunity to bond with each other and interact in a fun way. In this sense, we all won. It was a good time. So good was it in fact that some wondered aloud if that wouldn’t be a great social activity for upcoming birthday parties with friends. That might sound unusual plans for a birthday party, but it put a lot of smiles on our faces.

When you play together you work better together. Relationship-building is something many good organizations seek to encourage in their employees. The people I typically email or speak with over the phone, but whom I seldom see face-to-face except in training events I now know better. The fun basketball get together is really the vehicle or tool that gives us some common ground upon which to strengthen our working relationship. It accomplishes the same thing for those I work with daily, including the person I share my office with. Getting together in a non-traditional way.

Mission accomplished. I’ve yet to hear anyone involved who didn’t have a good time. I feel that (heaven forbid) I should lose the use of my legs, I have something positive to look forward to, not to mention a real appreciation for those who unlike me, can’t get up and walk away when the game is over.

 

Advertisements

Co-Workers; How You Make It Work


Whether you work at a small, medium or large-scale business, there’s likely going to be some co-worker(s) that you prefer working with over others. If we’re honest, we might even go so far as to say there are some that are positively annoying; possibly some that are…well…just the kind that subtract rather than add to your day.

It’s kind of interesting when you compare how people go about dating and finding that one perfect partner in life vs. how we end up working with one person 35, 40 or more hours in close proximity with. I mean when it comes to dating, we might go about it differently, but typically we’re drawn to someone, feel excited when they are around, take great pains to look and act in ways we hope they’ll find desirable. We look forward with anticipation to seeing them and our imaginations play out how our time together might go. We don’t in short just choose anybody; we see them, we learn about them and share with them who we are, what makes us the person we are and we make all kinds of compromises putting their needs ahead of our own because we really do want their happiness as much as our own.

Our work colleagues on the other hand; the ones we will spend years with day in, day out? It’s not us at all that does the match-making. The Manager doing the hiring decides. As much as they are looking for skills, experience, personality, attitude, education etc., they are also thinking about the chemistry that will occur if you’re added to the team. They know the personalities currently in the workplace; they muse over where they’ll sit you or who they’ll shuffle around in order to get you working next to whoever they are thinking of.

Can you imagine just for a moment being hired and then told you were going to meet various employees over the course of the coming week and at the end of that week you were to tell the employer who you’d prefer to share your work area with? Of course it would go both ways; everyone you meet will be sizing you up too and deciding whether you’ll be a good work partner for them.

Sounds odd doesn’t it? Or what if the employer said you work next to someone for a year and at the end of the year everybody in the organization moves and works next to someone else. Imagine if that happened in our personal lives; we changed partners at the end of December every year. Yeah if that was a great idea it would have caught on with broad appeal by now and it hasn’t. Stop thinking this would solve your current situation!

Being honest with yourself – and no one can hear your private thoughts – there’s bound to be some people where you work that you are naturally more drawn to than others. Even if you are the kind of person who gets along with everybody and tries your best to see everyone equally, I’m betting that given a choice, you’d work best with some folks and maybe go so far as to replace a few with others. If not, good for you, you’re working with your personal dream team!

Do you like sitting next to the employee who has 39 small stuffed animals in their cubicle? Do you sit next to the heavy breather, the person who sneezes and buildings across the street shake with the noise? What about the person who makes more personal calls than work calls? Or maybe it’s you with the stuffed animals and you think the person next to you should lighten up a little and be less stuffy themselves? There’s irony for you!

Do you care who you work alongside at all or are people interchangeable and your own work performance isn’t impacted one way or the other? I believe we are affected by those we work closest to and we of course have an impact on how they work too.

I’ve now worked for 9 years sharing an office with the same person. We know each others’ styles, respect each others space, give each other the courtesy of privacy or at least ask if they wish privacy from time to time. Some days I spend more hours together with my colleague than I do with my wife. Now sure at any time I suppose either one of us could go in and say to our boss that we wanted a shift in scenery if possible. I’ve heard co-workers in the past say they absolutely could not work with a person they were assigned to and stopped just short of demanding a move; then were delighted to change their location as soon as they could. Not always possible however to do so.

The thing is we have to get along and that means making the effort to be someone others can get along with too. This is how good partnerships and relationships go; thinking about others needs in addition to our own. It’s up to you and them to put in enough effort to make things work for both of you. Problems generally arise when someone is making an effort and someone isn’t; not caring to invest in the relationship.

Then again, if you choose not to invest in work relationships, you could consider a home-based business!

The Boss Who Replaces Your Boss


Work long enough for an organization you’re bound to encounter a time when your boss moves on, replaced with someone else. If you’ve worked together for many years, it may seem odd to suddenly find yourself devoid of that relationship, especially if it was a productive one built on mutual respect.

I say it may be odd because when you spend years working together, you develop trust in each other, you know what to expect from each other, and you mutually invest in the relationship. It’s not policies and procedures that define a supervisor; it’s the little things like conversations at the start of the business day, inquiries about your family, your hobbies etc. It’s not so much the role of the person, in this case the boss; it’s the departure of someone who you came to develop a close working relationship with. You’d feel this same void if it was your office mate, the title of boss just adds a layer to the change.

Make no mistake, while your job didn’t change, with a change in supervisor, you still experience change. How you adapt to that change defines how well or poorly you perform moving forward. If you had a great boss – even a good boss, you will find yourself happy for them, especially if for a promotion or a lateral move they sought out. If they weren’t the best boss, you may find yourself grateful for the change, even euphoric; hopeful that the new boss will be a welcomed change from the former boss. Change however, it remains; change you must deal with.

Who replaces your boss is out of your control. Upper management usually determines what is needed in the office, factory floor or district. They may think a shake-up is required, some control re-established, or perhaps things need to remain exactly as they are. Depending on what upper management believes is required; you’ll find yourself with a new person in the role who best brings what is perceived to be needed. So you could find yourself with a new Sheriff in town if order needs to be restored, a Visionary if new direction is desired, a Whip Cracker if production needs increasing and some personnel changes are in order.

You could however, also discover that a clone replaces your boss; someone with similar characteristics in the role who doesn’t appear to be rocking the boat, making sweeping changes of any kind. This could be a strong signal that the team you work on, the department you work in, or the shift you work on is doing just fine the way it is. Not that complacency is encouraged, but this kind of change would indicate performance of the group you work within is appreciated.

There is an opportunity here for you when there is a changeover in your supervisor. In the first few days and weeks of the transition, you have a distinct advantage in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of both yourself and your team. You could request a, ‘get-to-know-you’ meeting with the new boss, where you sit down and share your role, your strengths and what motivates you. It’s also where you can demonstrate some genuine interest in the boss; where they came from, what motivates them, what’s their leadership style, their expectations. Yes they probably schedule some team meeting, deliver some message to a larger audience, but this 1:1 meeting is about defining your personal relationship with the new boss.

What a great opportunity to mentor the boss! This could be where you share an individual project you are working on, any unofficial role you play on the team, where the team looks to you for leadership. It’s also a wonderful chance to share your motivation, what makes you tick, your philosophy of service, priorities; preferences you have for getting feedback.

The most important thing about this changeover and your encounters with the new boss is that you be genuine. If you are playing up your role on the team, inflating your own importance or being overly flattering of the new boss, they’ll likely spot you for what you are; disingenuous. It’s probable that they’ve already been briefed on the personnel on their new team anyhow.

One of the best decisions you can make early in the transition to a new boss is to get on board with the plans they have. Being resistant; possibly even defiant isn’t going to win you any favours or put you on solid ground. You may have the advantage of time on the team, but they have the legitimate power to effect change which comes with their position, and probably have the blessings of their superiors too. Unless their plans fly in the face of the organization or will cause you to lose your job, the sooner you adapt to the new direction and the new way of doing things, the better for you.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll have a new boss you’ll come to value as much as the previous boss you enjoyed working with. If the departure of your previous boss is good news for you, see this as a fresh start. People are never identical and it’s important not to compare the new with the old. See and evaluate the person for whom they are and support them as you would any new member to the team.

Make Staying In Touch Your Responsibility


Just two weeks ago now, I wrapped up an intensive two weeks working with a group of unemployed people who were job searching. While 4 of the people in that group obtained employment, 6 are still looking.

One fellow in that group previously worked in the field of IT. He shared with me that he had battled some personal issues with depression and anxiety, requiring him to actually exit the workforce for just over a year and take care of his mental health. When like him, you open up and trust someone enough to share such private information, you do yourself a huge favour.

For starters, you openly acknowledge a setback, demonstrate trust in others, and because the language you use is past tense, you even help yourself by realizing you’ve moved forward from where you were. Movement you see, is critical to repairing self-esteem and ones confidence. Overcoming such an obstacle and personal barrier means you can similarly overcome other barriers too because you’ve already done it; and unemployment is a barrier to success.

So he spent two weeks applying for work with some professional guidance and ended up with a few interviews. As it turns out, those interviews were with people representing placement services, and in his mind they weren’t really equating the same as an interview directly with an employer. I’m happy to say that he recently achieved just such an interview.

The thing I want to point out because it’s significant is that this fellow is doing something which the others in the group who are still looking for work have not done to date and that is staying connected. He has sent me a few brief emails keeping me advised on the job search, success obtaining interviews etc.

In response to one such email, I replied with, “So how did the interview go?” Now how long do you think it took me to prepare and send that email to him? Not very long is it? Yet that brief email to him communicated more than the six words alone. It sent a message to him that I am interested in his job search, interested in his success; interested in him.

When you are looking for work it can indeed be isolating. I’d venture to say that almost all the people whom I’ve had in my employment workshops say that what they truly appreciated from the group experience was the support of others, the feeling of being included and valued. When a brief two weeks comes to an end the key for those still looking is to maintain momentum by continuing to use all those great ideas and tips they picked up but it can be very tempting to fall back into poor daily habits.

I received a reply to my email by the way. In his response he mentioned how things had gone in the interview, and how he found he wasn’t as anxious as he’d been previously. This was no Recruiter, but an actual employer. I smiled as I read that the person doing the interview had trouble maintaining eye contact and seemed more nervous than my job seeker.

I was so proud of him because he told me that he’d been asked what he knew of the company and he’d done his homework in advance like never before and was confident in his answer and thinks he really impressed the interviewer. Awesome! He was still therefore continuing with the discipline and putting into practice the concepts I’d shared and it was paying off. And then he thanked me for my ongoing support.

Did you catch that? He thanked me for my ongoing support. You see that means a lot to someone who has been struggling, gains some measure of inclusiveness and then is back on their own again looking for a job. It’s like that song, “Don’t forget me when I’m gone” by Glass Tiger. And I haven’t.

Some really solid advice for anyone working with a professional Job Coach or Employment Counsellor is to always take the initiative and responsibility to stay in touch. Let’s face it, most professionals these days come into contact with a huge number of people either on their caseload, or through their daily exposure to job seeking clients. The reality is that you’ve got 1 person to stay in contact with, while the professional might have 50, 75, 100 – maybe 170, with more added every day.

With those kinds of numbers, it isn’t that you’ve been forgotten, it’s that there isn’t sufficient time to take care of ones daily tasks and then think to phone or email all 170 or so people and say, “Thinking of you…what’s up? How can I help you out?” So if you crave that ongoing support, you’ve got to take the relationship on as your own to invest in and make it your goal to stay in touch.

If you are in need of ongoing support, (and not everyone wants this), drop in unannounced, make an appointment, place a phone call, send an email. Share what your successes and struggles are. Go so far as to ask not to be forgotten! Staying visible keeps you in their mind if opportunities arise that you might be perfect for.

One last idea is to drop a line when you do succeed and are working long after you’ve notified that person you found a job. Tell them how you are doing. That could be helpful down the road!

 

 

 

 

 

With A Little Help From My Friend


Readers of this blog on a regular basis know that the content is focused on helping people with job advice. I want to share with you something that happened yesterday in my personal life however which could translate down the road to professional help because people often ask me how one gets started establishing a relationship.

Two weeks ago my wife and I had four trees cut down at the back of our property, and while the tree-cutters sawed the trunks into 3-5 foot sections, that’s a lot of solid pieces and smaller branches to move from backyard to front driveway through a foot and a half of snow. That situation led me to take my snow blower and make a path. Great idea until the machine wouldn’t move forward or back at the end of the ploughing.

Now not being a mechanical guy, I was left with a machine which would turn on and blow snow, but I’d have to manual push the machine forward to use it if I wanted to, and that really isn’t how these machines are designed to be used. No, they are supposed to move forward as you engage the forward gears and you just guide the machine along.

Take it to a dealer for service? My first idea too. However, transporting a machine isn’t as easy as it might sound at first, not when you’ve got a Smartcar! As luck would have it, it hasn’t snowed much since that day, and a shovel has been all I’ve needed to clear a little snow. Thank you Mother Nature! Still, getting it fixed brings peace of mind for when the snows do come, and I suspect we’ve got some more in store.

Back to those trees on our property. My wife arranged with a co-worker of hers to have her come and take the wood away as she heats her home with wood. A great idea for all involved. She takes the wood saving me from having to pay someone to take it away, and she gets free fuel. Not only for burning apparently, she can use the bigger pieces for making items out of as ash is a sought after wood for her. We help her, she helps us.

So over the weekend, I hauled logs and branches out of the backyard along my well-trodden path, and she and I hauled them into her vehicle and she made several trips. Turns out during our discussions that my wife mentions to me that this co-worker of hers fixes her own tractor. Fixes her own tractor eh? Maybe she’d know something about my snow blower problem.

Pretty soon she’s flat on the garage floor with her tools, taking a plate off the machine to get at the problem. Me? I’m standing by in case she needs anything; she looks so happy down there why would I lie on the ground and ruin her fun? And she does enjoy tackling this kind of problem. Apparently she changed brakes at 10 years old, and her parents would only allow her to get her driving licence after she could rotate the tires on both their cars! Yes the woman is handy.

Needless to say, she and I discovered the problem was a sheared off pin on the axle. I bought it at the hardware store and uh, yes, she installed it. No shame there for me. She’s good. Did it work? Absolutely. So now the machine goes as it should, and she’s found a way to say thanks for the free wood.

So what’s this got to do with jobs and employment? Well I’m an Employment Counsellor and she’s a Social Services Caseworker. We work with the same kind of clientele but in two different municipalities. We knew each other before but only on a superficial level. Now we’ve spent some time in conversation and I know more of her and she of me. On its own it may not seem like much. However, this weekend sets up the possibility of some future working relationship helping one another out in our work.

You see you can’t always immediately tell where and how you might be of service to someone or want to ask for their help. If you only go about establishing relationships with people to get something from them, you’ll be building a one-sided relationship and by only taking not giving you’ll be avoided. Word gets around. The best relationships are give and take, and it’s best to connect with people when you don’t immediately need something from them. Asking for help later actually means more and someone is likely to give more to you if you have a relationship first.

I don’t know for sure today if I’ll be in some professional capacity to help her out down the road. It’s possible that I could help her apply for a job, or maybe help her son out when he’s ready to look for work. Might be a suggestion to help a client when she’s out of ideas too. Who knows? A relationship however has been established.

Whether it’s through LinkedIn, other social media or in-person, establish relationships with people around you and get connected. You’ll find that by being connected, giving and taking is beneficial for both you and those with whom you get to know. Get connected now so if and when you do ask for help professionally, the person of whom you ask will be more inclined to assist. Thanks Christine.

Looking For A Relationship Vs. A Career


Whether you are looking to launch your career or find the perfect partner, there are some similarities between the two.

I suppose if you think back to your teenage years, (well teen-age years for most) it might have been the case that you went out on dates with several different people. And for those you did, were you dating with the expectation that you were really hoping to end up with a partner for life or was this person you were dating good for now but you weren’t really thinking about them as ‘forever’?

Jobs during that same time were similar looking back on things too. You took a baby-sitting job, then maybe a retail job after school, but they were really to get experience and some spending money. Both in relationships and jobs, you were looking to find out what you liked and didn’t, and as you moved from relationship to relationship, from job to job, hopefully you learned a bit and things got better in both areas.

Into your mid to late twenties and family and friends may have started putting on the pressure to find the right one and settle down, and career-wise, do something with your life. Sound familiar? Then when you did start to launch your career or start living with Mr. or Mrs. Right, the questions turned to, “So any promotions?” and “So, any thought of babies?”

Later in life if you found yourself out of work or single again, people would say, “Who’s going to hire him/her at his/her age?” or “He’s/She’s such a nice person, what’s wrong I wonder?” Ouch!

Yes there are parallels between dating, relationships, jobs and careers. The thing is we are all different from one another and we can be success and happy in life and in many different scenarios. Some like my wife only ever date one guy and then marry him. Career-wise she started with a job in child care and moved on to being both an Assistant then the Administrator of a child care centre, eventually moving on to be responsible for child care subsidies in our municipality and now a Manager of Social Services. Very little if any real changes in life be they career or relationships.

As for me, I had several girlfriends for varying periods of time prior to University which is when I started dating my wife. But while that part of my life stabilized, my work life went in many sectors and for three-year stints for quite a while. Good thing my love life didn’t work that way!

But for others, there is a constant changing of partners and employment. Every family get-together she’s got a different guy to introduce, or he’s got a different job because the other one just wasn’t right. And whether it’s a job or relationship, both take lot’s of commitment and energy to successfully work out. Some people on the other hand have no problem going from contract to contract, job to job, girlfriend to girlfriend, boyfriend to boyfriend. The idea of being locked into one job or one person isn’t at all what they are after.

Like I said we can be happy and successful in life be we in relationships or single, employed in a career, a job, self-employed, and I suppose unemployed too if we have that luxury of still having our needs met.

One thing I find amusing however that I see more in dating than job searching is the idea of knowing what you want and what you end up with. You can profile your ideal mate; mentally pick out their body size, hair colour, intelligence level, field of employment, etc., but then instead of a trim, blonde, highly intelligent Biologist find yourself smitten with a brown-haired Cashier of average build and intelligence. The chemistry just works.

With careers, isn’t it the case that while many go to University and Colleges to learn in a specific field, that often what they do for a living in the end is something different? They go off for two to five years to land their Business Administration or Psychology Degree and end up switching majors or graduating in those fields but working in manufacturing or communications.

Life is like this and I love it for it. How bland things would be if everything from our life-long relationships and careers was mapped out for us all and fixed. There are jobs, careers and people out there in the world that we don’t even know exist until we get out there and immerse ourselves in it. We can of course be very happy and successful in life even if we reside in the same communities we are born into. We could date and marry our high school sweetheart and be pegged to take over the family variety store business and love it.

On the other hand we could learn about jobs we don’t even know exist at one point in our lives and discover something we love doing and are suited for that we’d never know about otherwise if we didn’t chance upon it. And if single, we could choose to be of course and be equally happy. But the article here is dating and job searching links.

So if you want either bad enough, or you want a change, who’s to say you weren’t meant to and you wouldn’t be happier for it? It’s a big world, enjoy it!

People Are Allowed Not To Be Crazy About You


Ever wonder why there’s that one person in your office or on your team who for whatever reason you just seem to have the wrong chemistry with? Nothing is really outright hostile or anything, it’s just that there’s some kind of intangible distance between the two of you, and it bugs you.

I’d say everything in that paragraph above is good and healthy actually, except for the last three words; “it bugs you.” How logical is it to expect let alone even want EVERYBODY to be on the very best of terms with you? It is precisely because we are so very different from one another that the expectation that everybody we come into contact with and work with will get along with us all the time and warm to us is unrealistic.

We do all need to respect and work with one another though. And if you flip this around, you may find yourself in a situation where you know you don’t click with that other person and it bothers you because you want to like everyone else and in a weird kind of way feel guilty because no matter how you look at things you just don’t feel that positive connection you want in your perfect team.

So what to do about it is the question. Well for starters, is it necessary for you to be friends with all the people you work with? There are many people who get along well with those they work with but never get together for drinks after work, go to lunch with or spend their breaks with. If you are like most people, you do have a few people who you gravitate towards more often at work with, and you have others who you get along just fine with and highly respect, but don’t hang with.

I work for example on a team of 13 people when I look at the staff list. Of those 13, 1 is the Supervisor, 1 is a Team Clerk, 1 Front Reception and 10 of us are Employment Counsellors. Now suppose I was in a position to assemble my so-called, ‘Dream Team’. From all the people in the office, I got to choose the Supervisor, Clerks and fellow Employment Counsellors that would make up my team. Would I be best served by hand-picking those who most resemble my own beliefs, values and work ethic? Should I choose one or two that don’t so that the team has some variables in it that might resonate with some clients more effectively?

Well, I’ve never really gone so far as to fill out the ‘dream team’ roster in my mind. I have however thought of those whom I would most like to retain on the team and yes whom I would replace. Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m willing to bet that I’m not on some of those people’s dream team either. Does that make them bad co-workers? Absolutely not.

Fact is, it’s healthy to have people who come to the job with different backgrounds, philosophies, experiences, education and perspectives. We all learn more from one another often when this is precisely the case because we are challenged to see things differently than our own experiences would have us do otherwise. What we DO have to do however is respect the people we might find most challenging to work with.

So for example, if the schedule calls for me to co-facilitate a workshop with someone who rubs me the wrong way or I even feel indifferent to, AND I LET IT SHOW, then I’m in danger of having my audience pick up on that tension, and the learning experience has the potential to be stressful because of the unintended non-verbal communication between us, or the outright verbal disagreements that could erupt.

And yet, sometimes it is a great learning opportunity for our clients to see how two facilitators who differ on something; say whether to ask about the pay in an interview or not, present their own opinions without slamming the other person’s right to have a different point of view. I hope you can attest to and see the positive nature of how this could really benefit an audience.

Okay so let’s look at you. Think about your own workplace. Think about a person, or maybe a few people who you honestly admit rub you the wrong way or you feel a disconnect with. Is it likely that they feel the same way about you? Now you’ve got to ask yourself one important question. How important is it to me and to those around me, that I take steps to improve this relationship?

If you find yourself answering that it isn’t all that important, you’re not likely to do anything about that frayed relationship. The only danger in this however is that if you don’t take any steps to improve things, things will either stay the way they are now or deteriorate further and can you risk that? If on the other hand, a more positive relationship would benefit you, and by association them, then find small ways to improve things. A compliment on clothing, wishing them a good night. Small stuff that could lead to bigger changes.

Not everyone needs to think of you as Teammate of the Year, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in the attempt to improve working relationships.