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Help! I can’t get along with my co-workers

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Hey Rosie,

Thank you for the wonderful advice you give to people. I have a serious problem with myself. I hope you can help me with it. For years now, as a Grade 6 teacher, I have been battling with a problem of not being able to deal with fellow staff members in a fair way. I do show favouritism a lot. I get irate at staff meetings from time to time for no valid reason. I display a power-hungry attitude, attempting to take over the role of the principal.{{more}} Due to such conduct, I may be losing the cooperation of the staff, which isn’t good, especially since I am the “Teachers’ Union” representative at my respective school. Could my problem possibly be hereditary? I find it so hard to change. Please give me some advice, Rosie. Thank you.

Yours truly,

G-Peace

Dear G-Peace,

I have to say one of your redeeming characteristics is that you are honest with yourself. We are sometimes our hardest critics, which is good in some cases. I have a question for you: “Who are you showing favoritism to? The students or other members of staff?” I was a little confused by that.

Now you do have a problem, it would seem, with “playing nicely” in the sandbox with your co-workers and boss. This is even more disturbing because you did mention that you are the Teachers’ Union Representative at your school. Working in this capacity you would have to have an all round neutral attitude in order to bridge the gap between the teachers’ needs and those of the union. No one with any serious concerns or issues would want to approach you because they would be in fear of your reaction.

However, all is definitely not lost, you already know that you do have a problem, and that is half of the battle won. So what are you going to do about this? Well, if you are in the true frame of mind for change, then seeking professional counseling would be the next logical step. Remember, when seeking help you have to be open to constructive criticism. It isn’t always easy, but reminding oneself that you really would like to change is so very important.

Secondly, being very mindful of what we say and how we say it when being approached is so very important. This will be very helpful in bridging the gap between you and your co-workers. Also when addressing your Principal, remember that you are still the subordinate and you should act accordingly. I am sure that you have many fabulous qualities and may actually be admired for some of them, but at this stage many people are “feeding you with a long spoon!”

With regard to whether this is hereditary or not. Who knows? All I know is that if we see that something is not right we should try and fix it. There is no need to hold on to a self-destructive trait when we can work on changing it. I feel that this is something you will overcome once you commit to changing this behaviour. I really do believe that there is an even more marvelous person under this “prickly” layer. Best of luck in your quest to finding an even better you.

Rosie

P.S. I am also sensing that there may be much more to this letter than what is said at face value. Maybe this was written by someone who may have an issue with the person described? I could be wrong. But if you do have an issue with this person, your approach should be vastly different. Maybe a face-to-face conversation in a neutral setting to express your concerns might be in order. Just thought I would put that out there as well. Good luck, no matter what side of the fence you are on.

Send questions to Rosie at: heyrosie24@yahoo.com or P.O Box 152, Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

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