When a Co-Worker Tries to Make You Look Bad
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6)
Have you ever worked with a person who tried to make you look bad and undermined your position with the boss in order to make himself or herself look better? How should a Christian react and respond in this predicament?
Of course, we always start with prayer ~ lots of prayer for this person, as well as for wisdom and understanding. Prayer really helps us gain God's perspective, and without that perspective, our reactions are bound to be less than Christ-like.
Next, find a way to communicate openly with this person, to confront his or her behavior. Obviously, you will need to tailor your approach to fit the circumstances of your own situation, but a few things are important to remember.
Have you ever noticed that Jesus frequently confronted people over a meal? There's something about sharing a meal together which presents a good environment for touchy discussions. Invite this person to lunch or dinner ~ your treat ~ and see if you can open up the communication channels.
Remember that your choice of words is most critical. Give those words much thought and prayer. If you start by saying, "You know, I'm really sick and tired of the way you always try to make me look bad so you'll look good," you're not likely to have much success. However, you might promote a good communication session if you say, "You know, I think we both recognize the value of a pleasant working environment, and I want to do whatever I can to make that happen. I have sensed some difficulty in our working relationship, and I thought it might be helpful to just talk about it and see if we could find some common understanding that would alleviate that tension."
Finally, remember that you don't have to cover everything in one conversation. Be willing to take baby steps, and allow time to help.
To season your words of confrontation and communication with grace so that you will be successful in dealing with difficult people.
Lord, show me if and when I need to confront someone about their unacceptable behavior or attitude. Give me grace to do it in a kind way.
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