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The Detached Colleague

I have been this person and I have seen this many times; the colleague who feels apart from their colleagues for one reason or another. It could be self imposed exile; perhaps you don’t agree with the morals of the colleagues around you, or a principled stance – a decision to keep your interactions to a minimum due to a difference of opinion.

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Managers sometimes separate themselves too; they keep a professional distance from their colleagues in order to make it easier for them to manage the team; it can be difficult to manage a team effectively if there isn’t a boundary. Other times, it can be due to a fear of the leadership position; so the detachment can be something of a defensive stance.

Sometimes, it can be more about feeling like you have nothing in common with your colleagues, a personality difference or perhaps it could be that you might be experiencing being shunned by the rest of the team. I have been this person, the person shunned as the ‘newby’ – and the best I could do was to overlook it and be as professional as I could in the situation. It meant swallowing a lot of pride – but then again I was dealing with people who were behaving quite immaturely. Unfortunately, there was no system where I could satisfactorily report what in effect was ‘bullying’.

Feeling detached from the team, whether it be self-imposed, choice or due to the action of others can be lonely and stressful. Afterall we spend upwards of 7 hours per day in the work environment. Thus, it is ESSENTIAL that we feel comfortable.

Wisdom does not come with age, and nor does it come with a Senior position; there may be managers around you who are aware of the situation but either ignorant or too unskilled to do anything about it. I have been in this situation myself with a manager who would not address the person concerned. The fact is that: as the person experiencing the situation: What is the best YOU can do to remedy it? What stance would you feel comfortable to take?

So how can we best address this?

We want to be able to stand firm with our values yet get on with our colleagues. What are some strategies you have been able to put in place at work? Do leave your comments below.

In this blog: ‘Who is Rowing your Boat?’ I list some safeguards that can be put in place to keep you safe and sane in the workplace.

Further more, you can look at the variety of training solutions, including Resilience, Stress Management and Self-Leadership ones – provided to help you rise above these and may related issues that can occur in the workplace.



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