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In today's live stream, we discuss strategies for dealing with difficult bosses and co-workers in HVAC/R work. We won't get along with everyone in our workplaces, but we can figure out how to communicate effectively without letting them wear us down.
If you work with negative people, let them be miserable by themselves. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them while you're working. Instead of focusing on shared complaining, try to focus on the common goal of getting work done. Moreover, you can avoid contributing to a negative environment by leaving work drama at work and home difficulties at home.
Anger issues are common in our trade. You can deal with others' anger issues by acknowledging the inappropriate behavior and understanding that you can't communicate productively when tempers are high. When you have to address the behavior, don't attack their character but be direct about how that person's anger affects your work relationship. In extreme cases, give them space and walk away. If YOU are an angry person at work, try to address the root cause of the anger and work through it. Put structures in place that prevent you from lashing out at other people.
Careless people are also everywhere in our trade. You can deal with inexperienced people by remembering how you were when you were at their career stage; you can empathize with them and give them the appropriate space or tools to develop. If the carelessness comes from distractions, such as their cell phone, try to address the distraction and reroute the careless person's attention to the job's mission.
Micromanager leaders who tend to get over-involved in projects can annoy their teams at best or stunt their development at worst. These leaders can improve their relationships with their team by setting clear objectives and giving their techs the room to develop.
Sarcasm, rudeness, and condescension are all undesirable traits in the workplace. If you work with someone who is too sarcastic or condescending for you, calmly set that boundary with them that they can agree to. For example, you'll likely want to draw a clear line regarding racist and sexist jokes. If you are sarcastic, rude, or condescending, try to focus on communicating in a way that accomplishes the mission.
Cliques and tribes will form in any workplace. However, they can be annoying and difficult to work with. Your goal is to develop as many allies and as few enemies as possible in the workplace. So, being kind whenever possible is the best way to avoid clique culture.
Nepotism is also a sad reality in some organizations, especially in a few family-owned ones. The best way to address it is to talk to a leader about it; be straightforward and express your desire to work for a merit-based organization. You don't want to be a part of a business that shows favoritism towards family members anyway.
Many of the worst leaders refuse to invest in training and education. The best way to deal with these leaders is to know what you need to learn. Then, you can communicate your needs with your leaders. A leader who ignores that type of request is probably not worth working for anyway.
Egomaniacs are a particularly annoying variety of co-workers or bosses. The best way to deal with egotistical co-workers is to talk to them with a couple of other people to provide some perspective. It is much harder to reform leaders' big egos; you must decide if that leader is worth working for or not.
Exaggeration and lying are also inappropriate at work. Those habits lead to poor training and misconceptions. When dealing with liars and exaggerators, feel free to ignore them or question their stories.
Dishonesty with customers is a serious flaw in the workplace. If you have dishonest co-workers, kindly try to convince them to do better. If your workplace is shady, the only solution is to work somewhere else.
Unwillingness to learn is also difficult to deal with. If someone has the potential to learn, help them learn how to "learn" by using similes and metaphors to build their mental models. Lazy co-workers and those who perform poor work also fall under this category. Again, try to help those co-workers learn to become comfortable with good, hard work by setting standards.
Overreactors can also cause discord in the workplace. Many overreactors care a lot about their work, so it isn't a completely horrible trait. The best thing you can do is deescalate the overreactor's emotions respectfully and show that you care about their concerns. If you're the overreactor, take a step back and observe the situation.
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Today is going to be a uh just a discussion generally about um dealing with difficult people in the workplace, so bosses co-workers - maybe even employees, probably not, though mostly just going to be ragging on bosses and co-workers and just talking through both sides of it. So one side is: how do you deal with it if people have those behaviors and then and then how do you not be a person who has those behaviors for other people? So how do you not be the difficult person yourself and how do you deal with people in the workplace that are difficult, and you know some of the most difficult situations or situations where you feel like there's an imbalanced power dynamic where you're it's either a boss Or somebody who has greater influence, who is annoying or difficult and you're, trying to overcome that being able to deal with that, so we're going to talk a little bit about that. I'm noticing that for some reason in this uh, like i swear i'm when i'm looking at myself on youtube, it looks like i'm wearing makeup or something i'm not. I don't know if there's some sort of weird filter going on here.

Let's see here all right, we're gon na yeah we're gon na gray it out a little bit. That's definitely better yeah and i feel much better now. I know everybody was worried about that. So all right so uh, let's just start with it concept concept is difficult.

People um, i actually want to go through anybody who's willing in the room here. I'm gon na call on some of you, so you're unwillingly going to have to, but if you feel like speaking up speak up, this is actually one of the questions. I ask a lot in interviews nowadays when i do a job interview with somebody. So the question is what are some traits in other people traits and people that you work with, that you find very difficult to get along with so we'll start with we'll start with chad, because i was just talking to you so chad, what are some traits in Co-Workers and bosses, you know whatever that you find it not not.

Customers run time, we're not talking about customers and customer service. Here this is about people in the workplace. What are some traits or characteristics that you find difficult to deal with um? You know pretty much. Just what's like you know, co-workers or like not anyone in general, but it's just when they feel like they have more power than you.

When you know we're all doing, you know the same job uh. You know they just they feel like they can talk to you. A certain way when it's just like you know right so condescending, uh, yeah, condescending, egotistical, um, self-aggrandizing um. Maybe the type of person who takes credit for things that they shouldn't be taking credit for um doesn't have like a team ethic.

That kind of thing pretty yeah. I mean that's pretty spot on honestly, okay, but you know i'm not. You know, i'm not really a i'm, not a confrontational guy. You know, i don't and i don't get angry.

I just i've. Always just kind of you know you don't sign my paychecks. You know. I'm just gon na keep doing what i'm doing uh and i don't like it.

I don't want to get to me. Yeah no and i've and i've experienced that with you, you're, not somebody who escalates, but that's actually part of the challenge with difficult um, sometimes difficult people when you are a little you know - maybe not not, maybe not non-confrontational but but you're, not intentionally confrontational. Is that sometimes, if you don't want to cause problems with people, you got to have some tools in your toolbox of how to communicate with people in a way that um that mitigates it? You know, because we can't always choose exactly who we get to work with: hey, there's eric how you doing eric good, so you uh you're on it, looks like you're on a roof right now is that right we are on a rooftop right now finishing up this Install today, okay, okay, eric was the planned um uh, the planned guest on this topic um. So i don't know, i don't know how much you'll be able to be here, but we were just talking through uh traits and characteristics of people that we find difficult to work closely with.

So i at least want to get that from you. What are some because we're always talking both sides of this equation? How you deal with people who are difficult, but then also identifying in ourselves, characteristics that make us that type of person that other people find difficult in mitigating that. So what are some traits that you find difficult of people to work closely with sure whining, that's a good one. Whining number one number one cause of difficulty in in our world is whining and complaining.

No one! No one likes that you know everybody has hard days at work. Sometimes um, whining and complaining about that is uh is not helping yeah, that's actually a really good one. I listened to a recent podcast uh and it's a good one for anybody. Who's looking for podcasts that actually will help you with your life.

It's called no stupid questions. It's with angela duckworth uh, who is the author of a book called grit, which is a fantastic book on uh, just general success and um, and they were talking about this. This topic of complaining and why complaining is so rampant in the workplace, um and why, in some ways, um complaining has become a cultural norm to the extent that it's expected, and so one of the examples that they give is the common enemy um. That's a really uh common type of complaining, so you talk about the boss, you know like so your boss, oh man, that guy drives me crazy that guy's such a jerk right are you such a what a clown or or a customer or you complain about.

You know even the weather, you know whatever it is, you complain about it, and so you feel a commonality, because you're both experiencing the same thing and when you get the goodie two shoes who says well, i don't know, i think the buzz is a good guy. You know, then people are like. Oh man who's. This guy, you know, he's a he's, a butt, kiss or whatever, but if we can look at the seed of what we like about complaining, what we like about it is actually community.

We like um unity of experience, and so you can do those things without being a complainer. You can find ways to share experiences and to be on the same page and the same side of the desk with someone is a good way that i've heard it put before rather than sitting. You know, rather than saying opposed to them without becoming a complainer or having that, and i i don't know about you eric, but i have certainly um struggled with that over the years myself - uh, yes, indeed, yes, indeed, especially when the boss man, makes you work on A roof you know when you're supposed to be doing it. Well, you know today was a little bit of a unique situation.

We had some logistical hurdles to overcome, but you know we're getting it done. Okay, it wasn't, it wasn't crazy, it wasn't crane related. Was it, it always seems like it's related to the crane? No, you know, surprisingly, not this time. So this time it was related to this.

This crazy, curb adapter that we got it's like a it's like a double offset. Trapezoid. You know the kind i'm talking about where the near rooftop was every direction: 90 degrees from the old one and yeah, so we couldn't fit it on the trailer. So we had to make two trips and of course you know, the supply house takes an hour to load you up.

Every time you go back, and so here we are yeah all right, cool um, any other top tips before i before i let you mute yourself and get back to what you're doing um yeah. You know what i was going to mention. I actually prepared a little bit for this podcast um, so it's kind of a bummer i'm still working but uh. Well, we'll do it we'll do it as a this is a this is a live stream, so we'll still do a real podcast.

Just you and me, okay, cool on the topic, so you don't have to lose all your preparation, but give me some of you give me some of your top stuff, yeah. So um, one thing that i found is uh. You know you're always going to have the difficult co-workers. There's just nothing.

You can do about it. Just like bad weather, they're, always with you um you just you just can't. Let it get you down, you can't let it ruin your day. You can't let it you know whatever so, with the last typical co-worker that i had um my my whole mantra was just ignore it and keep working, ignore it and keep working.

You know you can be miserable all by yourself bud. You know that i don't have to give you rent free space in my head, just because you want to be miserable yeah, so that's that's a good one and and - and i think we're again pointing at that um, you know. Sometimes it's complaining whining uh griping general unhappiness sharing your unhappiness and i think a lot of people want folks that they can commiserate with people that they can um. They can talk to about their problems, but that's not what work is for primarily, and it's not to say that you can't.

You know it's not to say that you can't be close enough to something that you can share some things that are going on in your life, but you really got to keep that to a minimum in the workplace, uh and i think you're exactly right. The way that you communicate to somebody about that is about refocusing on what you really have in common, which is the proper execution of the work and the service of the customer, and that is a really good trait of leaders in an organization um, whether it's you Know, field leaders or whether you're in an office environment, whatever the case may be where you can redirect to the common goal. We call that missional thinking. What is the mission at hand? What are we focused on here as a mission and uh, and that's what i'm hearing from you? Is that um not not allowing somebody else's junk from getting you to get you off of your mission or whatever? That is uh for that particular day yeah! That's right! That's right and uh, you know i like to do this visualization thing and i think we talked about this last time we talked in the office, brian um.

I do. I visualize myself um hanging up my tool bag on the mailbox when i get home and then picking up that tool bag from the mailbox. When i go to work and that way, there's the separation of you know if i'm having a difficult time at home, that that sort of reminds me to leave it at home and, if you're having a difficult time at work, leave it at work. You know so that way it just kind of helps out in both environments.

Um, you know helps to keep you focused on that mission, like you said, yep, and that's actually another good way of putting that a lot of people talk about work-life balance, and it's actually one that bert and i talked about a while back, and i want to Do this one again at some point: mental health is another really important topic that a lot of people are talking about, but i think sometimes folks get confused because they want everything to be flat. You know they don't they don't ever want anything to go wrong. They don't want any relationship to be challenging, they don't want and and that's what they start to believe, that mental health looks like or having proper work-life balance or whatever, where everything is just always smooth, but that's not how it works right. Sometimes you're gon na have a tough situation at home and sometimes you're going to have a tough problem at work or a tough relational dynamic at work, and that compartmentalizing isn't saying that you're a different person both places because you're not that's impossible.

But what you are doing is you're, focusing on the task at hand without letting baggage from other things uh to get in the way of that which doesn't serve anyone. So that's a really good um. It's a really good way of thinking about that, and i, like that idea of hanging the hanging the tool bag up. I haven't always done that, but even if you just identify - and i think actually want to even just identify a spot - that you kind of anchor to emotionally um - that's one thing.

I've always liked about having a long commute, or you know i have my 30-minute drive into the office and it's always kind of helped me to to clarify my mission for the day and to be really clear about that: hey, wrap cans here, whoa a beard cut Or something something happened, you shaved, i'm not sure what happened there, but that's that's intense. I mean you're, looking good he's connecting the audio so he's not even hearing a word, i'm saying and i'm saying all this stuff about him and he can't even hear me anyway. All right so uh, i'm gon na i'm gon na move through my list now um. So one of the first things is uh, and this goes back to what eric was saying.

Is that being able to point to something um, whether it's the place that you you know you mentally hang up your tool bag, whether it's um having a really clear mission for the day or a really clear, long-term mission for your career? Having those things will help point you in a direction that can eliminate the distractions, because, ultimately, what difficult people in the workplace are. This is i'm going to try to kind of start here. What difficult people in the workplace are is a distraction from what you're wanting to accomplish, and so, even if because some people say what are you talking about this guy's, the guy who owns the company and is a complete, you know i'm trying to think of a A complete uh, i i can't think of any words to say that are g-rated, so he's a jerk, okay um. How can i, how can how can i still accomplish what i want to accomplish in my career if the person i'm working for is such a vile person, you know whatever, whatever you're thinking it is, but that's actually a perfect example of that, because if you are Clearly focused on where you want to get in your career, then you're going to decide is working for this person and gaining the experience i can gain.

While i'm here is that working towards my career goals or is this a distraction? Is it working at this place? A distraction from where i'm headed, because that may help clarify that. Maybe this isn't the place to work. Maybe this maybe i'm working here because it's nearby or i feel some social connection to it, or maybe the money's good or whatever the case may be, but maybe that isn't actually working towards your goal. And so you always have to have that in mind and that's a healthy thing.

A lot of people feel disloyal thinking about whether or not where they're working is actually best for their career, but that is actually a really healthy thing. To always think about is: are you doing what is best for you and your family really best long term best, and if you are then focus on those small incremental steps that are going to get you there without getting too hung up on um the distractions that That negative people bring along your way or difficult people bring along your way. So i want to skip to corey so corey. What are some traits or characteristics of people that you find it very difficult to work with, or for uh there there's several but um.

I guess the one specifically in leadership positions that i find a little irritating is uh inconsistencies, and that could be. You know that gets into a gray area of you know you kind of touched on like mental health and stuff like that it can or can be related or it might be, or might not be related to mental health issues, but inconsistencies uh and management lead to. I feel a lot of unnecessary stress for the workers. You know the other employees and just general does not lead to a very well functioning, uh organization.

And so, if you have a group of people who uh in a particular department or whatever that are trying to work towards a common goal, you know more or less, it helps to have at least somewhat consistent, behavior or expectation right uh. To achieve that, so inconsistencies kind of so like erratic behavior um, i'm just trying to pick down what some things would be with inconsistencies like where one day they expect one thing and then the next day they expect something else. Disorganization uh of thought that that sort of thing yeah exactly um as well as attitude or um right, you know just just in general. You know you kind of want to have a at least me, for example.

Right you know i like to have know, what's expected on a day in and day out basis and go from there instead of oh well, this day is something different. You know you're acting like everything this this way is fine this day and that it's not the next and yeah, and also maybe being moody just in general. I think moodiness is actually it's not one that i have on my list because it kind of gets collapsed into a lot of other things, but it's a really negative trait um in all of us, and it's something that i definitely struggle with. I mean a lot of the ones that we've already covered here: moodiness whining complaining.

Those are all things that i do struggle with at times and it does send mixed messages and when you send mixed messages to people, you get mixed results and you ultimately cause frustration. So that's that's a really good one! Um we'll do one more. Let's see here, um we'll see josh, i don't know. If you can.

Can you hear me josh? I haven't heard from you yet yo. I'm here, hey all right. So what are some traits or characteristics of of people that you work with that you find difficult, i mean not necessarily currently, but it could be currently could be me, you know heck, it could be me uh. What are some, what are some things that you find challenging? Listen brian you're too funny.

I know i know all my friends tell me that um we'll see it's just crawling out of an attic um everybody's still working hang on hang on, hang on! Ah, dang no pressure, you know, there's just 130 people listening to you, no biggie, yeah, honestly uh. I, like i like chad's point and corey corey's point just now, was pretty much what i would have immediately jumped to it's a funny inconsistencies in people um when, when we've been doing uh things a certain way and everything's been holding good and either they want to Change it up and things start to go wrong or they want to change it up. When you have been doing it a certain way and maybe they're just not feeling it that day and uh now, you've got ta, take two or three steps back to recover and um. You know so i i.

I definitely feel that that whole inconsistent uh inconsistency thing, but realistically uh i mean everybody goes through it. Everybody deals with it day in and day out and uh. We just do our best as uh good people to try and you know, keep the ball rolling. So yeah and that's actually so i had a business coach for a while and a lot of the things that um i've learned in terms of this is just full disclaimer.

A lot of things that i've learned in terms of how to communicate with people in business, and i still have a long way to go but came from him and one of the things that he said in terms of leadership, is that uh nicholas is raising his Hand so go ahead and unmute yourself, nick and i'll get you in just a second one of the things in terms of leadership. Is the realization that a lot of leaders they think they're helping but they're actually just interrupting and when they, after they get done interrupting people just go back to doing it? The way that they were doing it before, because there isn't clarity they they get used. People get used to bosses who used to call it spinning they just they come into the room and they spin a bunch and they create a lot of distraction. They create a lot of uh discontent and then they leave and then people just go back to actually doing what they were doing before, because they have a much better idea of what's going on and i think to partly what you're saying there josh.

I think there's a couple different things so inconsistencies. You know of attitude of expectation of all. That is one thing, but another thing is it's just not being not providing people with clear structures where they can do their job. The same way every time, because a lot of people value that some don't i don't.

I would rather do something different every single time, because i get bored so easy, but a lot of people actually prefer to know how to do their job. Do it the same way every time and they don't like having you know, wrenches thrown in the mix all the time and so recognizing that as a leader is really really helpful? Yeah and, oh, i'm sorry, i'm stuck josh well just to finish it up. I guess, as in the perspective of a helper, especially and i told to get where you were coming from when you were saying um, you like to switch it up too, because it helps you keep learning um, definitely as a helper understanding the foundations first and then, And then formulating new ways to do things as you go along, so that's that's practically where i'm at yeah yeah. No, it's good and - and it's been very good for me to work with somebody like jesse, who is much more um just do it this way.

You know like it just just stick with the same way: keep tweaking that process. Don't keep switching things up all the time. It's been very helpful to our organization um with somebody like him, because it does. It does help quite a bit.

Uh go ahead. Nick. I can't hear you now you're gon na get in a wreck. Now your microphone's, not even working at all, you're, completely you're, completely muted.

Nobody can hear you. There is good news, though, that bird is coming into the room. So that's good! That's that's good stuff! All right, so i'm just going to start walking through my list until uh until nick gets on. Does anybody else have anything they want to add any other characteristics that you just want to get off your chest.

Anybody who's here in zoom yeah! I do go ahead. You know what go ahead: oh um! Oh that's nicholas now, but go ahead. Chad, chad will finish and then we'll get to nicholas. I can hear you now uh, you know i i find it difficult too, like just you know with in the leadership uh category.

I i don't really know actually what category this would be, but you know you, you have your tasks to do and you're working on them. You know, and you know you've got a lot of things. You know you got planned to do and you know that person is just constantly going on like oh you like, like. Have you done this yet? Have you done this? Yet? When are you going to do this? It's just like you know, i'm going to get to it after i you know.

Do my things like well, it's got to be done. You know this is stuff like that. It's just yeah, you know you're gon na you're gon na get to your stuff, but when they keep going on about you got ta get it done. You got ta, get it done, but you're just so busy with other things that you can't get to right.

Now. It's right, it happens a lot. I i found that so irritating um actually i'll tell a story about that in just a second, because that was something i found so irritating and then i, as a leader i've, become that same person, sometimes so yeah i get. I get exactly what you're saying go ahead nick, so i have three things: basically just planning communication and then execution is one sentence part and then the planning before you get there going through your photos, make sure you know what you have for the job know what You need and then actually executing everything is very, very key and the helper i have now has been awesome - he's been doing it for a couple of years, but, like today we had a big wrench thrown in our plans for a mini split.

We ended up doing two heads starting at 12. got done at five and then me and him we just work off of each other and we're able to see what we're not doing and what we are. And then we can work off of each other. And it's been amazing, so just being able to communicate and then see what you're doing as far as working with other people is very, very key.

Yeah yeah, i agree and that's those are that's all part of like effective leadership, communication and one thing that you find as you are um as you are training people and as you are developing people, is that um a lot of times. You blame the p. If you're a leader, you blame the people, you're working for like what's wrong with this guy, you can never understand anything. You never learn anything you're so difficult, but then you find that as you grow as a leader as you grow as a communicator.

A lot of those problems get solved and you realize that it was always you it was you all along. You know you were the you were the uh weak link in the chain that was causing the that was causing the problem so yeah, it's you're exactly right. Um, those steps are really key parts of of leadership and communication, all right, so we're going to start going through uh some of my list here and each one of these. I want to talk about how to deal with uh how to deal with it in communication.

So, if you're being subjected to it, how you deal with it and then also sorry, my mom's texting me a lot. You know i can't you can't ignore your mother when she's texting you how, how you uh, how you deal with it and then also how not to be that person or how to identify it in yourself. So we're going to kind of go both directions here. All right, so, let's start with anger issues: um anger issues are kind of on the extreme side, but it's a in our trade.

It's a very common problem and, historically especially, you know the old-timers who would throw the wrench at the apprentice. You know that kind of thing, but it's you know, people who slam their tools, people who swear um, even if they're, not even if they're, not swearing at someone they're, just in general, showing anger or extreme frustration, uh about things that are going on uh in their Day, um on the first side of it how you deal with it um. The first thing is - and this is true of like every different type of relationship um trying to address it when somebody is being inappropriately angry. So we're not talking about a little bit of you know: stewing we're talking about somebody who is being demonstratively, angry they're, definitely mad um.

That is not the time to uh, have in-depth communications with that person because they're not going to be they're not going to be prepared to communicate productively. So a lot of people - and this is something that i just wish everyone in the trades would learn because there's this and there's even been a few comments to this. To this uh extent, where it's like, i'm not going to. Let somebody disrespect me, which is, which is i'm all for that, i'm all for um standing up for yourself, but recognizing that the time to do that, if you want things to go well for you in your life and career, is not when things are already escalated.

In fact, most cases the best thing to do when things get very escalated, is just to try to walk away just to try to find a different space find something else to do get out of their space as much as possible. If you're dealing with somebody who's very angry um, if it's a situation where it's continuous, like, for example, it's a boss and they are being angry, i'm to the extent that it's starting to become abusive. Now again, you know society's drifted to where, like sometimes even if people are just like, having a hard time because they're in a bad mood or they're having stuff going on in their life that people like, i can't deal with this negative vibe. You know like i'm, not talking about vibes here, i'm talking about like people who are being actually angry continuously or consistently.

I shouldn't say, continuously but consistently um. That's when it's time when they're not angry to address it with them to bring it up and to say some version of um, it's not healthy for us for there to be so much anger, and in order for this work relationship to work. Well, we're going to have to uh get past this and those are types of language that i would suggest using in general when you have to address something with. Somebody is: don't personally attack people you you almost, i mean.

Obviously, there comes a time um when you know fists probably do have to fly. If somebody throws the first punch at you or something you know but uh, but generally speaking, you want to de-escalate everything and one of the best ways to do. That is not to personally attack someone and that's the idea of getting on the same side of the desk with them, and that's why you say, like we've, got to deal with this anger issue, so we got to get beyond this. We got to get past this, not you're a really angry person, and i can't you know you're a jerk and i can't stand working for you um, especially when you're dealing with somebody who's in leadership just recognize that - and this is true of everybody, but just recognize There are pressure, pressures, stresses all kinds of things going on that you probably don't have any context for and in most cases when people are angry, they're not angry at you, even if they're telling you they are they're just angry and you showed up so they have Stuff going on, they don't know how to appropriately deal with it.

They don't have the tools, probably to appropriately deal with it or they're. Just you know, they're, just a bad person. They've just got issues right, but they're not angry with you, they're just angry and you showed up and so recognizing that giving them space. And then, if it's consistent enough, just saying like this isn't working for me.

Some version of that uh without personally attacking that person and again that's going to apply to a lot of these on the other side of it um. If you are the angry person, if you are the person who's, you know throwing tools screaming and yelling pitching a fit um. You know the more extreme side of of complaining um. Then you do need to deal with that now.

Somebody in the note in the comments here just said: if i don't get the anger out, it'll become worse, you know there's several schools of thought on this um. I don't actually believe in that school of thought. The way that's a fight fire with fire type of mentality. The way that you overcome anger is to address the root issue, the root cause of the anger um, not to get it out.

Obviously, there is a time at which you know doing a primal scream or something like that makes you feel better and that's there's nothing wrong with that, but that's not directed at anybody, anger that is directed at somebody. That's not something you need to get out because you're you're, creating destruction when you do that and destruction is not working for you and it's not going to be working for anybody else. So dealing with the root cause of of your anger and a lot of anger. Actually comes from a feeling of impotence, a feeling of um helplessness, a feeling of being stuck a lot of it feel is just because you feel stuck in a situation and that you can't control or you feel out of control in some way and so communicating the Root, emotion, um and a lot of times it has to do with just things with your employment that are not working for you or it could just be a particular circumstance.

That's just very difficult. I mean our trade. We run into a lot of those kind of particular circumstances. Um learning to become more mature uh is it's imperative.

Imperative step in learning to be more con more mature is to learn how to deal with anger and to prevent it from getting to that point. Uh. That's a huge part and putting structures in place so that way, if it is starting to escalate that you maybe you know, maybe you go outside and you know drink a bottle of water. Maybe you know if you're a smoker that's the time you go out and smoke the cigarette.

I guess you know, but you, but you got ta de-escalate that you can't let it get to that point. That's the that's the best way, um the next one that i have is uh careless people. This is especially true uh with co-workers. This is where you find this a lot, so it could be the helper.

It could be the other person on the project if you're a projects. Worker you've certainly seen this a lot people who their excuse for things. A lot is some version of hey man. We all make mistakes, you know it's like man, you expecting to be perfect.

You know that kind of thing um and so for the more experienced tradesperson. That sort of attitude is super frustrating because it feels like they're. They don't care, it feels like they're, not paying attention. I think the solution for that one, especially if the person that you're interacting with is newer or younger, is just remember what you were like when you were newer or younger.

It's really helpful when i start to get negative about. You know newer employees apprentices, my teenage kids, you know whatever just remembering um some of the things that i had at that stage and it's not going to be the same like you're not going to have all the same problems. Somebody else has, but you will have things that are in the same bucket and a lot of times, um a lot of times. It's just a matter of um, seeing yourself rightly, and once you see yourself rightly once you see your own sets of vices rightly and especially in the past, then it's a lot easier to give other people that space, because that's what you that's, what you're doing and Part of developing people is giving them the space to grow, giving them enough rope that they can actually do something with it um whether it's make something out of it or hang themselves.

You know you got to do that and so uh for those of us who are maybe are a little bit more perfectionist or whatever. That can be a really big frustration, but then also again, and that goes both ways. There is a point at which people are unsafe, there's a point at which people are very harmful, consistently harmful to projects they make things go poorly because of their carelessness. And that's that's how you address it.

You say you know that careless act put this person at risk, like you are putting people's safety at risk because of your carelessness a lot of times. Modern carelessness goes along with distraction and a lot of times that distraction goes along with devices. It goes along with being on their phone. You know talking to someone while they're supposed to be working.

You know at the same time or looking down at the phone or you know looking at facebook or whatever the case may be um just like i was doing when my mom was texting me. You know you get distracted and then you make uh these sorts of mistakes, so those are the, i think, and that's a very specific thing that you can address. You can point to the mission. The mission is to get the job done and if people are allowing devices and distractions to get in the way, then you address that specific thing: it doesn't need to be a personal attack at the person and again this is a big part of this.

All of this is is that personal attacks, um are never appropriate and the line is different for different people, especially when we get get into some of these. Some people are going to be feel personally attacked by things that you would never feel that way and it's not because they're weak, it's not because anything wrong with them. It's because we have different experiences and we all have different things that trigger us. We all have different things that get us worked up and you want to be the kind of person that a is not easily worked up by others.

You don't give them that free rent in your head, like eric vincent said, and also you, don't want to be the type of person that triggers others, because you think that they should be able to just get over it because in the workplace. It's about the mission. It's not about you being how you want to be, and other people having to get over it right. It's about teamwork and part of teamwork is meeting other people where they are so that way they can do their work appropriately.

Um one question: somebody just asked on uh on youtube, so i want to address it quickly. He says how much of a service manager's time is spent dealing with employee conflict? Is it common for your shop? No, i mean no, it's not it's not a huge percentage of the time. It's actually pretty small uh. It actually happens more uh with project workers, so people who are working closely together on teams, especially because we're a multi-disciplinary shop.

So we do electrical. We do refrigeration. We do construction, all in-house and so multiple trades in one company. They can start to have conflict and then that falls under the same category um, so there's not a whole lot of it service.

Techs generally, you know, especially if they're not head cases. I mean we've had a couple lunatics over the years and um and they're just the sort of people who look for negativity everywhere, and there was a lot of conflict there. But in those cases the the right answer, the only real answer is just to move on from those people and you know not have them in your organization, anymore, um, but in service shops, especially it doesn't in ours. It doesn't it's not a huge problem um, but it can be with leadership for sure, and i and i remember uh, even with myself, having these sort of negative um emotions with uh with leadership and thinking that i knew so much better than them and saying things Whining complaining whatever in prior jobs, only then to realize once i got into that same position, i had the exact same challenges, because it's leading as a leading is a tough thing.

Um justin has something to add: go ahead: justin hi so um at one point before i was a web developer. I went ahead and worked with a guy on like sub flooring and everything and uh. At one point we had all of our equipment laid out and then it just started to rain right just out of nowhere. No clouds in the sky just started to downpour and he was so mad about it.

He started throwing tools everywhere and i found one of the things that really went ahead and helped. The situation was just me just backing away. I was the newbie on the project and it wasn't my fault. He just went ahead and did his thing started, throwing everything - and i was like it's fine he'll he'll go ahead and he'll be fine, and all that and eventually i got out of that workplace because it was a recurring thing.

But if you just back away a lot of the times, i feel like that definitely kind of helps out, rather than going ahead and confronting them in the moment, like you were saying, yeah yeah and that no it does happen. It happens a lot and it is common to the trades, because there is a lot of um. I mean it's, it's a it's, a toxic combination of a lot of difficulty, a lot of challenge and a heck of a lot of testosterone. I mean you know they got a trade full of full of you know, cavemen, who you know we're good at what we do, because we have a little bit of that, we're not afraid to get dirty, we're not afraid to bust our knuckles.

It's not a bad thing, but learning to manage that is huge and, like you said um, especially if you're coming into it and you're dealing with angry people when they're angry, the only real good thing to do is just just give them space just back away. That's not weak in a workplace context. There's nothing wrong with that um. If you are being uh.

If people are being abusive in some way, then the time to deal with that is once they calm down and it's much more impactful i mean: what's the what's the saying uh, you know, revenge is best served cold. We're not talking about revenge here, but we're talking about um, putting people in their place, uh standing up for yourself. All those things are best served cold when the emotions are died down, and maybe even that person thought you didn't see, or maybe they thought you let it go. That's when you laid on the hammer and say look, that's not working for me.

It's not a healthy way to act in the workplace and i'm not going to keep putting up with it. It's got to change and that's exactly the way to say it, and you will be surprised how many people will respect you for that much more than if you rise to the emotional occasion, because when you do that often then you will make a mistake and then It gives you something that now you have to apologize for you know. Maybe somebody else sees you or heaven forbid a kid hears you or something happens, and and now you've made a fool of yourself now you have something that you've got to apologize for. On top of it, when you weren't, even the one who started it, you know i've seen that happen so many times uh with perfectly well-meaning adults.

You get caught up in the in the moment and then you think you're being uh whatever. Whatever you want to call. You think you're being manly, you think you're being tough, you think you're standing up for yourself. You think you're standing up for somebody else whatever, but really you're.

Just emotionally escalating you, you see a fire, and this is i forget, who said this the first time, but it really is an apt uh metaphor: it's, like you, see a fire. Some people grab a can of gasoline and run towards the fire. You know they want to, they want to throw the next punch. You know it's like the bar fight mentality, it's like hey, there's a fight over there, let's go in and just start throwing punches versus the person who sees a fire in the distance and they grab the fire extinguisher.

And that means let's de-escalate emotions, so that we can address the root problem because the emotions aren't the root problem, they're just a result of the problem. Another one unrealistic expectations, this kind of comes down to what chad was saying. You know you have the boss who comes in and starts like hey you done this yet have you done that? Yet why isn't this done yet um? It's super annoying and it comes a lot from um, unrealistic expectations or being a micromanager um. So we'll lump that one in there with it uh micromanaging being unrealistic as the person who's doing that uh the thing you know, if you're prone to being a micromanager having unrealistic expectations a lot of times.

That comes from the fact that you are a you're really good at your job yourself, and so, if you are really good at your job yourself, you expect other people to do things in the way and with the speed that you do them and that's not bad. If it is a standard, so there's a difference between being somebody who sets a standard meaning this is the this is the goal that we're going to accomplish. This is what the this is. What the work has to look like when it's done versus somebody who says it has to be my way, and not only does it have to be my way, but i have to be involved every step of the way.

It's not how you develop people, because that's not how you were developed right. You weren't, developed by somebody like that you were developed because you were allowed to learn and grow and make mistakes, and that sort of thing so don't be that person set really clear. Um objectives - and you can even put you - know, time, steps into those objectives. It's much better for somebody to have something that might be on the on the unrealistic goal: side on the forefront, so at least they know where they stand, then having somebody come in and interrupt them all the time when they're trying to complete something and then on The other side of it, if somebody doesn't complete something in a timely fashion or isn't up to standard.

You always have to sandwich that with a lot of grace and kindness. So if you're gon na dress with somebody something that they didn't do right, i remember um. I was doing a, i was doing a change out and it would but no, it wasn't changed out. It was a um, it was a trim, and this was right before my first son was born.

So i was very young. I was 19 years old and uh and my supervisor rolled up on the job. His name is kelly, klotz um rolled up on the job and he saw the work i was doing and what i had done was. I had taken the the suction line.

It was an inch and an eighth section line, and you know we didn't have benders back then, and you know i don't have the strongest hands in the world, so i just took the natural bend that came from the the roll, copper and i just kind of Worked with that, you know i just kind of i just kind of took it just kind of worked it, so it had this big swooping bend into the case coil. It was the gas furnace and uh and he came out it almost kind of like it wasn't. Even square it kind of like swooped out and then around you know as it went in and he showed up and he kind of looked around a little bit. He was real quiet and he said: okay yeah, your girl works good and everything's lovely he's, like i copper nope, that's not gon na work.

I'm like come on. It's fine he's like redo it and that's all he said he just said redo it. He didn't say: do it this way? Do it that way, you're such a failure, you suck! Why don't you ever listen to me? He just said redo it i'm like no. I mean i don't have time to do it he's like you need to redo it and he got in his van and he left and uh, and that was really good for me.

It's actually that was actually good management. I don't know that would work for everybody, but for me it was to the point he wasn't derogatory. He was just clear about the standard. That's not good enough.

Now. Maybe he could have been a little more specific about what it needed to look like, but he wasn't um. He didn't. He didn't deride.

My intentions, he didn't say: oh you're, a sloppy worker you're, a lazy worker you're. You know whatever uh. He just said that work isn't to the standard, it needs to be redone and that's a good way. It's a good way to communicate um somebody said throwing a tantrum is not masculinity, and that is absolutely true.

My my wife, uh there's been a few times. You know because i i've i have that in me i have a bad natural temper. I've worked to control it over the years, but i've made you know i've punched, some holes in drywall even recently and uh, and she always does some version of like. Are you done like you know, are you done being a child because it isn't it isn't um, like you said it isn't masculinity, it isn't any sort of behavior that we want to model what we want to get to the place of is being able to control It before we get to that place and being able to productively communicate and a lot of times.

It just means if you're super emotional, just give yourself some time. You know it may take a little bit just go, do something else where you're not near people. Until you can get your get your senses back um all right. Next one is sarcasm and rudeness.

Now this is, i would throw let's lump condescension in here because that's on the list, but it's further down, we might not get to it. So um sarcasm, rudeness and condescension um. I don't know about you. I am a naturally sarcastic person.

It's the way that i like to communicate and i like sarcastic people, meaning i like people who are sarcastic with me. It's just so it's one of the ways that we dealt with problems and conflict in my family growing up. I worked with my uncle um as a teenager and um, and that's just how we communicated and uh he's very conflict, diverse, so um. He would just kind of make a little bit sideways jokes about stuff and he expected you to get the message right and - and i don't mind that i don't mind working that way, but it's because i'm genetically wired that way.

So i can't expect other people to feel the same way um and in fact i just screwed up with this last night um, i'm gon na i'm gon na out myself here, but i've been uh. My wife and i are taking dance lessons. Okay, so i i thought it'd be fun to learn some learn, some dance steps with my wife and the uh, the girl, who's teaching us uh. You know she's very bubbly, enthusiastic whatever and uh, and i i made fun of something she kept saying.

The same word over and over again - and so i was like oh you're, gon na say that again you know like how many times can you say the same thing um? It was just a verbal tick, but after i said it, um and i freaking forget the joke i made, but it was a sarcastic comment, a sarcastic joke um after i said it. I saw that like she did not receive it well at all, like she saw it as a personal criticism and uh, and i felt terrible, and so the first step is to with sarcasm, especially, is to realize, like if you're working closely with somebody, and you know That it's just part of your your banter part of your way. I think it's okay um, maybe i'm only giving space for it because it's a trait of mine, i don't know, but i think it's, i think it's okay um, and i think that also goes with certain types of joking around. I mean there's lines that that have to be drawn, especially, you know, racism, sexism, those sorts of things, just don't do it in the workplace.

Just don't those aren't funny jokes to do in the workplace. It'll get you in trouble. If you do it enough, even if it's completely um you're not intending anything by it, but there's other categories of just of just joking around um that are kind of like criticism that are that are jokes, but just be really careful with that is um. You don't want to you, don't want to sacrifice your work relationship, you don't want to sacrifice the goal.

The mission that you're working towards, because you can't help yourself making a joke or being sarcastic or whatever now rudeness on the other side is, is different. It's just you being you and expecting everybody else to adapt to you. That's how rude people behave and that's also, you know even passive, aggressive people. Um.

Do that sort of thing as well and um. One way that my business coach used to say it was. You have to um, you have to be willing to speak to people with the words that they need to hear, not the way, not the words that you want to say. So there may be a way of communicating that you, like other people, to communicate to you and words.

You would like to communicate with ways you like to communicate, but if the goal is the mission, then don't communicate the way you want to communicate the way. The other person needs you to now. A lot of people will say something like well: that's inauthentic, you're being fake. If you do that, you're, not being you know, i'm just being real, i'm just being honest, i'm just being truthful some people.

If people don't like it, they can get over it. Well, that that is certainly one way of looking at it, and if you have a long-term relationship with somebody like in a marriage or whatever, like you, don't want to completely change who you are for another person that you're going to spend a lot of time with. But in a work context, if, if the way you're behaving or if the way you're speaking is going to get in the way of um of the work it's going to get in the way of your career missions, then just don't do it and it falls into The it doesn't make you money category, so there may be something that you think other people should um get over like well, they should just get over it. It's their problem.

Well: okay, that's true, but is the way that you're acting making you money and, generally speaking, sarcasm rudeness, passive aggression, those sorts of things just don't they don't make you money, they create enemies in the workplace rather than allies and a really big part of career success Is having a lot of allies within your organization outside your organization with different manufacturers? Everybody you interact with having allies is a good thing, and a lot of people will call that butt kissing, there's a difference between butt kissing, which is being overly um, enthusiastic about things. Inauthentically uh or overly complementary or flattering or whatever versus just being a generally nice person, some of the nicest people that i know um keith, ledford uh, with carrier for a long time. Some of you might know keith and don gillis, both just super kind, people um still men's men. Still, you know like just you know they can.

They can hang in the field, they know what they're doing, but they always uh are are fundamentally kind, and that means that they don't always say things that they're, probably thinking um, because they're considering another person um so uh. Let's, actually there were some comments. Um, let's see here uh what was the one that i wanted to read. Um most men aren't taught what masculinity is.

A man doesn't think he knows before he speaks at least that's how it should be um yeah i mean a big part is yeah. Just it's kind of summarized just distill that down um think before you speak, that's a fundamentally uh good thing and a fundamentally important part of of communication. Oh, i know what i wanted, so i wanted to jump into the uh. How do you deal with somebody who's?.

22 thoughts on “Dealing with tough bosses & co-workers in hvac/r”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Zach Lenning says:

    Really enjoying your videos. This one was especially good. If I was in your area I would apply for a job! Thank you for taking the time to share what you have learned so far.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dare McAdams says:

    Zero tolerance for a " Nasty" boss , there are unlimited HVAC/R Positions..AGAIN ZERO Tolerance, many poeple have Ego issues, its not the problem of the poeple that dont , unfortunately sometimes its a boss…Do Not Tolerate it for a Minute,…these ego maniacs a few times in my Career in HVAC/R have mistaken me for some whole other body, I educated them, Im a Happy person all the time, some miserable men cant handle this ☺️

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jason Brown says:

    Just to share what works for me….especially because I'm a bit anxious to begin with. I realized that allowing someone to control your emotions is a God like power. Literally they are controlling the voice in your head that you hear non stop. When I'm in a neutral state I declare to myself who I trust and have earned those type powers….and I keep that list very short. If your not on the list I sincerely try not to allow my emotions react more than what is necessary for the matter at hand. Something about being aware of this before anything happens allows you to control your emotions with more discipline.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jedidiah Lawton says:

    Pencil whipping , That Makes my job much harder it's harder especially when it win it is heavily suggested but never fully implicitly directed.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jedidiah Lawton says:

    I just wanted to share my thought concern Letting the anger out You're creating neural pathways in your brain that become your go to crutch which does not enable you to be able to look critically after surrendering and calming down and then finding a new way is a new way out of your problem you are kind of trapped in a rut. Which In the end makes trouble shooting a much longer process

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars rockermantintin says:

    Great video, graduated from trade school within the past year and my boss is constantly saying shit like "Hello this is X company" home of the 2 hour ice machine cleaning. It is mentally exhausting and wears you down over time. When I first started I ignored it, and tried to improve now I'm on the verge of just not caring. If I take 2 hours and there are no call backs then I get insulted. If there is a call back I get insulted.

    Any advice is appreciated too. Are you in Nepean ?

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars John T says:

    Lack of accountability is biggest for me. If you fuck up, say it.. don't blame somebody else

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars The Big Ass Bass Podcast says:

    Even just listening to you say the whole "is gonna work for you" approach really pissed me off lol. I dont know if its the tone of your voice or what but you sound so condescending. If you ever talked to me like that i would try my hardest to find a way to wreck you…. Is that gonna work for you?? 🙂

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brian Mahoney says:

    My wife told me I can be condenseding but I told her I didn’t know what it meant. She told me being snotty. Got it. Are you in Orleans ?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Brian Mcdermott says:

    Super great info. Keep it coming. Thanks Bryan.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nina McClure says:

    I noticed that I got angry and irritated on the extreme when I would drink more caffeine. I know that might be silly sounding. But I found out that I was sensitive to caffeine and didn't even realize it. I thought I was just a redhead and it ran in my genes or something. After I chilled on the caffeine some I was almost a totally different person. Great video guys.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Priestly says:

    Very interesting topic….. Nice o. Service area Kanata??

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars keith glynn says:

    Work at a reasonable pace and work safe. I'm in the trade over 30 years with the same company and I've survived some of the meanest bosses you could think of. Our entire group of techs is good, most everyone clean, educated, family people that really care about our customers. But then you have our office people…they had a dart board with the employees pictures on it to throw darts at. They watched us on a GPS monitor, and would always try to turn you around to send you an hour or more away, usually on a Friday when you were a mere block or two away from your driveway. They used to laugh about it when the guys complained. Then, on one of the hottest days we were busy as hell and couldn't reach anyone in the office. They just left to go play a round of golf while the secretary sat at the bar. We all rebelled and worked super slow. When corporate started to investigate they were fired…ha ha ha.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hola! French Fry says:

    Some people are just assholes regardless of whatever

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Trust_Jesus1213 says:

    Just quit lol!! Thats the best way to deal with em

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ezekiel Lackey says:

    A trait I can't stand is poor communication. You ask a point blank question and you don't get a direct answer. Another is procrastination and a lack of focus. Another is dishonesty. Another is unreliability. Service area Barrhaven??

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Joshua Ruiz says:

    Joshua from Dallas,TX . Big fan me and my boss see you as the HVAC MASTER💪🏻💯

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Damian says:

    New to hvac industry but the company expect me to work like 14 hrs a day …granted I have a 14 month kid.which I would like to see once and a while …is this normal at every job in the industry

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Robert Wasswa says:

    Thanks. Am tuning in from Canada. I appreciate all the knowledge you guys are sharing with everyone here. I appreciate.
    Am here to learn.
    Thanks again.

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Curtis Smith says:

    When people complain alot or always find something wrong , I usually ask them what the solution to their complaint is and what steps they are taking to fix the problem.

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jim Eubanks says:

    Jim in Nashville here. Unfortunately I did not catch the entire podcast but I caught most of it. I have been utilizing your YouTube videos as part of my training program at the company I work for. I’m very grateful that you take the time to put those YouTube videos out there. I enjoyed your podcast this evening and I believe that it is something that should be shared with owners, office personnel, service managers and technicians. Thank you very much for taking the time to put this information out there from your perspective.

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nick Ferrett says:

    Thanks for answering my question about the traits you like in your techs or anyone . I’m 24 now moving to Florida in the next few weeks . I know the basics but I need to get better and just want to find the right place , make good money , and work with good people . Your videos and words help a lot thank you .

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