Are you Dealing with Difficult Colleagues at Work?
Is your colleague in Office Admin refusing to take your calls? Can't get your new idea past the big boss? Or maybe you have a co-worker continually fighting you for every new project that comes your way. Regardless of whether dealing with difficult colleagues is a new occurrence for you, or something that’s been frustrating you for a while, there one thing that’s certain – it often leads to a lot of tension, frustration and negative energy.
And believe me, I've been there. The fact is, we spend so many of our waking hours at work (I’ve seen estimates that show it can be more than 90,000hrs in a lifetime!) and often times, it’s with a group of people that we didn't choose. Although today I'm very happy to have surrounded myself with a great team at Biddy Tarot, I definitely remember some office qualms I had with past coworkers. They're never fun and always seemed to impact my life outside the office.
If you know exactly what I'm talking about, you’re going to love these two Tarot card spreads (and tips!) specially designed to help deal with those difficult colleagues. Relieve your stress and turn inward to your Tarot cards, and you might be surprised with the results you can achieve.
Dealing with Difficult Colleagues Three Card Spread
Your Needs / My Needs / The Resolution
Conflict resolution is all about finding a middle ground between what you need in the situation and what the other person needs, which is why this Dealing with Difficult Colleagues 3-Card Spread is so powerful. Through our Tarot cards, we consider not just our own needs, but also the needs of the other person we’re interacting with too before finally, finding the bridge between the two.
How to use this spread:
Card 1 – Your Needs
Draw one card for your colleague, to represent what he or she needs in this situation.
Card 2 – My Needs
Draw another card for you and your needs.
Card 3 – The Resolution
And draw a final card for how to create a bridge between your needs and establish a common ground.
Understanding the Spread
Look at Card 1 and 2 – how are the figures interacting with each other? Are they facing each other, or turning away? What does this tell you about the relationship with your co-worker right now? And are there any common elements of the two cards, or are they completely opposed?
This will give you some insight into where to find common ground (or not).
When you add in Card 3, look at it individually, but also look at how it connects with Card 1 and 2. Is it going to be harder for you to reach the resolution or the other person? And how can you bridge that gap?
Let's try an example. If Card 1 and 2 are both in the Suit of Wands, it could mean that you both have strong work ethics and are committed to the success of a project. But before you celebrate and decide to bury the hatchet, consider what the different cards mean for each of you.
Let's say that your colleague comes up as the 8 of Wands. He may feel the best way to achieve results is through fast action. While you may view his quick decisions as brash, he could see them as an asset to reaching the finish line as quickly as possible.
Then, you pull the 10 of Wands for yourself. You feel that the best plan is to put in the hard work to get the project done. Notice that the figure in the card walks away from us in an effort to prove that he can do everything on his own. You may be worried that you'll be taking on the burden of the responsibility.
For the third card, you get the Two of Pentacles. What does this jovial figure juggling two massive coins have to tell us about workplace conflict resolution? A lot, actually.
This card in the Minor Arcana represents two very important things for great project management: adaptability and time management. Try to see your coworker's seemingly impulsive actions as a strength. Perhaps he has the ability to not over analyze things.
But at the same time, use your expert planning skills to hone his focus and create deadlines for both of you. That way, you make it clear what his responsibilities are (taking some of the burden off of yourself) and he gets to work at his own pace.
Conflict Resolution Spread
Is the issue between you and your co-worker more complex than a 3-card spread? Try this one.
Have you ever been stuck on a project with someone who has a drastically different working style than you? That sort of friction leads to petty arguments, high emotions, and an incomplete or unsuccessful assignment. In the end, you both feel unhappy, resentful, and a sense of failure. But fortunately, there's a way to can resolve this imbalance so you both feel that you're contributing to the success of the project.
Let's try it with the spread above…
1. Me – Ace of Swords
You have the mental clarity and organization to complete the project. Not only that, you have the raw power. More often than not, nothing stands in your way when it comes to getting work done. You have the ability to see the surest method to get something completed, which allows you to see past your ego. If a successful project means working with other people, you're in.
2. My Colleague – Ace of Pentacles
Your colleague always has their eye on the prize and often that prize is monetary. Perhaps it’s your boss who wants to surpass the end of quarter goals, or maybe your coworker is aiming to get the highest annual commission in the office. Either way, your colleague is a go-getter who has a mania for financial gain.
3. My Concerns – 9 of Pentacles Reversed
Your major concern is that your colleague's unyielding drive will result in over-investment in work. You’re also worried that their one-minded methods may be reckless and result in financial setbacks for the project and all of your planning will be for naught.
4. Their Concerns – 4 of Wands Reversed
While your office mate may seem confident and ready to take the financial world by storm, he or she is also worried about financial stability. Maybe they lost their last job and were down on their luck for a while. The idea of losing one job and finding another scares them, which can lead to a grandiose work ethic in the workplace.
5. My Ideal Situation – 3 of Cups
While you have no problem completing your responsibilities on your own, you’re a team player. You know that two heads are better than one. You’re open to compromising with your coworker – however frustrating they may be – if it means an end to conflict and the completion of a successful project.
6. Their Ideal Situation – The Fool
Your colleague, on the other hand, goes to the beat of their own drum. They want to do things their own way, because they believe it’s the best way. He or she is more concerned with their personal growth than getting along with everyone. Your co-worker doesn’t want to be tied down to a team, because it might mean that they lose the spontaneous style that has gotten them this far.
7. The Common Ground – Queen of Swords
It’s time for both of you to take your emotions out of the situation. Remember: it’s not personal, it’s business. As much as possible, let your colleague work independently. If that’s the best way they work, it’s the fastest way to get the project completed. At the same time, embrace your natural organization skills. Find a way to manage your coworker and keep the project on track, without interrupting their flow.
8. The Result – The World Reversed
You were hoping that this card would be upright, weren’t you? Don’t worry, your project will get completed, but it won’t happen overnight. You and your colleague are still very different, and the new work relationship is going to take time before it’s a well oiled machine. But, if you put in the work now, future projects will come much more easily.
9. The Deeper Spiritual Lesson – King of Pentacles
There is a lesson to be learned from all of this. Through your diligence to work with your colleague and your innate attention to detail, you’ve achieved great things. The King of Pentacles signifies that if you can complete your task and attain your goal with your coworker, you can do anything.
Are you looking for more Tarot spreads that apply to your everyday life? Check out my book Everyday Tarot. It's a practical guide with loads of Tarot spreads to help you access your intuition and manifest your goals and dreams in your everyday life. You can order your copy of the book now.