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Anger Toward Elderly Coworkers

by Nitin Ullal
(Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)

Hi, I am Nitin Ullal and I am 33 years old living in India, Bombay. I work in a Recreation Club as Duty Manager for the last 4 years. All my colleagues are aged and at their retirement age. Despite them being so experienced in the hospitality industry, they still make blunders and don't know how to run their department.

I keep getting complaints from members about them very often, despite teaching them again and again. They keep making the same mistakes, and don't want to be perfect in their performance. This problem has been troubling me for the last 4 years. Please help me.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Nitin. Thank you for writing your story on this site. I will try to help you. I know that you are a good person, and a good professional, and that's why you're asking for help so that you can have better relationships with your colleagues.

Here is what I recommend:

1) Consider each of your colleagues as an individual, rather than grouping them together as "aged." Avoid discriminating on the basis of age. Consider each person for what he/she has to offer and look at their skills and assets.

2) I read a research article on business entitled, "When Good Enough Is Best." The author was talking about how perfectionism actually decreases performance, and the most successful workers are those who have an internal register of "good enough," and when they reach that level they move on to the next task. Perfectionism is a problem, and it sounds like you may be struggling with that when you say, "They don't want to be perfect..."

3) Take a look at your own strengths and weaknesses. You are most likely not perfect either. There is a saying, "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself." Humbly and honestly examine yourself, then move forward by focusing on the strengths and assets of your co-workers. This will really help you.

4) If you're having trouble with anger, practice these anger management techniques until you can move through them all very smoothly.

5) You might also want to read this page on workplace violence to make sure you are not caught up in any destructive patterns.

Remember, you are a good person who wants to do the right thing. Practice the above recommendations, and I think you'll get good results.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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