You are responsible for you and not your peers

Frustrated at Work | Tim Gouw |

You may have heard the phrase, you’re not your brother’s keeper. That came to mind today, when I got a call from a colleague that was struggling at work. They mentioned that they were asked to build trainings and walk their peers through how to use different tools and complete different presentations. They were frustrated, because they had already completed these trainings in the past and their teammates didn’t take them to heart or put them into practice. Now their knowledge of those tasks had decayed to a point where they were unable to do them on their own.

My peer is frequently fielding calls from his teammates asking for help to complete projects, review their work or just take over completely. They want to do a good job and be seen as valuable and are occasionally roped into these projects. This only leads to them getting more and more frustrated with their role.

I gave them some advice while we were chatting around how they could proceed without having to do their work for them while simultaneously forcing his peers to improve. Here are the things I suggested.

First, focus on what is important

Look at the goals that you personally have and focus on those. Cut the things out of your work life that are not driving those goals forward. Those extra tasks aren’t helping you achieve your goals at work or life and are literally wasting your time. Stop doing them today.

Check out this article to learn more: Focus, why you need to focus instead of trying to do it all

Say NO effectively

It’s OK to say no. You are not on the hook to do the work for those around you and not even on the hook to do everything your boss asks you to do. It’s important to say no when you are tasked with something that you won’t enjoy and/or that doesn’t drive your core performance goals. Say no, don’t give an excuse why and don’t apologize. You don’t need to feel bad either.

Check out this article to learn more: Say no! Why you need to do it and 4 tips on how to do it

You don’t have to like the people you work with

Look, sometimes you wont’ like the people you work with. That’s OK. You are not required to like people to work with them. In fact, working with people you don’t like, can sometimes generate benefits for both parties. Look beyond the reasons you don’t like them and identify how you could appreciate them instead.

Check out this article to learn more: How successful people work with people they can’t stand

Frustration is normal

Frustration happens to everyone. It’s completely normal to be frustrated at work, with your peers, your boss, yourself or any number of other reasons. Take a step back and identify what’s frustrating you and why. If you can do something about it, do it, if you can’t really ask yourself how important this really is? Can you cut it out, can you live with it? Ask a friend at work to give you advice too. Don’t let frustration wreck your day or career.

Check out this article to learn more: Tips for dealing with frustration at work

Be you and don’t worry about it

People have a tendency to worry about things that don’t really matter. We might worry about how other people act. We worry about what other people think. We worry about other people in general. This isn’t healthy or productive. Instead of worrying about others, look inward at what you can control, because most of the time those things you’re worried about don’t matter.

Check out this article to learn more: Forget it, it doesn’t matter

We ultimately had a nice conversation and I think they walked away feeling better about their situation and confident they had a path forward from where they were currently at.

Have you ever felt yourself frustrated at work. Worried about you’re peers, your boss or something else? How did you handle it? Tell me! Post below, send me a message or meet me at my website!

Originally published at on March 12, 2021.



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