You are being asked to do more, faster, and with too few resources. You feel as though you are doing the jobs of three people. Your Outlook calendar is triple-booked. Recurring acquisitions add new responsibilities with no additional resources. Consolidations and downsizing shift the jobs previously handled by your colleagues to you. You wish a magic wand existed to take away all of the urgent emails, last minute requests, and unexpected phone calls that are created by your colleagues.
You could establish agreements with colleagues on how to interact with one another in productive ways. This is a best practice used in project management when teams are about to embark on a new project. However, in day-to-day relationships that exist in fast-paced organizations, your role and responsibilities change often and agreements disappear faster than a rabbit in a hat.
Without a magic wand, it is difficult to control the behaviors of others. I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” You can spend all your time and expend all of your energy attempting to change the behaviors of others, without any likelihood of success. Plus, there are a lot more of them than you. Just as you think you may have made progress on modifying the disruptive behavior of a colleague, your colleague gets promoted! The best place to start is you – you and the stories you tell yourself about why you cannot participate.