I was sitting in a client’s office the other day when one of his managers called and requested that he contact a worker to terminate him from the job. The owner of this multi-million dollar company hung up and called the worker to inform him that he was being terminated and needed to leave the job site.

Sounds kinda typical, right?

I almost felt sorry for the guy because there was little to no discussion about the matter until… I could hear the guy cursing and screaming through the cell phone and I was sitting on the other side of the table.

This led me to wonder if the worker could consider himself blameless in the situation, despite the circumstances, after his behavior on the phone. Sometimes our actions convict us quicker than our words. Even if the worker had done the wrong thing and needed to be terminated, it seems that retaining his composure might have worked more in his favor. Let’s even assume that the manager was at fault. The worker’s reaction turned the owner off and made him not even want to hear his side of the story. One of the things I heard him say amidst the expletives was, “He can’t tell me what to do…” which seemed in stark contrast to the relationship of an employee and manager.

Did this guy think he was easy to work with having that attitude?

Whether you are the owner, manager and worker in an organization; it is imperative that people perceive you to be easy to work with. This doesn’t mean that you concede to their every demand but you should consider the following:

  • Be respectful. It doesn’t matter if you think the person you are communicating with is the dumbest individual to ever require oxygen; your treatment of them and reaction to them says more about your character than their words/behaviors. You can’t control other people but you can control yourself.
  • Be timely. I have a tendency to run late. I am guaranteed to almost always be ten to fifteen minutes late no matter how much advance time I give myself but it’s something that I am always working on and I know it’s unacceptable especially in business. However, it is absolutely unacceptable to be more than thirty minutes late for anything, especially if you are involved. If you are a part of an event, team or meeting and you know that you will be more than fifteen minutes late; contact someone and let them know. People will respect you more if they think that you respect them and their time.
  • Follow directions. It doesn’t matter what your title is, we all need to know how to follow directions. If someone contacts you and requests a copy of your bio; don’t send them a link to your website. It’s just as easy for you to cut and paste the information as it is for them. If you have a call scheduled with someone at an appointed time, don’t call three hours later and expect them to answer. Although you may believe that whatever is going on in your world is the most important at the moment, others feel the same way about their time. If you can’t follow the directions given by someone; explain that and see if other arrangements can be made. Don’t just assume that the world will bend to your will (unless you are the boss and paying it to).
  • Know your role. Confusion often occurs when we are not playing our role. In the example above, the guy clearly did not understand his role in the organization. Not only did he not think his manager should be telling him what to do but he also felt justified to curse at his boss (a guy that drilled me on my spiritual relationship before agreeing to work with me). I don’t always like my position on a team but I realize that I have three choices – suck it up and deal with it OR work my way to the position that I want OR remove myself from the situation.

Those four things immediately stick out to me. What are some other things that you believe people can do to make themselves easy to work with?