sending the wrong signals during conflict/communication

by June Rafeal
(The Netherlands, )

I keep having a re-occuring problem.
My co-workers interpret my communication as aggressive or hostile whereas I am just naturally passionate and expressive when I talk. I use lots of guestures, varying tones etc. ( I used to act a lot).

I am a teacher and can get along fine with my students and want to get along well with my colleagues as well. I'm starting a new job and want to get off on the right foot.

Please can you give me some advice, hopefully not along the lines of talk softly and keep your eyes on the ground at all times, as that really is not me. I'm a decent person, I like other people, they just think I'm angry when I'm not, please help!

Imelda’s Response

You asked me not to tell you to talk softly and look down. I won’t . That would be a ommunication style that’s not only not-you, but almost useless in the workplace.

However, I will ask you to use your acting skills to tone down your expressiveness a bit. As desirable as being expressive is, if you’ve found that it gets on people’s nerves, it may be too much and you may be better off repressing it a bit while at work. Let’s face it, most workplaces are not exactly places where one can be totally self-expressed and passionate.

You mention that you get along with your students, that’s quite a feat and should give you hope that anything is possible and that you can get along with colleagues. Just ease up on the exuberance or find a place that embraces it.

P.S. Note: My response is late :( I hope not too late...
I apologize for not responding earlier, I have been away from the site due to personal issues that took my entire focus and time. I'm sorry.

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Oct 08, 2015
Great post
by: mark

Great post about communication,you have posted very valuable information.Ask your co-workers not to interrupt you when you are working ,i hope they understand.

Sep 15, 2015
Great post
by: mike

I have read the post, you have mentioned about your co-worker's behavior is aggressive or hostile towards you. This is a common problem with workplace, you should talk to them, tell them that you don't like such behavior and it is not proper.

Mar 21, 2012
Re: Repression v. Expression
by: Sakon Child Inc.

I can relate with how you feel about having that need to express yourself in the workforce. I makes you feel like you are more yourself, thus able to work at a more consistant pace. My advice comes from personal experience while working at a fast-paced fast food resturaunt. If it irritates your colleagues, then it prevents thems from working at optimal peak performance, thus preventing everyone from being the absolute best as a whole. I agree with the girl who posted above and say you should tone down the expressions a bit before you end up facing a difficult decision of having to fing another job. Not everyone loves an actor on their shift, and would rather file a grievance to their management, so stop.

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