Venting: a sign of disconnection with a co-worker

Those who have positive relationships with co-workers often have better physical and psychological health, and a lower risk of burnout
— Head to Health, Australian Government

Interactions with people in the workplace can have its ups & downs. 

Some interactions may bring you joy, and leave you feeling energised and happy.  Other interactions may leave you feeling confused, worried and hurt. 

It may be the tone of your colleagues’ voice; a negative comment they have made; ignoring you; or not seeking your feedback on a project.  They may go above you; or look down on you; not respect you; or they’re gossiping about you behind your back.   Whatever it is, if you are left feeling deflated due to a disconnection with a co-worker, it can negatively impact your head space, productivity and performance at work. 

A sign that you’re negatively impacted by a disconnection with a co-worker, is that you find yourself venting about that person to other co-workers, your family and/or friends.

I’m sure you know what venting is, but to provide some formality, the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:

An act of expressing negative emotion in a forceful or often unfair way

There are a couple of schools of thought about venting. Quite simply put, these are:

  1. Venting doesn’t help

  2. Venting is helpful

I support the second school of thought.  I do believe venting is helpful, as long as it is purposeful venting.  For purposeful venting to occur, you need to:

  • be aware of how and when you’re venting, and who to; and

  • carefully craft the way you deliver your venting and who you deliver it to. 

However, if it all stops there - at venting, you are only going to temporarily relieve your pain. It is not going to repair your relationship with your co-worker. Therefore, I believe that for venting to be purposeful and for you to improve your relationship with your co-worker and your head space, there is another important action that must follow, and that action must be taken by you.

To discover the third important action, and further insights to improve co-worker relationships to improve your headspace, productivity & performance at work, register for my free online sprint workshop, Improve Co-Worker Relationships, May 21, 10-10:30AM