Tips for Dealing with Difficult Coworkers
The holidays are here, and they can bring out the best and worst in people. You can’t change difficult people, but you can change the way you work with them. No matter where you work, there always seems to be at least one coworker who is difficult to deal with. Sometimes, that coworker even turns into a bully, and that can affect your job performance and self-esteem when all you want to do is get along and get the job done. If you let it go, you can end up losing your temper, and that could adversely affect you both personally and professionally. However, there are some ways you can get along or defuse the situation to make life easier on the job.
All work situations have difficult coworkers from healthcare jobs to sales jobs. It may be the office gossip, the one who never seems to be able to get the job done without help, or the serial dodger, who never seems to take responsibility and blames everyone else for his or her shortcomings. Then there is the nasty coworker, who never has anything nice to say about you, no matter what. Your first step in dealing with difficult coworkers is to identify who they are to ensure you aren’t blaming the wrong person.
1.Discuss the Problem
With a workplace bully or backstabber, it may be necessary to confront the person instead of letting the behavior continue. Having a calm discussion about the problem may have a surprising response. Some people do not realize the adverse impact their statements and actions have on others and be genuinely surprised and taken aback. Try to talk reasonably and hold your temper, but let the person know that your intention is to seek resolution.
2. Have an Exit Strategy
Having an excuse to get away from a difficult coworker can help. Whether inventing a phone call you have to make, work you have to do right away or another excuse, spend as little time with the toxic coworker as possible. When people realize they aren’t being listened to, they start to accept they may be the problem.
3. Keep Your Co-Worker’s Problem Private
You don’t want your character questioned, so maintain your cool when faced with a problem co-worker. Complaining to others in the office might get you branded as a problem yourself, so keep any complaining down to those in your family or a close friend outside the office. Going public with grievances is always a bad idea.
4. Be Bigger Than Your Co-Worker
You know the old adage, “You can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.” This applies to coworkers too. It doesn’t mean you have to come in every day with a new joke or be the person who organizes birthday parties. However, just being pleasant, smiling and polite can improve another person’s attitude toward you.
5. Collectively Find a Solution To A Problem
Whether it’s a problem with a vendor or a frustration with a business tool offering to work collectively on finding a solution not only builds the team dynamic but can save the company money. It’s a win-win.
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