Skip to content

November 6, 2010

Dealing With Difficult Co-Workers

Difficult people.  We meet them everywhere.  From the snobby salesperson to the rude customer service rep.  Sure we can shop elsewhere, but there’s one person you can’t get away from – the toxic co-worker.  They can be condescending, confrontational and they make your blood boil.  Don’t fool yourself in thinking you can change them – instead look at yourself and realize how you deal with a difficult co-worker can make all the difference in the world… 

Stress comes in all shapes and forms.  And it’s not just deadlines that can make you want to pull your hair out – the people you work with also play a major role in your frustration level.  Not getting along with a co-worker means you have to face the stress of it day in and day out.  There’s no escaping the people you spend 40 hours a week with – unless you’re willing to change jobs or hope they change theirs! 

Don’t waste energy on people that don’t deserve it and drain it from you.  Instead, practice these 5 tips to make it through your work day in spike of a co-worker who rubs you the wrong way. 

  1. Be Prepared for Conflict – the best way to deal with a problem is to see it coming before it invades your cubicle.  Anticipate ahead of time how you’re going to handle the situation so you’re not caught off guard and act in a way that will only make the situation worse.
  2. Don’t Fuel the Fire – Don’t be tempted to retaliate.  People who instigate confrontation and cause tension also thrive on controversy.  Any exchange of negative words fuels their fire and makes them feel powerful.  Instead, use the oldest trick in the book – kill ‘em with kindness!
  3. Lend a Helping Hand – this gets them every time!  Negative behavior is often the result of a person who’s dealing with a whole lot more than they let on.  Once you become comrades, this person may become aware of their downfalls and look to you for advice.  Lead by example and your positive behavior might just rub off on them – or if nothing else, cause them to lighten up on you.
  4. Get a Third Party Involved – If a difficult co-worker is not receptive to your attempts at defusing the situation, enlist a neutral third-party to help navigate the situation.  Come to the meeting with an open mind, be prepared to compromise and always keep your goal in mind – to get along, put the pettiness aside and work as a team.
  5. Move On – There might come a time when you have to hang up your hat and admit that the situation just isn’t gong to resolve itself.  If you can honestly say you gave it all you had and you’re still stuck with a disruptive co-worker, it’s not worth the stress to worry about it.  Accept it for what it is.

Don’t let someone else determine whether you are going to have a good day or bad day at work.  Be postively productive!

Comments are closed.