We all get to work with and manage a difficult co-worker at some point. That colleague with the awkward sense of humor, the one that has no idea of personal space, and that assistant who loves to talk non-stop.
In as much as we would all love to work in a friendly and productive environment, but not everyone is that lucky. It is not uncommon that even one bad co-worker can make your job very difficult.
Having to deal with difficult people at work is a necessary evil when you’re in the corporate world. At some point, personalities or working methodologies will clash, and you’ll just have to find a way to work around it.
Your skirmish with person or persons can be as small as office politics that make your time unenjoyable. Or it can be with your superior when you are not getting due credit for your work. Whatever the case may be, you need to address the conflict.
You may be tempted to take the matter to HR, but just before you do that, you might want to give it another thought.
Our article on whether the HR is your friend or not would shed more light on that.
You should be able to reach out to your boss, or any colleague you feel close to if you feel the need.
If there are mild office politics at work, don’t be afraid to get some support from your teammates or other people in your company.
Keep in mind that while these tips work for most office confrontations.
Try to detect the issue
This is the first step to take to manage a difficult co-worker. Is the issue that brings you at loggerheads a combination of you and them, or is the issue exclusively their responsibility?
If the co-worker is what you can call “toxic” in any way, try to recognize what their personality is, what situations set off their undesirable behavior, and how you can avoid taking the problem further. If you are lucky enough to find it out, then go on and take the next tip.
Act the matured person
It is not an easy thing to want to rise above a problematic situation, but it is important to do so at work. As exasperating as any that situation with a co-worker may be, try to keep your emotions and actions in check.
You don’t want to be the person at work that is known for getting into fights every now and then or getting upset. So, try and rise above issues with any co-worker and ensure you act like the bigger person.
Address the situation
Addressing lingering issues could help you manage a difficult co-worker. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is better to avoid anything that could affect the quality or productivity of your work.
Approaching them when the dust has settled on an issue when there isn’t emotion involved will most likely get the best result. By speaking calmly and expressing your feelings, you might just have got the desired alignment.
Learning to handle a troublesome co-worker can teach you a lot about yourself and what environments you work best in. If a co-worker is interfering with your ability to work well, follow these tips and you just might be able to resolve the issues.