Everyone wants to work in a friendly environment, but sometimes just one bad co-worker can make you regret working in an organization. Dealing with difficult people is easier when the person’s behaviour affects more than one person. However, dealing with them is harder when they are attacking you, criticizing you or undermining your professional contribution. It’s terrible dealing with a bad co-worker as it could affect your productivity and maybe even your mental health. Hopefully, this list will guide you on how to deal with a difficult colleague:
Start With Self-Examination
The lines can blur a little when dealing with people that are not family – because family can tolerate your idiosyncrasies. It’s possible you may be the problem and the person you think is difficult is just someone that is not willing to put up with your bad attitude. You need to start with self-examination. Are you sure that the other person is really the problem and that you’re not overreacting? Does a pattern exist for you in your interaction with coworkers? Do you recognize that you may be easily triggered by words or actions? It’s important you examine yourself to determine that the problem really is with the other person and not you.
Manage Your Expectations
It’s easy to forget the shortcomings of other people when you’re working in a professional environment. You expect that everyone is as competent as you are or maybe even more competent. You heap expectations on your colleagues and get upset when they aren’t able to deliver or are unwilling to conform to your style of doing things. It’s important to remember that the only things your co-workers owe you are working effectively and not slacking at their job. Anything other than that is being done out of the goodness of their hearts. Make sure to manage your expectations and be realistic, that way you don’t feel disappointed or betrayed.
When working with a difficult person that picks on you or undermines your authority, it is easy to get riled up. However, it’s in your best interest to stay calm and assertive. Know how to react confidently and calmly to aggression, learn how to read moods and if it is necessary, try to stay out of the way of the difficult co-worker. Reducing run-ins with that person will be good for your mindset and mental stability.
Talk To The Person
Politely confront your colleague and let him/her know just how uncomfortable their comments or actions make you. If you don’t communicate your discomfort, it may never be noticed. It’s possible his/her comments or actions weren’t to upset you. Try to understand what the person is thinking and let them know what’s going on in your mind.
Talk To Your Boss
In a situation where you have followed all the aforementioned steps with little or no success, it’s time to involve others—your boss or the Human Resource manager.Take notes and address the issues, not as interpersonal problems, but as issues affecting your productivity and your progress on projects. Tell your boss exactly what the difficult person does. You’re probably going to be called into a few meetings to address the issue so expect to participate in follow-up over time.
There will always be difficult people at our jobs. We may not be able to fix them, but we should learn to tolerate them and keep our sanity intact. Try to separate your emotion from how you communicate and interact with these people.