I’m pretty sure you all would like to learn how to deal with difficult co-workers since I bet you’re all familiar with this type of person who frustrates and irritates you so much that you can’t even focus well enough to take care of your tasks. These difficult co-workers are precisely the people who don’t respect deadlines, who don’t show up for meetings or even for work sometimes, who don’t want to collaborate and who don’t take any responsibility for their actions. Well, sometimes you just can’t escape them because they are pretty much everywhere. That's why it’s always best to be prepared to face them. Here are a few tips on how to deal with difficult co-workers I hope you will use the next time you have to face such a challenge:
1. Stay CAlm
One of the best tips I could ever give you on how to deal with difficult co-workers is to tell you to try to control your temper as much as possible and to remain calm even in the toughest situations. By losing your temper you won’t solve any of your problems and you’ll infuriate your colleague too. I know it can be quite hard sometimes to restrain yourself from an outburst, but try to think about more pleasant things or just breathe until you manage to calm down a little bit, so you’ll be able to have a decent conversation with that person.
2. Find a Solution
I know this may seem hard to achieve but it’s not impossible. Identify the problems that you’re facing regarding your relationship with that difficult colleague and take some action in order to find a solution that could end that potential conflict. Gather some of your friends and ask for advice. Try to do as much as you can to solve your disagreements, don’t let them interfere with your work and especially don’t let them affect your productivity.
3. Follow Policy and Procedure
You may be surprised to realize this, but actually a lot of companies have policies in place for resolving conflicts between their employees. These procedures often involve a superior who will mediate all misunderstandings between you and your difficult co-worker. So, if you realize you can’t handle that problem on your own, just ask for help and do something about it.
4. Don’t Take Things Personally
I know it can be quite hard to do this, but try not to take things personally and please, don’t take your work problems home with you! Some people are difficult because that’s the way they are and it has nothing to do with you. They are mean to everyone around and sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do to change their attitude. So, it’s best to detach yourself from that person and think about things you enjoy, things that make you feel good, so you won’t be affected by their meanness.
5. Separate the Issue from the Person
When you have to do something at work with some colleague whom you think it’s impossible to work with, try to separate the issue from the person. Focus on your task and don’t let anything get in the way of achieving your goal. Try to stay calm and look at things from a more objective point of view. Don’t take their comments personally and once you manage to do this, you’ll see that their criticism won’t bother you so much anymore.
6. Be Assertive
Learn the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness or passivity. They can be very similar and you’d better watch out, so you will not mix them. I’m not saying you should be a doormat, but you don’t need to be rude to your colleague (even if they are to you). Stick to facts and support your statements in an assertive manner. Maybe this way you will manage to win his or her respect and he or she might even perceive you differently, as a more mature and responsible person.
7. Look at Your Own Behavior
And finally, before you decide to accuse anyone, first try to take a closer look at your own behavior. Is your behavior sometimes inappropriate or does it trigger those reactions from your co-worker? Do you do anything wrong that might start the conflict between the two of you? Have you done everything in your power to get along with your colleague? Are you attracting the wrong kind of people around you? Find an answer to all these questions if you want to know how to deal with difficult co-workers.
It’s not that easy to work every day with a difficult person who does everything in their power to annoy you. How do you deal with difficult people? Have you ever had to face a difficult co-worker? What did you do? How did you handle that situation? I can’t wait to hear from you and learn from your experience!