A Workplace can be stressful and since we all have different personalities and work styles, it is all but natural to come across coworkers who make our workplace less than enjoyable by their pesky presence. In fact, I can most definitely say that most of us have come across at least one or more of such a not-so-pleasant workplace situation – dealing with difficult people at the workplace.
You might not want to be on the same team as them, and you might want to punch them in the face – but before you even think of such retaliation – pause and find out ways to deal with them. Tact and teamwork goes a long way and are the supporting columns of your career success.
But of course, this situation is not be brushed aside and tolerated, you must know how to deal with it. Dealing with difficult coworkers is dependent on the type of situation you face and in no way should continue to be the reason for your miserable life at work.
Here are some tips on how to work with them and most importantly to understand them:
1. Listen first.
Reserve your judgement – often we tend to pass a judgment fast on what is being said even before it is finished. Listening enables better understanding and also helps you present points objectively when your turn comes. Don’t judge before you understand – the reasons for misunderstanding can only be assessed by careful judgement.
On CB: 3 Ways to Improve your Business Communication with Effective Listening
2. This person might have an intention to excite or provoke you to a confrontation, beware!
Losing your cool can only cost you your reputation and of course peace of mind. Whatever happens, try to take it in calmly and prefer to respond back at a later time if you feel anger surging. Responding back, or retaliating in any way must be avoided unless of course if it is to protect yourself physically.
3. Extreme Emotions must be excluded at work at all times.
Anger, retaliation and even crying are not taken well at the workplace. You are there to work and not throw your emotions around. None wants to take any sh** from the coworkers and no one readily admits it’s their fault, so an angry retaliation may cause only harm and no good. Even though you might encounter personal attacks or accusations, don’t take it personally.
4. Ignore and don’t entertain.
At times this method works out the best; but not always. When the trouble makers feel that you have no effect on their daily rambling and back-biting; they might just move on. But if this habit goes unreported then there is some other co-worker who will suffer because of your non-reporting.
5. However, when push comes to shove; or you feel you are unable to focus on your work because of negative interruptions or mental abuse; it is time to talk to the supervisor. Ask for suggestions on how to deal with the situation. Rather than just ranting out your disconcertion, first plan out on how you would want to present this case to your boss. Also it would be good to have some written or your recorded version of some incidents which help in reducing time going back and forth. It is best to ask someone, and you will get better advice.
6. Keep a record of each incident on how this coworker has affected your work or productivity.
It might help you in strengthening a case later on if situation gets to accusations and more trouble from this coworker.
7. Never write an email when you are upset.
Written words stay somewhere forever and you would not want any skeletons in your cupboard just because of a hasty action after an unpleasant incident at work. Take time to respond, analyze accusations for at least an hour and this time will help you stabilize your thoughts. Articulation and explanation improves when the mind is at peace.
Here are some more tips:
Have you come across difficult people at work? How have you dealt with them?