No matter where you work, it is inevitable that there will come a time when you will have to deal with a difficult co-worker. They exist in all workplaces and can really give you a hard time and a lot of stress if you do not know how to deal with them effectively. The behavior of the difficult co-worker can come in many different forms, which means that your approach in dealing with them may vary accordingly. That being said, there are some general tips you can use to make your workplace more bearable as you try to deal with a difficult co-worker.
Tip 1 – Can you ignore it and make do? If it does not directly interfere with your ability to do your job and you can handle living with the problem daily, then this might be the easiest option. However, this is not advised if the difficult co-worker is causing you a lot of undue stress in the workplace.
Tip 2 – Mention your concerns to the co-worker in a light manner. There is a chance that your co-worker was unaware that they were causing a problem. This also insures
Tip 3 – Bring in a manager as a last resort. It will be best for you if you can solve the problem with the co-worker on your own without the knowledge or presence of a manager. This will prevent the co-worker from feeling as if you are forcing their move by going over their head, so to speak. If you do need to bring a manager into the situation, you should go to your manager as opposed to the co-workers manager. Then, your manager should bring up the subject with the co-worker’s manager for you.
An important thing to remember when dealing with a difficult co-worker is that you do not want to make an already bad situation even worse by reacting instead of acting.
Tip 4 – Do not confront your co-worker about whatever it is that they are doing in a storm of anger. Doing so will not only make you look bad, but will ignite a fire of anger in your co-worker as well. This will definitely make it harder, if not impossible, to clear things up in the end.
Tip 5 – Do not let the co-worker find out that you have issues with them via the office gossip chain. If this happens, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better as the co-worker will feel as if you cannot be trusted.
Tip 6 – Do not undermine the authority and respect of the co-worker by immediately going to management. This will make you look like you are whining and complaining to management. And it will make you look irrational and snobbish to the co-worker because you did not first speak to them. It will likely anger them also if they get reprimanded as they will feel that if you had come to them first that the punishment would have never happened.
Sometimes you will have to learn to live with differences, which you may realize do not matter much in the long run anyways.