How to deal with difficult colleagues


Most of us have experienced this, whether it’s having an out-and-out bully on the team or having to handle someone who goes the passive aggressive route. Neither is easy to cope with, but if you don’t take steps you’ll find yourself hating the work which used to put a smile on your face. So, short of screaming at your co-worker, how can you stop them becoming too much?

Firstly, you need to understand that while staying quiet might make you feel like the bigger person, you’re not actually doing yourself any favours. Your colleague has no way of knowing they are frustrating you unless you say something. But pick your words carefully – don’t be accusatory, instead calmingly explain the impact they are having on you. Starting your sentence with, “I feel…” is a good idea, as while facts can be questioned someone’s emotions can’t be.

Remember this might not be all about your co-worker either. Yes it’s annoying when they point out an error in your work to the boss, but is that really why you are angry? Or is it more that you know it was a silly mistake and you feel humiliated to have made it?

It’s difficult, but you have to try to rise above any irritating comments. The more you let them get to you, the worse you’ll feel. There’s a big difference between internally moaning about how angry someone makes you, and wondering what it is that makes them behave in such a way. The first leads to frustration, the second will help you move on speedily.

Try to view your job as a choice, rather than something which has been foisted on you. An easy way to do this is to think of something to save for, whether a piece of clothing, a gadget or something big like a holiday. Then when things threaten to get bad, tell yourself that you’ve chosen to come to work so you can treat yourself to that leather jacket. That’s much easier to stomach than the thought that you have to come and listen to your colleague bad-mouthing you all day. Plus, when you think about it work is a choice – and if you really can’t get over your team issues, perhaps it’s time you choose a new job.

© Cover Media

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