If you have been working for at least five years, odds are you’ve had the experience of working alongside difficult people at work. Some of these personalities may look familiar to you:
When managing or handling lousy co-workers, remember one thing: You cannot force people to change. You can only change how you react or respond to others.
So, take heart. There are actions you can take to improve your interpersonal relationship with these individuals and/or limit your exposure to them.
Maybe you misread a situation, or maybe not.
The point is if you seek a mutual resolution to one specific issue and want to keep this individual as a possible work friend, then it’s best to have a private conversation with your co-worker the first time the issue occurs.
Try to keep emotion out of it. This is about their specific behavior, its effect on you, and proposing a solution.
For example, if a complainer targets you, you might smile and say, “I’m under deadline most mornings.
When you stand at my desk wanting to talk, it’s hard for me to focus. Maybe we can plan to do lunch together.”
If the office gossip is buzzing around your desk, smile and tell her you have a deadline that requires your attention then lower your head and get to work.
Once she realizes you won’t join in her gab fest, she’ll move on to another target.
If the office backstabber is working his magic to make you look like the incompetent or useless employee, fight back by doing your work and doing it exceptionally well.
He’ll have nothing to back up his nasty comments if you are productive and careful with your work.
Make note that avoiding a person is not the same as ignoring someone. You want to project an image as an efficient, knowledgeable, dependable team player at work.
This works especially well in the case of an incompetent employee who is not getting his/her work done or is constantly asking you “how” to do something.
Send the individual an email suggesting training.
If your company provides internal skill training, that’s ideal. If not, suggest a couple of online or local seminars, but do it through email.
The point is to create an electronic trail of the individual’s constant requests and you being supportive and helpful.
If the individual’s problem isn’t lack of skill but lack of motivation to work and his/her laziness impacts your ability to get work done, discuss your concerns with your supervisor.
Your boss doesn’t want anything getting in the way of you being productive at work.
If lousy co-workers are consistently trying to draw you into their gossip or public airing of complaints, talk to your supervisor about the distraction.
Show the documentation or proof you have. Cite specific examples and how it is impacting your ability to work effectively.