We spend so much time at work that trying to make our work environment a place where everything runs smoothly and create a good working atmosphere is a must. However, now and then there will be can be a colleague who may make that environment uncomfortable- be it what they say or how they act. Dealing with these co workers can be confusing, and knowing what to do if the situation occurs can be challenging yet rewarding. You can gain new skills, such as dealing with confrontation and communicating in a different manner. It can also make you think about what your limits are with dealing with people, and help you push these to further your life experience.

 

Below are a few tips, taken off a number of websites, to help you deal with difficult co-workers and any potential situation you may find yourself in.

 

  • Be considerate

When trying to resolve an issue with a difficult co-worker, be mindful that we all have bad days. It may be the case that a colleague is going through a tough time outside of work which may be impacting on their workplace behaviour. If this is the case, then try and forgive this poor attitude. However, if you are consistently dealing with a difficult co-worker then you should not let their behavior continue unnoticed.

  • Communicate

Sometimes, people do not realise what they are saying can be taken as offense. The only way to let someone know this is by communicating to them. when communicating, do not become aggressive, but more like you just want to make them aware. You will probably find that many co-workers will be instantly apologetic as they may not have been aware of the issue, therefore making it easier to agree on a resolution. However, be cautious of difficult co-workers that may not take your constructive criticism so lightly.

  • Rise above it

If a colleague is still acting out after you’ve spoken to them, sometimes the easiest solution is to simply accept that they will not return the expected level of professionalism. If you can see that you are not getting through to a difficult co-worker, adjust your expectations of this individual and rise above the issue.

  • If things deteriorate…

There may be an occasion when a difficult co-worker is vocally or physically aggressive towards you. In this instant you are well within your rights to end your ties with them, be that hanging up the phone, walking away or leaving the building. It is your responsibility to make sure you inform your manager or HR department with an account of what happened, how it affected your work and most importantly your well-being.

When dealing with difficult co-workers, make sure you remain professional at all times. Never rise to an aggressive colleague and always turn to communication as the first tool of resolution. Remember, someone could be struggling with a personal crisis or facing mental health challenges.
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