The ideal work environment is friendly and productive, but oftentimes this seems unachievable. Sometimes even just a single bad co-worker can make getting your job done near impossible. Most issues with co-workers stem from improper communication tactics; so to deal with tricky co-workers you need to take emotion out of the equation.
That’s easier said than done, however, if you’re looking for some advice on how to handle different types of challenging co-workers here are some tips on how to handle them.
A ‘tackler’ co-worker is someone who attacks you personally while arguing an issue. They may be someone who tries to score brownie points with the boss by subtly undermining you. It’s important to not stop suggesting great ideas just because you’re worried your co-worker is going to knock you down. Try moving the emphasis away from people and instead focus on the issue at hand. If this tactic is still not working, you can always pull your co-worker aside for a private chat.
Enviers are individuals that want what you have and believe that they should have it instead. Even a simple ‘congratulations’ can seem insincere or hostile from these co-workers. The best course of action would be to limit your communication with this individual and to keep things strictly professional.
Often these co-workers feel insure about their own position or accomplishments. Keeping emotions out of your conversations is important and instead, engage these individuals on a project that excites them to deflect negative feelings. If things escalate to a point where it’s difficult to get your job done, it may be time to approach HR to help you smooth things out.
These co-workers are often the bully of the workplace, intimidating you to do what they want by holding some sort of perceived power over you. With these types of co-workers, first decipher if they have real or perceived power over you. Remember that you have the right to stand up for yourself while still being respectful. Rehearse responses to their jabs, such as ‘I do not feel comfortable with that’, to be better prepared to respond to them in uncomfortable situations.
When interacting with these co-workers create a mental bubble in which you can distance yourself from their threats. It’s good to keep an electronic copy of your interactions, in case matters escalate and you need to take it to HR.
You helped get a co-worker acclimated to the office or a difficult project and now they won’t stop knocking on your door to ask for favours. Imposers take unfair advantage of your good nature, time and talent – these individuals are often self-centred and inconsiderate of others and their time.
The easiest way to deal with these co-workers is to say that you’re too backed up to help and suggest an alternative solution or person that may be able to assist.
Keep in mind that there is always someone you can approach to help you with negative working situations. You should never be afraid to voice your opinions or ask for help in the workplace. More often than not, negative situations with co-workers can be resolved if you keep a level head and separate emotion from your communication.