How to Deal with Difficult Co-Workers
When you are at work, the last thing you want to deal with are a difficult co-worker, a bully or a prankster. Those types can make it very difficult to get up in the morning and go to work.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to resolve any issues or problems you are facing in the workplace. Alan Hubbard, LandAjob’s Chief Operating Officer, stresses the importance of building relationships and learning to understand your co-workers.
“You need to make a strong effort to learn about your co-workers and what they like to do and how they deal with others,” said Hubbard. “You don’t want to be the person who can’t handle situations on your own. That’s something a boss will notice about you. Of course, if the situation can’t be resolved and your efforts haven’t worked out, then you should go to the human resource department.”
LandAjob helps Americans with disabilities find employment with a free database of more than 600,000 jobs in the United States. They will also help you learn how to receive up to $13,000 in job expenses and reimbursements. You can register for free at www.landajob.org.
One way not to get caught up in the workplace issues is to be positive in your interactions with co-workers. You will be less likely to attract negative interactions. A good sense of humor is also a good way to head problems off at the start.
“If you don’t want to give off negative vibes, the difficult co-worker won’t get the reaction or support they are looking for from you,” said Hubbard. “They will then move away from you and on to someone else.
“You want to stay calm in your interactions with the difficult co-worker and remember not to lose your temper. That will only add fuel to the situation, something you want to really avoid.”
Hubbard says this is where knowing and understanding your co-workers is key. You don’t want to identify them wrongly, and if you listen you may be able to resolve the issues.
Talking to a third party who is not involved in the situation may offer a different solution to the problem. You don’t, though, want to relay confident or private information about your co-worker.
“Calmly speaking with your co-worker may allow them to see things from a different side,” he said. “If you reach an impasse, then it is time to go your boss or the human resource department. You don’t want a really bad situation to fester.”
During an interaction with a co-worker, most of us have been in the situation where we just can’t get rid of them either in person or on the phone. No matter how many hints you give, the co-worker just doesn’t get the message.
“This is where you have to get creative,” said Hubbard. “You can fake having a phone call or a meeting and need to leave right away. Be polite, though, when using your exit strategy.”
Being a new employee, you might be a target for the office prankster, who has been looking forward to trying out their jokes on you.
“Office pranks are part of the culture of the workplace and they play a role in reducing the stress level,” said Hubbard. “Good humor is fine, but you want to make sure they don’t go over the line. You should let a person know that. If it happens again, then you go to human resources.”
If you follow these steps, you should be able to deal with the difficult co-worker in any situation you might face.
(LandAjob helps Americans with disabilities find employment with a free database of more than 600,000 jobs in the United States. You can also learn how to get up to $13,000 in job expenses and reimbursements. You can register for free at www.landajob.org.)