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Handling Difficult Colleagues

The Most Effective Approach

At one point or the other at work, we have all encountered that difficult, passive-aggressive co-worker that switches from totally ignoring you to making snide and undermining comments and remarks. Sometimes, he/she goes as far as dropping you from group emails just to make you look bad.

In cases like that, the first reaction is to apply emotional intelligence and bottle it all in, but there is only so much you can take. There comes a time when you feel that the only option available is to choose between feeling like a tattle-tell or bottling up your issues.

The reasonable truth is, it does not have to be so as there is a much better solution – WORKAROUNDS. Workarounds are the most effective method for dealing with issues and overcoming a problem or limitation. Having fewer parties involved is better, so just you and your supervisor are ideal for a successful workaround.

There are 3 easy steps to follow:

1. DEFINE THE WORKAROUND

The goal of the workaround is to reduce or eliminate contact with the co-worker as much as possible. It involves reviewing the perimeters of your job duties and solutions that will work. For example, does the workaround include a new process or a different direction of communication? Think about both the short term and long-term results of each decision. Finally, decide which one would be best for your situation.

2. CONSULT SUPERVISOR

This is NOT a time to tattle on your co-worker; this is simply a time to bring to light an issue that creates a hostile environment for you as a professional. Give a detailed timeline of all problems and ask for their tips on how to handle the problem. This is also a time to offer your workaround or the solution.  

3. EXECUTE WORKAROUND

This is hard but indeed necessary! Burnout can quickly happen if you do not make time for yourself. So, dedicate times throughout the week that you take a break. Enjoy some of your hobbies or pick up a new hobby! Doing so will allow you to enjoy some of the present things that matter the most.

Put all this to practice, and you will be amazed at the results.

– This content is for personal use only. This content is not to be duplicated.

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