6 Strategies To Deal With A Difficult Co-worker

According to a poll conducted by Olivet Nazarene University, interpersonal interactions are the number one cause of workplace friction. 36% of those polled said they had changed employment because of an obnoxious or arrogant co-worker, and 96% said they were frustrated with their coworkers daily.

Who is a difficult co-worker?

A difficult co-worker is impolite not just to other co-workers but also to their employer. One of the traits of toxic co-workers is that they don’t work well with others or take credit for other people’s work.To succeed in life, you must learn to deal with a difficult co-worker. Although many of these individuals are ordinary folks like you or me, it is essential to deal with them. There are various reasons why individuals behave in this manner at their place of employment.

Their toxicity might be that they are dissatisfied with their profession, suffer from a personality condition, or do not know how to get along with others. It can be tricky when you have to deal with an unpleasant co-worker all the time. You may improve your work environment by learning conflict management skills. Accept or address their conduct, and you may begin to concentrate on yourself and those you appreciate.

Follow these six strategies to handle the most toxic co-worker.

1. Self-awareness

Nobody makes it out of childhood unscathed. We all experience flashbacks to our youth, families, and close connections that shaped who we are now. When we least anticipate it, feelings of rage or irritation might arise. Instead of deciding how we respond to a circumstance or person, we react. Instead of blaming others or events, look at why you respond negatively to them. The ability to control your emotions, ideas, and actions in a way that promotes your achievement is what is meant by mental toughness.

Having the courage to face oneself with honesty and compassion is a must. These thinking habits may have been formed during adolescence when you were a victim of abuse. You don’t have to be a coward. It’s time to figure out who or what presses your buttons. Working with challenging co-workers isn’t always a drag; in fact, it may be an opportunity for rapid advancement in your career.

2. Speak with your difficult co-worker

Talking to a problematic co-worker is nothing less than a Sisyphean task. However, you cannot avoid not dealing with them. As a professional, use reflective communication skills to overcome unpleasant situations, especially in dealing with a difficult co-worker. So, instead of saying “you,” send an “I” message to a colleague to describe how you’re feeling. Explain to your toxic colleague that their behavior affects your well-being and productivity.

When conversing with a problematic co-worker, keep your demeanor friendly and cordial. Some people may not realize how their words or actions disturb you. They may be discovering how their actions have affected you for the first time. A pattern in their interactions with other individuals may also need to be considered and confronted by the individual.

What if the worst happens?

They may be aware of their influence on you, but they may deny it or attempt to justify it. Unfortunately, many don’t give a damn. Focus on the activities that have the most significant negative impact on you.

3. Accept their personality and perspective

Interacting with unpleasant and charming individuals all the time is a regular aspect of your life. Even if you discover that the problematic co-worker isn’t doing anything unlawful, their personality may not be one that you find appealing. Ideally, acknowledge that you have to get along with this individual. Try to think of things about their personality that you like and give them a chance to show them off.

Getting to know your difficult co-worker’s point of view is the best way to deal with them. Also, it might make it simpler to deal with them in the long term. Following a more in-depth conversation with them, you may see that their upbringing and life experiences influence their conduct and point of view. You deserve respect, and so do they. Giving them a chance to open up would help you better understand their point of view.

4. Minimum interaction

If you can cut down on the amount of time you spend with this co-worker, you will deal with the situation more successfully. Perhaps you will find that you can handle them in fewer doses than you previously thought feasible. As long as possible, keep surrounding yourself with kind and supportive employees at lunches and meetings. It will help if you keep your interactions to a minimum while restricting them so that you do not upset anyone’s feelings. Minimum interaction is the best way to avoid dealing with a difficult co-worker.

5. Don’t take it personally

When someone is nasty and disrespectful to you regularly, you might begin to take it literally and believe that you have done something wrong. It could be possible that your colleague does not like something about you. Employees’ conduct may stem from their own opinions and beliefs, but that doesn’t imply that you did anything wrong. If you keep this in mind, you’ll face the individual more confidently.

If all else fails, you might attempt to restrict your interactions with a problematic individual. You may even ask to be moved to a different division within the company if that is an option. Doing so may mean that the colleague will never bother you again. When everything else fails, we may always resort to the most extreme option: abandoning our jobs.

6. Talk to your boss!

When your appeals about your toxic colleague have fallen on deaf ears, it is time to talk to the boss. Speaking to the boss should be the last resort, but there are instances when there are no other options. Talking to your boss is the best way to deal with a difficult co-worker. If you decide to speak to your superiors about the problematic co-worker, make sure you have your evidence ready to present the case effectively.

Take notes on how this person’s activities affect your work and productivity on projects, and make a list of the specific things that person is doing that affect your productivity. Learning to deal with a difficult co-worker or unpleasant job conditions may tell you a great deal about yourself and the kinds of settings in which you perform best.

See Also: How To Select The Most Effective Candidate For Your Organization

If a co-worker interferes with your capacity to do your job duties effectively, use these measures to resolve the situation. Do not be anxious to ask for help in the time of need because you will have to make a tough decision between performing well at your job or finding yourself a new job. So, stay and fight back.