It is often be said that the people you work with can make the difference between loving your job or not. Workplace environments can have complicated people politics, and certainly lots of different personalities. While some of us are lucky enough to have a great team of people that we work with, for many, dealing with that difficult co-worker can be a real challenge.
SB Recruitment have put together our top tips for dealing with a difficult co-worker.
1. Remain empathetic. Sometimes people’s insecurities manifest themselves as people that are hard to get along with, by remembering that defensive or competitive colleagues may just be insecure or have a lot going on at home causing them to lash out at work, or carry around a lot of anxiety that comes out the wrong way. By recalling that everyone has their own story and a lot going on you can show empathy for that colleague rather than getting annoyed or frustrated with them.
2. Focus on yourself. By keeping focussed on what your job is, and what you need to achieve you can filter out toxic team mates by running your own race and keeping fixated on what your goals are. By human nature too, if that person is not getting a reaction out of you, they might just stop their behaviour, or move on to something else.
3. Stay Positive. Don’t let that difficult person bring you down. Focus on staying happy and what you can do to support that. Meditate, take time out if you need, but don’t be brought down by other people’s bad attitudes! You never know too; your positive attitude might just be what they need to see and hear to start turning themselves around. You could have a very positive impact on them.
4. Confront the issue. Sometimes ignoring a toxic person doesn’t work and their behaviour can escalate or really have a negative impact on you trying to do your job. In this instance it may be time to take action to avoid the situation getting worse. Although confrontation can be difficult you could ask them to have a meeting with you and discuss the issues at hand, or if you are not comfortable doing so requesting HR step in and follow their advice for dealing with the situation, or talk to your boss. It pays in this instance to have some examples of their behaviour written down so you can show proof of their actions or harmful words.
Remember, at the end of the day you oversee your life, where you work and what you tolerate. If you have tried all the above strategies and are still really struggling to cope with that difficult co-worker it may be time to request a new team, or if the situation is bad you could look for a new job. Sometimes there are bad situations at work that despite your best efforts just won’t change. Occasionally the toxicity comes from the top, and if this is the case it may be a better solution to find a healthy workplace where people are respected, and bad behaviour is not accepted.
Is it time for a change? SB Recruitment can help you find your next opportunity or offer advice for building better team dynamics in your workplace.