Working with people who are lazy, gossip all the time or have a bad attitude are a reality in many work places. Unfortunately it’s not just their own career they can wreck by being difficult to work with – they can also impact yours if you’re not careful…
It’s been said that we are a reflection of the 5 people we spend most of our time with, so if you’re sat next to the resident office nightmare it’s important you know how to deal with them effectively so that you don’t turn into a problem employee yourself!
Difficult colleagues will always exist but if you know how to knock those tricky issues on the head quickly you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. Here’s how…
1. The Lazy Co-Worker
The problem with lazy colleagues is that they’re likely to directly impact your own personal workload, and you don’t want that! So it’s important that you’re assertive and push back on their inaction as quickly as possible. Tell your colleague that you can’t take on additional work as you have more than enough of your own, and make sure your stay firm.
Importantly, avoid getting your boss involved where possible so that you keep on good terms with your colleague – dobbing them in before you’ve tried talking to them will probably only create another issue for you to deal with!
2. The Gossip
Avoid joining in with office gossip at all costs, unless you’re willing to deal with the repercussions, which can be quite damaging. Even if you have an opinion on what is being said, just listen and then avoid comment. It might feel tricky not to be part of the conversation but your colleague’s likely to move on to another topic when they realise you’re not interested in joining in.
3. The Whinger
The Whinger can be very draining and if they moan all day it’s likely they have other issues to deal with that are beyond your control. However, two ways to try and nip this in the bud are 1) disagree with your colleague – they’re probably just looking for sympathy and when they don’t get it hopefully they’ll leave you alone and 2) change the subject.
4. The Chatterbox
Silence is golden, and that’s where you come in. When The Chatterbox gets going you MUST let them know you’re too busy to talk and then avoid eye contact and get on with your work. If you sit and nod, and pretend to listen you’ll simply giving The Chatterbox all the signals they need to continue. So just like dealing with The Gossip, remove yourself from the conversation and stay quiet.
5. The Big Head
We’ve all met someone who thinks their way is always best and is quite overbearing. To deal with these people it’s important not to get walked over and do things their way – stick to your guns if you have a good idea, and see it through. When you’ve done something well The Big Head will have no option than to acknowledge your achievement (even if it’s not publicly or verbally!). NOTE: These people can really get under your skin, but sometimes they ARE right and DO have great ideas so make sure you’re still open to listening!
Have you ever had to deal with the office nightmare? Post a comment below and let me know what worked for you! (Bring on the funny stories!)
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting and Busy Working Mumma. Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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