In a perfect world, you would get along perfectly with all your coworkers, from the IT guy to the CEO’s secretary. Unfortunately, work life is rarely simple and never perfect. No matter how agreeable you are, chances are some of your coworkers just rub you the wrong way.
Dealing with difficult or unpleasant coworkers is an essential workplace skill, and one of the hardest to acquire. No one arrives for their first day at work with the ability to handle difficult workplace dilemmas. No matter how good your interpersonal skills are, some workplace problems will be difficult to resolve. Fortunately there are some very effective strategies you can use to deal effectively with even the most difficult coworkers.
It is hard not to take things personally, especially when dealing with difficult coworkers. A simple criticism from a colleague can seem like a personal affront when it comes from a coworker with whom you have had prior conflicts.
Learning not to take unwarranted criticism personally is one of the best ways to deal with difficult, demanding or condescending coworkers. You may not be able to change the way your coworkers act, but you can change the way you react to those actions.
Every workplace has its gossips and troublemakers. It is all too easy to get sucked into all that drama and join in the conversation. Unless you want to get lumped in with the gossip gang, it is best to stay above the fray.
If the workplace gossip is someone you need to deal with professionally, try taking an active listening approach without actually joining in. If you do not need to deal with the office gossip, it is best to stay away as much as possible.
Dealing with negative coworkers can be extremely difficult. Some people are never satisfied — they hate their jobs, they hate the companies they work for and they hate their lives in general. It is all too easy for that negativity to rub off on you and ruin your life as well.
One of the best ways to combat the workplace negativity is to surround yourself with more positive influences. Cultivating friendships at work is one of the best ways to survive your workday and even enjoy it.
Many people are so afraid of confrontation and so anxious to get along that they let their coworkers take advantage of them. If you feel like the office doormat, it is time to lose your fear and confront the perpetrators.
You may need to enlist the help of like-minded coworkers and supervisors, especially if the workplace bully is in a position of power. Getting allies on your side is one of the best ways to fight back and improve your working life.