Whatever stage you are in your career, you’ve likely come across at least one: the problematic co-worker. Whether they’re loud and abrasive, know-it-alls, lazy, or just plain rude, they make coming to the office each day a challenge. So how can you deal with the situation so that you can work in peace? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Take a step back.
When it comes to a colleague that is bothering you at work, could it be that they’re triggering something within you? For instance, do they know how to press your buttons in a way that leaves you angry and upset? It’s vital that in these situations, you take a step back and look at your issues. Why is what they’re doing upsetting you so much? This could be an opportunity for your own personal and professional growth.
Keep emotions in check.
It’s easy to let your emotions come to the surface when you’re dealing with a difficult co-worker. But doing so will escalate the situation. It clouds your judgment, and you might end up saying or doing something that you regret as a result. Instead, don’t react in anger; wait until your emotions have subsided so you can handle the situation professionally.
Confront them privately.
If you call them out in public, they’ll likely go into defense mode. If instead, you have a private conversation, they’ll be more apt to take what you say to heart, especially if you can give them specific examples and the impact their behavior is having on you.
Talk to your boss.
If someone is being bullied or harassed, it’s time to bring the issue up to your boss or HR. This is a situation that they need to handle, following specific HR protocols as they do. Just make sure you’ve been documenting your concerns and are ready to back up your claims with facts.
Make a move.
If you’ve done all you can, the co-worker is truly impacting your performance, and management seems unwilling to step in, then you either need to live with the problem or make a move. If it’s causing you a significant amount of daily stress, then changing jobs is worth considering. This is especially true if you feel your employer isn’t supporting you in providing the kind of workplace you need to be successful.
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