Business Solutions, Career and Enterprising

How To Deal With Difficult Co-Workers

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In this day and age, you can choose to create a massive wardrobe. You can choose to befriend the people who inspire you. Oh! You can even handpick the gender of your baby.

However, you usually cannot choose the people whom you will work with.

The fixed structure of the workplace allows you to interact with all sorts of people. Every workplace has toxic workers. It is inevitable! Dealing with these difficult people is challenging, yet very rewarding. Increase your positive coping skills by absorbing these tips:

Rise Above The Negativity

Some people love to create a bubble of negativity above their heads. They complain about almost every topic that exists. They feel overworked and underpaid. They do not like their bosses. Nor do they enjoy their jobs. They think their careers are on the brink of destruction!

If you are surrounded by Negative Steve and Negative Betsy, you have two moves up your sleeves. You can either avoid the negative bond or hear the person out. Avoidance is acceptable in this situation as you do not want to create a parasitic relationship (i.e., where one is dependent on the other). Take in the essence of what Tony Chatman, a corporate relationship professional, once said.

“If you bond with someone on a negative issue, they will feel that they have found a partner in their distress, and they will look for you every time they feel something negative.”

My significant background in Psychology supports these ideas. Once you bond with the negative co-worker and stimulate his or her rants, you act with validation. You make the person feel right and that the behavior is acceptable.

The other path opposes the first strategy as it employs active listening. You can initially listen to the complaints of the negative person. Decide whether these claims are legitimate or not. If so, offer assistance to solve the present problem. Know your limitations when giving advice. Suggest reading credible books, attending informative seminars, and consulting the professionals in the company’s Human Resources Department.

Prevent The Spread Of Infectious Gossip

Do you ever wonder how your every tiny mistake reaches your boss? Or, perhaps you are wondering how your embarrassing pictures reached the company’s Facebook group. Search no further than the Office Gossipmonger. Gossipmongers cannot keep their mouths shut when it comes to bad news. Instead of offering help, they seek to lower your credibility to stay ahead of the workplace hierarchy. They love to blabber about different stories as long as it does not involve them.

To prevent the spread of the infectious rumor, you must hold back on the private things about your life. Do not disclose an information that you do want others to know about. Remember that everything you say may be used against you. Donna Flagg, the author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations, highlighted that you must: “keep a safe distance so as to avoid getting sucked into the toxicity”.

As with anyone, there is a positive side to them. You can use them as a tool to spread an important information. If you want the workplace to act upon a specific issue, relay the “confidential information” to the gossipmonger. I am pretty sure that he or she will not be able to resist the urge to spread the message right away.

Learn How To Handle The Resident Bully

Workplace bullies employ emotional, physical, or sexual attacks toward their co-workers. Examples of wrongful acts include inappropriately criticizing one’s performance and taking credit for other people’s work. Consequences of these acts include dreading to go to work and public humiliation (i.e., due to being shouted or called at).

The upcoming fact took me by surprise! Statistics found that 1 in 4 Singaporeans have suffered from workplace bullying with the top aggressors being their bosses (62%) and their clients (21%). To make matters worse, Singapore was one of the few countries with the highest acceptance of workplace bullying.

If you are one of the unfortunate targets of the resident bully, deal with him or her by reading this article.

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Sometimes, prized abilities and proper work ethics do not go hand in hand. This is why toxic or difficult people exist at the workplace. You may not control how these people behave, but you can control how you will react to them. Think about this!

Sources: 1,  2, & 3

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