Dealing with difficult people at work…

The modern workplace is full of different people with different personalities and values, so it is inevitable that there are going to be clashes at some point or another.

I’m sure that you have encountered a colleague whose behaviour you felt was unacceptable, or even if you are lucky enough not to, here are a few good tips to keep in mind.

Stay Cool

When someone is behaving badly and spreading negativity in the office it’s difficult to ensure it doesn’t affect you in the same way.

Negativity breeds itself and if you have to spend your day with a colleague who you are not compatible with, it’s really hard to muster up the motivation to get on with your work and be the best you can be.

The trick is to not let it get you down. Whenever you’re feeling frustrated at a colleague, let yourself feel that way for a few minutes and then in the words of  a well known song let it go.

Don’t over analyse and worry what other people have said, it is a waste of time and energy and stress simply doesn’t help the situation.

Address the situation

If you’re having trouble working with a colleague, it’s important you attempt to resolve your issues as soon as possible. Often, this person will be oblivious to the fact you’re not enjoying your working relationship… if you don’t address the problem and let them know what you’re having difficulty with, how do you expect them to change?

This can be an awkward conversation, but it is the most professional way to come to a solution which is beneficial for both parties

Listen and take action

Once the situation has been made clear, it’s important you listen to what they have to say. Acknowledge their concerns, validate their feelings, try to understand their behaviour but DO NOT take the blame.

Try and remain professional at all times, so avoid getting personal and looking frustrated, stay calm and open minded.

You want to end the conversation with a clear resolution, so make sure you have a list of actions you are both going to take, showing you have been productive and found resolutions to save your working relationship.

And if that doesn’t work… Wait

Most people can’t change overnight and it will take time for them to break their bad habits.  Give them the space to let the message sink in.

However, if you’ve tried everything you can to improve the situation but there is still no change, then it’s time to consider your options.

Nobody likes telling tales, but if you’ve done all you can in a constructive manner and you’re no closer to a resolution, you may have to ask your superior to get involved.

As long as you can present your case with examples of inappropriate behaviour and are completely sure that you are not being over-sensitive, there’s no reason why you can’t ask for help.

If you are struggling with any communication issues, why not download our FREE HRREV Guide to Effective Communication HERE

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