How to Deal with an Extremely Difficult Colleague

Individuals working in a professional environment are bound to face difficulties and have differences with their colleagues. It is often that one person at work who has a negative effect on the entire department for reasons usually only known to themselves. Working in a team requires each individual to be an equal participant and contributor therefore it is advised to deal with a difficult colleague as soon as the issue starts arising to ensure effect team working can continue.

Recognize the problem

The first step in combating this issue is to recognize the problem. Whether it is creative differences or a personality conflict, individuals who cause issues within the workplace are the stem of instigating a negative work environment. Once you have identified that your agony is rooted in one individuals attitude, you need to examine how exactly they are causing you distress in the workplace. It is probable that you are not the only individual who is being affected by this individual so try and notice if other work colleagues are getting frustrated by this negative individual.

Evaluate yourself

The next step is to evaluate yourself as a colleague; maybe the problem is stemming from a negative attitude or frustrations that you are exerting onto the department. There is always room for improvement so try bringing a positive attitude to work and try fixing conflicts without confrontation, if possible.

Be patient with difficult colleagues

Another tip for individuals is to be patient with difficult colleagues. Staying calm and unemotional at work is important; especially when interacting with a difficult colleague, therefore you should try and be patient with them. You lack of reaction and emotion will show your difficult colleague that you will not engage with them at their level, thus allowing them the chance to be agreeable.

Address it with higher management

If the problem is persistent and is having a detrimental effect on your productivity, it is important to address it with higher management. You should only get to this step once you have tried the above-mentioned tip as highlighting issues to upper management results in serious reactions from them. However, individuals are advised to proceed with this step since having a difficult colleague tends to have a negative effect on everyone within the department – especially in jobs that require team work such as marketing and sales.







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