Ideally, we will have a great relationship with all the colleagues that we work closely with. Unfortunately for a lot of us, this doesn’t get to be the case. Nearly all of us – at some point in our careers – will have to work daily with a difficult co-worker. Sometimes, people don’t get on and that is only human. But the problems start to come if it is interrupting your work. Here are some tips on how to work harmoniously with problematic colleagues:
1. Establish Some Rules
One of the best ways to deal with a difficult co-worker is to get some ground rules. This will better help you prevent any unnecessary conflict. Research has been done that shows around 70% of all difficulties in an office stem from tense relationships. If you and the other party let each other know how to communicate from there on, more conflict can be avoided.
2. Listen To Them
A lot of strained relationships can come from misunderstandings. It may be that you have misheard or misinterpreted something that they have said. Seek a meeting with that colleague and see if you can work through difficulties by listening to their problem. Make sure that you give them your full attention, otherwise the situation could get worse.
3. Keep Telling Them Your Point
One of the worst types of colleague – or people for that matter – are the ones that won’t listen. If you find yourself being constantly ignored or pushed aside, then become a broken record. If you are constantly reminding someone of something that needs done then chances are you’ll eventually get through. The relationship might not improve, but at least things will start to get done.
4. Stay in Control
The co-worker might push all your buttons and annoy the life out of you – but it is important to remain calm. Getting visibly annoyed and upset will only worsen the situation. Take a step away if it’s getting too much. Then once you are removed from the situation take a look at it, and work out what step would be best to take.
5. Difficult Co-Worker: Have Positive Body Language
Body language can influence a situation and while it may seem like such a small thing to do, it can actually help immensely. Next time you have a meeting or have to interact with the colleague, open your body language up. This will make you seem easier to talk to and may make them more open to you.