HOW TO GET ALONG WITH THE DIFFICULT CO-WORKER

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DIFFICULT WORKERS

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Whenever you bring together a bunch of people, there is a jumble of different personalities. Some of them exist together harmoniously, but there are always a few outliers. The workplace is no exception. In addition to people with whom you can easily get along, you will also find some annoying co-workers. What sets the workplace apart from many other settings is that everyone—even those who are the most difficult—must cooperate in order to be productive

  1. The Chatterbox

Let’s start with your most sociable co-worker. The chatterbox usually means well. S/he is friendly and wants to share all thoughts (every last one of them) with you. S/he isn’t trying cause harm to anyone…her incessant talking is just keeping you from concentrating on your work. Here are some things you can do to quiet down your talkative co-worker so you can get your job done.

Don’t risk insulting your colleague by telling hIm/her to be quiet. Instead, put the blame on yourself. Tell the person you have trouble concentrating while you are listening to the very engaging stories but you would love to hear them at some other time. Just not while you’re working. Then, if you truly enjoy the company, have lunch with him/her once a week (less often if that’s too much for you).

2. The Gossip

The gossip seems to know everything about everyone and he wants to share it.

Should you listen to what your busybody colleague has to say? It depends on the nature of the information. If you have the opportunity to hear useful news that may not make it through more formal information channels in your workplace, then you should pay attention, but do it with a cynical ear. The problem with gossip is that it carries both elements of truth and fiction.

However, if the news being shared is of a very personal nature, for example, he starts telling you about another co-worker’s marital problems change the subject or say you don’t feel right discussing someone behind his back. Avoid conveying any information he shares with you with others because then you run the risk of becoming a gossip too.


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3.The Complainer

There’s always one person in a group who can never find anything about which to be happy. If s/he’s not complaining about his/her health or family, then its his/her job, the company, or your boss are the subjects of his/her disapproval. Of course, some of thecomplaints may be legitimate, but the incessant whining is getting on your nerves. S/he’s in danger of bringing everyone down with her negativity. Change the subject whenever the bellyaching begins or, if the complaints are centred around work, ask if s/he’d like your help brainstorming some solutions. Who knows? Together you may be able to solve some problems.

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4. The Delegator

In almost every workplace you’ll find someone who wants to share his work with his colleagues. These aren’t people who have a legitimate reason to delegate work to others, for example, managers or team leaders. They are those who either can’t do all the work their boss has assigned to them or don’t want to do it.

If teamwork is encouraged in your office and you have time to help your colleague, you should. However, if managers are the only ones who have the authority to delegate or you already have your hands full with your own work, then you have to turn down the request. Tell your co-worker you don’t have the time to take on any more tasks.

5. The Credit Grabber

The credit grabber does not acknowledge when others have collaborated with him or her on a project and contributed to its success. S/he accepts all the praise without mentioning the role of others. The first time this happens, you can consider it a mistake. Maybe s/he just forgot to say s/he had help. You may need to have that difficult conversation with that colleague to let him/her know you are offended and ask that s/he let others know about your participation. If s/he refuses to do that, or if this happens again, make sure you let others know about the role you played in getting the project done.

Then, unless your boss forces you to work with this person, refuse to help out again.

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