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Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

Posted on January 22, 2024 in Employment Law

You can pick and choose your friends, but you may not be able to make decisions about who you work with, and that often means you could be stuck with people who may not be easy to get along with. Even when you know they are outright wrong in the way they act, talk, or work, there are still a variety of things you can do to protect yourself and avoid complications along the way.

To help you to deal with difficult coworkers a bit easier, consider the following tips.

Take a Look at Yourself First 

A good starting point is understanding what you are experiencing and portraying. Before you react in a negative way to a potential work conflict, consider what it is that bothers you. Is it their behavior or work ethic? Do you dislike them because they make teamwork impossible? You may dislike them because they remind you of someone else, or you may just not understand what it is. Take the time to address the way you are feeling.

Learn to Manage Difficult Coworkers in a Meaningful Way

Now that you have a good idea of what is bothering you, and you are sure that your own behavior isn’t contributing to the negative experience, consider these ways to deal with various types of coworkers:

  • Your coworkers seem lazy to you: While you may think that your coworkers are lazy, you may not know everything that is happening. They could be struggling with burnout or stress. Try to handle this type of coworker with more kindness and show them respect, perhaps asking them how you can help.
  • Your coworker knows it all: You know your job, but there is always that one person who seems to think they know better than you. In a situation like this, especially when your employer may only recognize that person’s actions or statements, it is critical to speak up for yourself. Be sure to talk to your employer about their attitude so that you can ensure that there is clarity in what is occurring.
  • The gossiping coworkers: This type of coworker is one you just do not trust because their way of making friends is to spread rumors and talk about other people. They can seem friendly, but you know better. In this situation, the best tool you have is not to contribute. Don’t engage with the gossip, but ignore it instead.

What Else You Can Do Now

For difficult coworkers, remember these tips:

  • Be sure to control how you respond to them and their actions.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend with them.
  • If it is impacting your ability to do your job, ask for help from others, including your boss.
  • Keep your professionalism in place even as that is hard.
  • Protect your energy so it does not impact your work – stay positive.

Know When to Get Help

There are many situations where dealing with difficult coworkers requires legal action, especially if you feel abused or violated in any way. That is when you should speak with an employment lawyer in San Diego from Walker Law for hands-on, immediate help. Contact us today. 

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