On Sunday, June 5th we posted a new video about our summer workamping gig and how Dora is trying deal with co-workers that don’t share the same work ethic. It has been a huge challenge and at some point you figure out how to deal with them and continue the job OR when do you “tap out?’ How do you deal with rude or bully coworkers? Learning how to deal with difficult coworkers in a constructive way can help you navigate tricky situations while creating a positive work environment.
Lead by example. Lets say this can be an inner battle in itself. But, when dealing with a difficult coworker, start by looking itno your own behavior. Consider whether you’ve been communicating adequately. You may not be required to make a change, but try to objectively evaluate your role in the conflict—if any. If possible, consult a neutral party (preferably, not another coworker) who can objectively assess the situation.
Confront the situation clearly and respectfully. When confronting a difficult coworker, it’s best to focus on your feelings rather than the other person’s actions. For example, instead of saying, “You always interrupt me when I’m speaking,” try saying, “I feel dismissed when I am not able to finish sharing my thoughts.”
We (I) need to learn how to manage different personalities. Sometimes, avoiding conflict in the workplace boils down to knowing how to manage different personality types. One coworker might require ample social interaction to feel engaged, while another might prefer to keep their work life and personal life separate. Learning and accepting how other team members operate can help set you up for a successful workamping gig.
Refrain from engaging in office gossip. Gossip is part of a toxic work culture. When coworkers engage in gossip on a daily basis, it can exacerbate employee insecurities and damage the self-esteem of your coworkers. Refusing to engage in office gossip can help improve your working relationships as your coworkers will know you’re a safe individual with whom they can place their trust.
Maintain a focus on your own work. This is super hard for me because our current gig is what I would think should be a ‘team player’ position. There are many types of difficult coworkers, but one of the most common is a person who’s constantly distracting you from getting actual work done. They may want to discuss personal issues, take frequent breaks, or ask you for too many favors such as doing their assigned tasks. Be direct with a coworker like this. Try stating, “I’m sorry, but I have a lot of work to do and I really don’t have time.”
The next step would be to talk with a manager about the issue. If a coworker’s behavior is making you feel uncomfortable, and you’ve done everything in your power to reconcile the situation, consider bringing it to your supervisor. If all else fails, talk to your human resources department. Because if a coworker is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, document these instances to the best of your ability and speak with an HR professional.
Since our video posted Dora has made a few changes at work. We will update you in an upcoming video and blog post. Major changes are coming.