In an office full of many personalities, you’re bound to find some people who are just plain difficult to work with. If you have a coworker who is irritating and exasperating you, here are some ways to deal with them.
Loudmouths are always the first to jump in at meetings. They love the sound of their own voices and don’t wait for their turn to speak. They’re always shouting above the rest.
- How to deal: As frustrating as these coworker are, don’t take it personally—they do this with everyone and probably don’t realize it. If you’re constantly being interrupted, speak up and say, “Excuse me, but it’s my turn to speak.” In a private moment, tell them how their behavior makes you feel, but don’t expect them to understand.
Busybodies always like to know what’s going on around the office, so they can have their say. Whether sticking their nose into your business, or fishing for gossip about coworkers, they have a comment about everything.
- How to deal: Let them know that if they’re not involved in a situation, you don’t need their feedback and they should keep their thoughts to themselves. If they start to share an unwelcome opinion, say firmly, “Thanks, but I can handle this myself.”
Negative Nancies drain the office environment. She’s the sort of person who hates her job or boss and wants everyone to know about it.
- How to deal: Try this approach, if she starts to complain, change the subject or find a reason to exit the conversation. Once she notices that whining will not hold your attention, she’ll have to move on.
Stars of the Show try to steal the spotlight. At presentations they will hold the floor and introduce the group’s ideas as if they were originally theirs to impress your boss.
- How to deal: If you are shy, practice speaking up and asserting yourself in meetings. Role-play with a friend. It’s up to you to claim your accomplishments. Take credit for your work so no one else can.
Dictators are dead set on doing things their way. This kind of controlling behavior can steamroll over others and make everyone feel like they have to comply.
- How to deal: Choose your battles. If it’s an unimportant issue that won’t affect you, play nice. However, if you feel strongly, don’t give in. Assert yourself politely and don’t back down. Draw your boundaries while keeping the atmosphere friendly.
Am I… quick to criticize instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt?
Do I… respect the point of view of a coworker when it’s different from my own?
Would… others say I am a good listener and fair, or do I give off vibes that I don’t care?
Answer these questions candidly.