Workplace Advice

Give it everything you got

​Dealing with a difficult co-worker!

I think it is safe to say that we have all encountered situations in our working environments of colleagues whose main aim in life seems to be to push our buttons and drive us crazy.  This can be quite annoying to say the least.  However, in more serious cases this constant annoyance can lead to stress, unhappiness at work and can ultimately result in an individual leaving employment because of it.

We all know some of these co-workers, they tell you everything that goes on in their personal lives, constantly complain, they are serial advisers, chatters & gossips, they correct your work continually, they argue with everyone.  Then there are the more serious individuals who are just arrogant and mean.  Most co-workers act professionally and are acceptant of our boundaries and do manage to get the hint when they go too far but some unfortunately do not and this requires a different more structured approach.

It might be an idea if you can’t avoid the difficult co-worker to approach the individual directly in a friendly & non-confrontational manner and explain to them that you find their actions uncomfortable to deal with constantly.  If this does not work or the situation deteriorates further, then approach the person you report to and explain your issue, again in a friendly non formal manner.  If this still does not work, then ensure you are recording every occurrence in a diary and formally report the situation to your direct manager and to the human resource department or to a member of the senior management team for them to resolve.

You will know yourself if the situation is serious enough to formally report and don’t be afraid to do so.  Most of us work hard to earn a living and we should not have to put up with people giving us an undeserved hard time.  So don’t accept it and approach the individual first, 9 times out of 10 this friendly approach will be enough to resolve your woes, if not, then escalate.