Following these 12 simple steps on how to deal with a difficult co-worker will help you deal with them in the future as well. Knowing how to deal with a difficult co-worker helps you understand what makes them tick, and helps you avoid getting into a heated debate or exchange of words that could get personal quickly. It helps you show respect and follow normal co-worker behavior so that you can continue working together successfully.
o Know your desired outcome. If you want to communicate effectively with difficult co-workers then it may be necessary to learn some of the dynamics that are required to communicate effectively. This may include acknowledging their opinion, and hearing them out. Do not criticize in a tone-deaf manner. You also do not want to come across as rude, which will only make people wonder what you really thought when disagreeing.
o Choose your words carefully. Remember that if you take issue with another individual it will have a negative impact on your coworkers. Being confrontational, or worse still being abusive towards co-workers will only make matters worse. This may seem obvious, but when you say something to a difficult co-worker you should choose your words with tact and avoid saying anything that could be inflammatory.
o Understand the dynamics that makes the situation difficult. If you do not know how to deal with a difficult co-worker, you have to ask them about the issue first. Communicate with co-workers about the concern. They might have some ideas on how to deal with the problem that needs to be aired. Remember that there are two sides to every story; be polite yet clear in telling your co-worker that you know that they are causing you a lot of stress. This is a very important step in learning how to deal with a difficult co-worker.
o Be willing to compromise. Remember that you are all working together to accomplish a common goal, which is ensuring that your job is done right. When you deal with someone who is abrasive, stubborn, or just simply difficult, this can sometimes lead to a shouting match, where no compromise can be made. You will need to learn how to deal with these types of individuals.
o Give everyone space. If you are having difficulty dealing with a difficult co-employee, there are times when you simply cannot tolerate their conduct. It would be in your best interest to ask them to deal with their behavior in private so that no one else is in danger. Remember that you can always ask them to leave if they cause you any further trouble. Making tough decisions in situations such as this is often the smartest course of action.
o Never label or put down another person for being wrong. Learning how to deal with a difficult co-worker comes down to never taking offense or blame onto another individual. Sometimes you might find yourself saying something to a co-worker that sounds like, “He hit on you again!” Instead of taking inventory of the words that you used and coming to blows, consider whether the original statement would have been better or different had you said, “He did not hit on you, but you were really annoying him.”
If you have never dealt with someone who is difficult before, it can be a daunting task. There is nothing more difficult than having an ill tempered co employee that is causing trouble. Learning how to deal with these types of individuals takes time, practice, experience, and knowledge. It is not easy to do, but it is not impossible either. If you have the patience and the knowledge to learn and adapt, you can become a much more effective boss and have a lot more success in your career and business operations.