Dealing With Difficult Colleagues

by Jessica

Getting Round The Colleague From Hell

No matter whether you’re a senior executive at a global company or you’re serving fries at a fast food joint, everyone has difficult colleagues they need to deal with on a daily basis. These difficult colleagues aren’t necessarily doing anything bad enough to be fired but they’re certainly not pulling their weight, they’re obtuse, rude, lazy and everyone just has to work ten times harder when they’re around. So what’s the best way to deal with them? Well, it depends just what sort of difficult colleague they are…

The Bully
If the office were the school playground this guy would be waiting round the corner to take your lunch money each day. He’s probably not going to give you a wedgy but he always seems to take pleasure in belittling you, saying negative things about your work and generally making you feel very small.

The solution: Ignore him, well don’t just pretend he doesn’t exist when he’s talking to you but ignore anything horrible he has to say and let him see he doesn’t get to you. Bullies really do have short attention spans, if he can see he’s not upsetting you anymore he’ll get bored.

The Suck Up
Sally Suck Up thinks she’s on her way to the top, she has a permanent brown mark on her nose and you know she sell you out in a second if she gets the chance. Luckily most bosses recognise a suck up and they recognise suck ups are only out for themselves but that doesn’t stop them trying.

The solution: Freeze her out, obviously you have to be professional and work with her but don’t take it any further than that. Don’t have a moan round the water cooler about the management when she’s within ear shot and if you do make any mistakes make sure you’ve told the relevant people before she’s had the chance to ‘mention’ it.

The Yes Man
The Yes Man himself isn’t that bad, he just wants to please everyone. If someone asks him to get that report completed he’ll stay late to get it done and he’s always first on hand when you’re swamped. The problem is when you’re relying on him to get a project done and he’s too busy pleasing everyone else to really concentrate on the project with you.

The solution: technically the yes man isn’t really a problem until other people turn him into a doormat. Talk to him and see if there’s anything you can help him with. He might just be uncomfortable saying no to people. If you’re more than happy to tell people he can’t help right now he might appreciate you easing his work schedule for a while.

The Green Eyed Monster
The term schandenfreude means taking pleasure in other peoples misery and we all do it, whether it’s laughing at silly clips of people hurting themselves on YouTube or collectedly deciding you’re not going to let to idiot in the outside lane cut in when you’re in a que of traffic. In the office they’re a pain to work with especially when they decide they’re not going to wait for you to screw up but they’re going to sabotage your work instead.

The solution: As painful as it might be, the best way to beat this co-worker is to include them in your success. If you’re working as part of a team make sure they’re included and make sure they get their fair share of the credit. If they’re that bad and always screwing up eventually they won’t be able to deflect it onto others and they’ll get found out.

The Gossip
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of gossip in the bar on a Friday night but there’s always that one person who not only seems to know everything, but actually takes delight and goes out their way to make sure everyone knows their latest titbit of information. Before you know it you’re their next topic of gossip and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not and idle gossip can cost jobs, ruin relationships and generally make life rather miserable.

The solution: Everyone knows this person is a gossip, when you want to know who’s getting that promotion they’re the person you go to. The simple solution is to keep a professional air at the office, never tell this person anything more personal than how you feel about the weather and try to avoid any conversation with them that isn’t strictly work related.

This post was written by Jessica

Jessica writes for and luckily now works in an office that doesn’t have any of the above but has learnt over the years how to deal with awkward colleagues 

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