Friday, March 25, 2011

Dealing With A Difficult Co-Worker Part 2

Hello and welcome to part two of "Dealing With A Difficult Co-Worker". Let's get right to business and see the next 4 tips that just might help you the next time you are at work.

5. Build a rapport.

With all the computers, emails and messaging systems, work sometimes turn into a mechanical process. Re-instill the human touch by connecting with your colleagues on a personal level. Go out with them for lunches or dinners. Get to know them as people, and not colleagues. Learn more about their hobbies, their family, their lives. Foster strong connections. These will go a long way in your work.

5. Treat the person with respect.

No one likes to be treated as if he/she is stupid/incapable/incompetent. If you are going to treat the person with disrespect, it's not going to be surprising if he/she treats you the same way as well. As the golden rule says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

6. Focus on what can be actted upon.

Sometimes, you may be put into hot soup by your difficult colleagues, such as not receiving a piece of work they promised to give or being wrongly held responsible for something you didn't do. Whatever it is, acknowledge that the situation has already occurred. Rather than harp on what you cannot change, focus on the actionable steps you can take to forward yourself in the situation.

7. Ignore.

If you have already tried everything above and the person is still not being receptive, the best way might be to just ignore. After all, you have already done all that you can within your means. Get on your daily tasks and interface with the person only where needed. Of course, this isn't feasible in cases where the person plays a critical role in your work - which leads us to our last tip.

8. Escalate to a higher authority for resolution.

When all else fails, escalate to your manager. This is considered the trump card and shouldn't be used unless you've completely exhausted your means. Sometimes, the only way to get someone moving is through the top-down approach, especially in bureaucratic organizations. Be careful not to exercise this option all the time as you wouldn't want your manager to think that you are incapable of handling your own problems.

Try out these tips for the difficult people you face at your workplace and see how they work out for you. Make sure you share your story below and tell us your strategies!

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