Every office has them – people who are difficult to deal with. Sometimes, they are really intelligent which explains how come they have a job but sometimes, they are dull and lazy making you wonder how on earth they got past the job interview stage. The latter is one of the great mysteries of life and a topic for a philosophy class somewhere. This isn’t that place so here, we’ll just talk about how to get along with the person you desperately wish you didn’t have to speak to let alone work with.
– Assess the situation. Is this person a senior colleague, a junior colleague or on the same level as you in the office? While I always maintain that you should be nice to everyone at work, this person’s position in the office hierarchy will definitely have an effect on how you deal with them. Taking note of their job position should be your first step in dealing with a difficult colleague.
– If the person is a senior colleague and you have to work directly with them, try to anticipate and fulfil their needs. If the person always asks for reports of meetings with clients before close of business on the day the meeting held, do it and give it to them before they yell ask for it.
– There’s no denying it. Flattery works. There’s no need to go overboard but if the difficult person in question is someone you have to work with constantly, find something to compliment them on especially if it’s something that has to do with their work.
– Treat the person the way they appear to want to be treated. If that person doesn’t reply when you say ‘good morning’ to them, keep your greeting to yourself.
– If the difficult person is junior to you in the office, treat them with respect but be firm. If you want something done in a particular way, give the instruction clearly (if possible, in writing) so that it can’t be misinterpreted and reduces the chances of you feeling frustrated.
– If the difficult person is on the same level as you or is your junior colleague, ignoring the person when you don’t expressly have to work together works well (pun intended).
– If the person does something to annoy you, try to keep your temper in check. Avoid yelling. There are some strange people who get off on seeing you visibly angry. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Take deep breaths before you respond. Doing that will probably work out better for your blood pressure than yelling.
– In all situations, be as polite as possible.
Be the person who is known to get along with everyone at work. It will help people see you in a positive light and that can only be good for you and your career.