We've all had one of those days when everything your co-worker does gets on your every last nerve. And if they open their mouth one more time you just want to scream!
Most offices have at least one toxic character in their midst; the vicious gossiper, the whiner, the idea thief, a micromanaging boss, the know-it-all, the slacker.If the behavior is extreme and chronically upsetting, it can actually interfere with your ability to do your job well. Sometimes the behavior can even cause people to quit their jobs to escape the stress and aggravation.
What can you do?? Don't allow yourself be a victim of co-workers damaging behavior. You can tolerate the behavior or do something about it. Understand and confront the situation with professionalism and integrity.
1. Define the Situation: Go over in detail the problematic behavior to yourself. Is it directed only at you, or at a group of people? Is the behavior affecting you and your work? Is it important enough to do something about?
2. Are You Contributing?: Honestly and objectively ask yourself if you're contributing to the trying situation with your behaviors and reactions. Are you truly an "innocent bystander," or could you be part of the problem? You may want to seek the opinion of a trusted and objective co-worker.
3. Don't Personalize: It's only natural to respond in an emotional and personal manner to a bothersome person. Do not make matters worse by personalizing the behavior as an insult or attack on you.
4. Reflect and Try to Understand: It may behoove you to learn more about the bothersome co-worker's personal and work situation. His/Her behavior could be a little less troubling if you understood more about their situation and perspective.
5. Be Dignified and Professional: Regardless of how you intend to respond to the bothersome person, be courteous, sincere, candid, respectful, and professional. Make sure you have your emotions under control, and focus on improving work relationships and your performance.
6. Direct Confrontation: Schedule time with the bothersome co-worker. Politely and tactfully share with him or her what you are experiencing and feeling. Give the colleague a chance to take in your comments. Make it clear you want only to improve your working relationship. Be prepared for some defensiveness, and be prepared to own up to your contribution to any difficulties. The keys here are sincerity and honesty.
If your company has a human resource department, make sure to keep them informed of what you're doing. Your good intentions could back-fire and you don't want to end up in hot water.