No matter what you do for work, you’re going to run across people that are nasty, negative, immature, incompetent, unintelligent and just plain unpleasant human beings. The sheer number of people like this in the world means are the odds are pretty high you’re going to work with, or even worse, for them some day.
If you want to steer your ship through the waters of the business world, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with these people. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be well suited for the task at hand.
1. Identify Them
The first step in figuring out who the thorn in your side is at your work place is to simply sit back and watch. It won’t take long to spot a gossip, bully, lazy degenerate or back stabber; they will make themselves pretty well known. If you’re new to an office, watch whom you say things to or share information with; they might be sharpening the knife!
Once you have spotted these “specimens of nastiness” you can steer clear of them as much as possible. If that isn’t possible, alter how you act and what you say around them. Be professional but don’t add fuel to their fire.
2. Examine Yourself
If you continually have a problem with a boss or coworker, take a step back from the situation and see if you’re doing anything to make the situation unpleasant. Have an impartial outsider give you their honest opinion about the situation, or talk to a trusted coworker or human resources representative to get their take. These examinations can go a long way to clearing up and unpleasantries.
3. Be Proactive
Letting problems go unchecked usually results in additional problems. The person might be completely oblivious to what they are doing. If you approach them in a calm, professional manner, and explain to them how you feel it will go a long way to helping clear up the problem. If they can’t deal with that approach and get angry, at least you have extended the olive branch.
If a direct, one-on-one doesn’t get the job done, then you need to escalate the situation and take it to Human Resources or your boss (if he or she isn’t the problem). Explain what has been going on, what you tried to do and bring along others that have seen it or experienced it as well. Make sure you let them know you want something to be done about the situation and that you tried to handle it. If not, you could easily come off like the office whiner.
If you’re organization is big enough, ask for a transfer to another department or even an office that is physically further away from the problem coworker. This strategy should only be used in severe situations. Transfers and relocations affect more than just you and your problem person, so make sure to exhaust all other courses of action before asking to move.
5. Wave Goodbye
If all else fails and you are still having problems with a co-worker or boss then maybe it’s time to start looking for something else. Life is too short and we spend too much of it at work to be more miserable than we have to be!
I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.