How to Work with Difficult People

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How to Work with Difficult People

How to Work With Difficult People


In a perfect world, everyone would get along with everyone else. But sometimes, that just isn’t the case. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself stuck working alongside someone you just don’t like, or who doesn’t like you. So, what can you do to make it easier when you’re working with difficult people?

Remember It Isn’t Personal

Perhaps the most important thing to remember, if you find yourself in a tense workplace, is that the difficulty you’re experiencing probably has very little, if anything, to do with you. If someone is challenging to get along with, chances are they’re unpleasant to other people as well! Try to develop a ‘thick skin’ at work and look past your co-worker’s personality traits in order to get along.

Pick Your Battles

Maybe your co-worker was technically in the wrong when they neglected to reload the copier, but does it really matter? When it comes to the little things, being professional is far more important than being ‘right.’

Don’t Let It Get To You

If a coworker has a particular personality trait you find disruptive – perhaps they are overly chatty, or maybe they constantly interrupt you when you’re speaking – try not to let them get to you. Instead, focus on the task at hand. The sooner you’re able to cross that item off your to-do list, the sooner you can remove yourself from the situation.

Don’t Gossip

Falling into the trap of workplace gossip is easy. You may think that you’re ‘talking it out,’ but you’re likely doing the exact opposite. By retelling the conflict story over and over again, you’re reinforcing the difficulties you’re experiencing, rather than focusing on a resolution. Venting can be helpful and healthy. Pick one person, tell them all the details of the issue once, then move on.

Do Your Best

If you’re working with someone you don’t like or don’t get along with, the impetus may be to let things slide and slack off. Don’t do it. You’ll only be giving them ammunition to discount your value to the team and add to the already tense work environment. Do your best to be a contributing team player.

It’s wonderful when co-workers become friends, but it doesn’t have to be. And while you have no control over how others act, you can choose how you will respond to difficult people in the workplace. Work at building a professional relationship; not necessarily a personal one.

If you’re working with difficult people and you’d like to explore other options, check out the latest job opportunities available. Read for a move? Reach out to the team at Top Notch Personnel today for guidance and assistance.

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