Thoughts: dealing with difficult colleagues


The past month was intense in term of work. Not only I had to work overtime many days to insane hours, the most mentally tiring part was to work with someone difficult to deal with. I don’t mean to trash this person but our working style are so different.

I tried different approaches aiming to reach a point that I feel comfortable enough to work through the project. I’ve tried to build a personal relationship; I’ve tried to accommodate her way of work even though I think it’s inefficient and waste of time; and I’ve tried to push back. At the end of this journey I gave up. Some people are just difficult and it’s a waste of my energy to try to change the fact. In order to minimize my stress level, I am going to be very professional and not take her words personally, minimize friction and hope I never have to work with her again.

Nonetheless, I’ve learned things from her, mainly things I would differently when I work with other people:

  • respect other people’s work style. I am a morning person but if the other person prefers to work at night, I’ll simple split the work so each of us could work at the time that we are most productive.
  • appreciate other people work and mean it. Although she often says thank you, she doesn’t mean it and it is too obvious.
  • trust people.
  • be organize and efficient. Find the way that both parties think it’s the most efficient way to work and agree on that.
  • be considerate. Respect other people life decisions. I’m not workaholic but I don’t despise other who are, the reverse needs to be true.
  • respect people’s time. Do not send an email asking things at 9pm and expect people will do it.

Q: Have you ever had to deal with unpleasant coworkers? How did you manage the situation?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Thoughts: dealing with difficult colleagues

  1. Sorry you had to deal with a difficult co-worker. And, yes, I’ve had my share of difficult people I had to work with. I like your list. For me the hardest part is not to take things personally and to let go of the work stuff and not let it affect my personal life.

  2. kristaskravings

    I deal with 2 unpleasant co-workers every day. Some days I’m able to ignore it, but other days leave me feeling exhausted. On the bad days I always try to give myself the “24hr rule”. This forces me to say nothing in the heat of the moment that I can never take back. And 24hrs hours later I can usually brush it off. If not, then I will say something. I like your suggestions, but sorry that you had to go through a tough time first!

  3. Pingback: Life: Happy New Year 2014 | Balance, Joy and Delicias

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