Dealing with difficult people on the job can be challenging because you want to maintain your professionalism and not stoop down to the other person’s level of crazy.
A Difficult person on the job include:
A a person who is jealous, insecure, lazy, aggressive, or has poor work ethic, or is combative toward you for no reason what so ever.
The behavior of a difficult person typically stems from the following:
- Talking behind your back
- Trying to get you fired.
- Lying about you to other people.
- Telling you off.
- Being rude to you.
- Overly micromanaging
- Being disrespectful toward you.
- Poor work ethic or not doing their job.
- Not being knowledgeable about their job.
Now that we have gotten that definition out of the way, we can go forward into
Dealing with Difficult People On the Job
Unfortunately, crazy people have sent in their resume out to our companies and started masquerading around us sane people on the job. As a result they make our lives a living hell. Since we have to come to work, we have to learn to deal with them.
The first step is acceptance and understanding.
Accept that the person is difficult. Accept that their craziness has really has nothing to do with you. It is a result of their own insecurities, something bad that may have happened in their childhood, or something that has gone on in their personal life, or at a past job, or wherever. The sooner that you understand and accept that their crazy is not a reflection of you, the better off you will be.
The second step is do your job.
With crazy people at work, they are always looking for a way to undermine you and make you look like a bad employee. The best way to prevent that is to be a good employee. This means do your job, meet your deadlines, be positive, and have a good work ethic. Even though the difficult person may still try to paint you into being a bad employee, others will see what a good worker you are and it will be harder for the crazy person to paint you in a bad light.
The third step is to not stoop down to their level.
It is very important that just because the other person is difficult, that you do not step into their crazy world with them. It is tempting to want to get back at someone who has done something to you or to tell them where they can shove all of their craziness. Doing this means that there will be two crazy people on the job as oppose to one. So do not let them ruin your character. Always treat them in a kind, respectful, and workplace appropriate behavior. That does not mean you have to be friends with them, it just means that you must display a high level of professionalism toward them and leave them looking crazy by themselves.
The fourth step is to ignore them.
I have had plenty of crazy supervisors and coworkers. And I chose to ignore their psychotic behavior. Do not be rude. Meaning that you can come in say hello and smile. But if you do not have to be around them, then don’t. If they say something crazy to you then ignore it. It is possible that the difficult person just wants to get a rise out of you. That is why it is important to not let them get a rise out of you. Even if you are boiling on the inside never let them know it and always respond in a calm demeanor. Allowing them to look crazy and you still looking sane.
The fifth step is to not be argumentative.
Most difficult people want to argue with you. They want to prove their point and want you to see things their way, even if they are wrong. Do not go back and forth with a them. The argument can go on for an eternity. Instead, state your point once, give an explanation and walk away leave them arguing with themselves.
The sixth step is put things in writing.
Since a difficult co-worker or supervisors sole purpose is to jack up your day or to get you in trouble. Always follow up important conversation in emails. This way the they cannot come back and twist your words around. You will have proof in writing what you talked about in case they try to use a conversation against you.
In case none of these things work with your work place crazy person you can always:
- Speak to the person directly about their behavior. But please note that with difficult people, they will rarely see what they are doing wrong. And you talking to one another may result in an argument. If this occurs, then refer back to step 5 and step 6.
- Talk to your supervisor or HR person. If you have a difficult co-worker is so out of control it may be good to get someone else involved like your supervisor. If it is your supervisor that then talk to the HR person. It is important to have these things documented. Your supervisor or HR person may try to mediate the situation.
- If you are in the United State there is a program ( http://www.whistleblowers.gov) that can protect you, especially against a supervisor. If someone is making threats toward you or behaving unethically toward you at the workplace, you can file a complaint. Know that when you file a complaint, you are protected. Meaning that you cannot get fired or retaliated against for filing a complaint.