Do’s & Don’ts of Dealing with a Difficult Coworker

Conflict with a coworker can be difficult. It can be tricky to navigate how to deal with a coworker in your workplace that is doing something to upset you. However, there are ways to deal with this coworker in order to rectify your situation. You should not stay quiet if there is someone in your workplace that is causing conflict or causing issues with you. Instead, follow our do’s and don’ts below on effectively dealing with your difficult coworker.

Dealing with a difficult coworker

 Do’s & Don’t of Dealing with a Difficult Coworker

DON’T put up with it

Everyone should be treated fairly and equally at work. If you are being mistreated in any way by someone you work with you should not be forced to put up with that behaviour. Follow the other steps below to learn how to deal with a difficult coworker.

DO speak to them directly

Sometimes it can be easier to vent to a friend or family member about frustrations at work instead of facing them directly. Instead of talking about your issues with other people make sure you speak with the coworker directly about what they are doing to upset you. This is the optimal way to achieve results. It can be as simple as the person not realizing their behaviour is problematic and a direct conversation with them can bring it to their attention.

DON’T be vague

Because of the awkwardness involved in speaking directly with a coworker that you have a problem with, it can be easier to use vague language or dance around the real reason that you are upset. However, being direct and citing examples of times that you were bothered will ensure that the person knows exactly what is troubling you and therefore the issue can be dealt with head on.

DO give them time to change

Once you have the conversation with your coworker be sure to give them time to change their behaviour. If the person did not realize what they are doing/saying is a problem then it may take time to break their habits. It is okay to remind them if they do it again as long as they seem sincere in their efforts to change.

DON’T lose your cool

Throughout the course of these conversations make sure to keep your cool, remain level-headed and professional. This may be something that has been bothering you for a while but it may be the first time your coworker has heard about it. Make sure to keep calm and explain your concerns to them directly. If you escalate the situation and this person is already volatile it is likely that the conflict could become larger than necessary.

DO escalate to your supervisor

If you speak to this coworker and they do not seem receptive to your talk or if they continue their behaviour then do not hesitate to take this issue to the person above you. Your superiors should be able to help you diffuse the situation or get other parties involved as necessary to resolve your issue. Everyone must feel safe in the workplace so your manager should be able to take the next steps to ensure your issue is rectified if you cannot resolve it on your own.