It's very frustrating when you have to deal with a difficult workmate! I believe everyone has encountered someone they've found hard to work with. A cooperative and harmonious work environment is essential to be able to achieve the organization's goals. Having a rift with someone at work is counterproductive and very draining so, I am now sharing with you my tips on how to deal with a difficult workmate.
1. Keep Calm
When you deal with a difficult workmate, the first thing you have to remember is to keep your cool. Do your best not to lose your temper. Before you say or do something that you might regret later, pause for a few seconds, and take a deep breath. It's easier to figure out ways to resolve the issue when you're calm. Remember, better judgement comes with good composure.
2. Kill with Kindness
Be polite and accommodating. When you do this, your difficult workmate will find it hard to be aggressive and argumentative. Continue to be pleasant and treat him or her with respect. Trust me, this works! Using humor is also a great strategy help reduce tension.
Hear your co-worker out and try to understand where he or she is coming from. Let your workmate vent and explain his or her point of view. From here, you can put the situation into perspective. Keep in mind though that five minutes would be enough time for venting. Actively listen but set a limit so that instead of getting stuck, you can actually find more effective and productive solutions to address the issue.
4. Keep Your Head up
When dealing with a difficult workmate, make sure you do not get dragged down by their negativity. Learn to identify the Debbie and David Downers and d your best to veer away from them. There are times, though, when you really get caught up in the conflict and the all the bad energy. Just remember that your time is valuable, don't waste it on negativity. You're the loser if the bad energy rubs off on you.
When things do not get any better, talk to your difficult workmate. Have a frank discussion with him or her, but do it in private. Remember to keep your cool and be polite as much as possible. To keep the conversation less accusatory, use "I" instead of "You" or "We." Also, remember to stick to fact-based statements.
Sometimes, you just have learn to choose your battles wisely. There are times when compromise is just not possible. When you feel like you've done everything you can and your workmate is still not cooperating, ignoring him or her may just be the best thing to do. Just go on with your day, focus on your responsibilities and try to have as little interaction as possible.
7. Ask for Help
When all else fails, do not hesitate to ask for help. Talk to your manager or any person in authority for resolution. This strategy should be considered as you last option as it can cause retaliation or your manager may think you're not capable of handling your own problems. Sometimes, talking to a higher authority with other people who has the same complaint can be helpful. I've done this a few times, and it works!
In the end, you realize that you have no control over other people but you have control over your mindset and behavior towards them. I hope these tips will help you create a healthy working environment. Please share your techniques on how to deal with a difficult workmate, too.