6 Easy Ways to Deal With Difficult Coworkers

When you’re around the same people for eight hours every day, sometimes personalities can clash. Getting along with difficult coworkers may seem impossible, but these reliable tips will help you work together in harmony.

1. Choose your words wisely. By removing direct pronouns like “you” from your discussions, your coworker will feel less accused or targeted. Make your directions and criticisms about the project, not the person.
2. Talk face-to-face whenever possible. It’s easy to sound brash in an email, and speaking on the phone or in person can eliminate that worry (and your coworker’s resulting anger).
3. Minimize contact. If you frequently chat with a whiny or sullen coworker simply to be polite, start keeping things short and sweet. A simple "good morning" works in place of your usual "how are you," which often leads to unwanted conversation.
4. Be tactful about complaints. If you have to bring a problem to your boss, plan what you’ll say beforehand to avoid sounding angry or accusatory.
5. Avoid gossip. Respond with uninviting phrases like "Oh really?" when you’re faced with office gossip. If you act disinterested, gossip will likely start to pass you by in the future.
6. Just breathe. Take a deep breath when you feel yourself start to get angry and you may avoid a nasty altercation.

Tips on Managing Difficult People [Harvard Business Review]
20 Ways to Deal with Difficult Coworkers [iVillage]
Ten Tips for Dealing with Difficult Coworkers [All Business]
How to Deal with Difficult Coworkers [Forbes]

Pin It on Pinterest