The workplace, like anyplace you bring a bunch of people together, is a jumble of many different personalities. In addition to coworkers who are easy to work with, you will also find difficult people at work. What sets the workplace apart from many other places is that everyone -- even the difficult people -- must cooperate in order to be productive. Here are five types of difficult people you may meet at work and advice for getting along with each one.
Let's start with your most affable coworker. The chatterbox usually means well. She is friendly and wants to share all her thoughts (every last one of them) with you. She isn't trying cause harm to anyone ... her incessant talking is just keeping you from concentrating on your work. Here are some things you can do to quiet down your chattering co-worker so you can get your job done. Rather than risk insulting your colleague, put the blame on yourself. Tell your coworker you have trouble concentrating while you are listening to her very engaging stories. You'd love to hear them at some other time, just not while you're working. Then, if you truly enjoy her company, have lunch with her once a week.
The gossip seems to know everything about everyone and he wants to share it. Should you listen to what your gossiping colleague has to say? Yes, you should listen to it since it is often a good way to hear news that may not make it through more formal information channels. The problem with gossip
is that it carries both elements of truth and untruth, so view it with a cynical eye. Listen to your gossipy coworker quietly. Don't become a gossip too. However, if the gossip being shared is of a very personal nature, for example he shares with you news of another coworker's marital problems, change the subject or say that you don't feel right discussing someone behind his back.
More About Workplace Gossip
There's always one person in a group who can never find anything about which to be happy. If she's not complaining about her health or her family, she's complaining about her job, the company, or your boss. Of course, some of her complaints may be legitimate, but the incessant whining is getting on your nerves. Generally, the complainer isn't looking for advice so offering it probably won't do any good. Change the subject whenever the bellyaching begins. Your colleague should get the hint after you do this repeatedly.
In almost every workplace you'll find someone who wants to share his work with his colleagues. We're not talking about those who have a legitimate reason to delegate work to others, for example managers
or team leaders. We are speaking of those who either can't do all the work they have been given or don't want to do it. If team work is encouraged in your office and you have time to help your colleague you should. However, if managers are the only ones who have the authority to delegate and you already have your hands full, then you have to turn down the request. Tell your coworker you have your own work with which to deal.
The Credit Grabber
The credit grabber does not acknowledge any help she receives from others. She accepts all the praise for a project without mentioning that she didn't do it alone. The first time this happens, consider it a mistake. Mention it to your colleague and ask her to let others know about your participation. If she doesn't, or if this happens again, make sure you let others know about the role you played in getting a project done. Then, unless you are mandated to work with this person, refuse to help out again.