Three Ways To Deal With Difficult Colleagues

We’ve all experienced someone who drives us crazy at work *cue Fine Young Cannibals*.

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Maybe they decide tuna is a good lunch option every.day.of.the.week. Or, they never offer to shout a coffee, even though you’ve bought their $10 freshly-squeezed-almond-milk-latte’s for the past six months.

Let’s face it– we can’t choose who we work with.

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Although, can there please be a hiring system that excludes intermittent-keto-dieters from the workplace.

I’m on an elimination diet– trying to rid myself of pointless conversations that involve how many macros you’re counting. Kind Regards, everyone in the office. 

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That’s why Front and Centre has rounded up three ways you can *try* and get on with people you find straight up difficult.

1. Don’t take things personally

I recently had a colleague shun me from the kitchen because they didn’t like my dish-washer-stacking-technique. 

To say I was offended would be an understatement. I take pride in the way I stack dishes; it even has a mention in my Tinder bio.

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Often when dealing with a difficult colleague, we tend to feel personally victimised by their behaviour.

Behavioural expert Grazina Fechner from Front and Centre says,

“Everyone assumes a different behaviour, and different behavioural styles ultimately clash, especially in the confinements of the office. My best advice is to understand your behavioural profile as well as others, this way you’re able to have a better appreciation of each others communication style.”

“This will help you to alleviate tension and frustration of taking things personally”

2. Different equals different– it doesn’t equal wrong.

Difference is like a pack of highlighters– we all love the yellow one (and if you don’t you’re a straight-up psychopath and you need help). But we need the other colours in the pack for different reasons!

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It’s the same as people. There will always be people we love, and others that we might think serve no purpose– I’M TALKING TO YOU BLUE HIGHLIGHTER.

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However– we need variety, otherwise life would be boring! We all have our differences, even annoying ones.

My advice? Learn to live with the blue highlighter– even though it can be as painful as your colleague leaving remaining seconds on the microwave… ALWAYS RESET!

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3. Confront them!

If all else fails and you can’t handle Geoff’s inability to make any form of small-talk or brutally-honest-Brenda’s harsh comments, confront them!

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Some people don’t have self-perception *Geoff and Brenda cough cough*.

If you never confront someone on their annoying-ish habits, they may be completely unaware their behaviour is frustrating you.

Obviously, don’t bring up that your colleague stole your favourite pen 421 days ago. However, if it’s an on-going issue– you might need to speak up….

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Although, we advise against doing it at Friday night staff-drinks– because if you want brutally-honest-Brenda to be in fine form, here’s the honesty you’ve been waiting for.

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There ya have it, folks– how to deal with difficult people in the workplace. Who knows, maybe you’re the difficult one– and if so, removing tuna from your weekly lunches would be greatly appreciated. Best, work neighbour. 

Want to know more about your behaviour? Did you know we offer personalised behavioural programs for individuals and organisations?! Check it out HERE

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