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How To Work With Difficult People

February 2, 2017

There is no guarantee that you are going to like everyone in your job. You may have a co-worker who talks too much, doesn’t pull their weight, or complains about, well… everything. Whatever it is, you are going to have to deal with difficult personalities on the job, and the best advice is to work through the situation.

“At some point in everyone's career, you are going to work with someone you don't care for. As working adults, you will learn that there is someone at the next job you don't care for either. While you can't change others, you can change your reaction to them,” says Sharon from Mutual of Omaha. See original Q&A

Try to see this as an opportunity to learn a new skill. When you give into the drama of a dramatic employee, the only person you hurt is yourself. Don’t let their downfall be yours.

Try to talk it out with the person who’s causing issues. Resolving this conflict one-on-one can repair (or grow) a relationship. This can further both of you in your careers, and alleviate the pressure you may both be feeling.

Or as Jamie from Worthington Industries puts it, “Ask yourself what you want long-term out of the situation and conversation, then create a safe environment by asking the person if they have time to talk about something that is bothering you/on your mind.” See original Q&A

Overcoming your dislike won’t be easy, but you will learn to deal with these issues, and build respect for you coworker. The key is to work through conflict and find common ground. Opportunity is always knocking, and this is a chance to gain skills in conflict resolution, and create unity in the workplace. 

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