hiIn a work environment, we deal with lots of people – including co-workers on a daily basis. The problem with most jobs is that difficult co-workers exist at nearly all of them. Whether they pass their own work to others, are not trustworthy, or they’re simply unreliable, don’t lose hope because there are some techniques that you can employ to overcome these problems and create a much-improved work environment for everyone.

It is very important to get through this issue or it will end up affecting your work and your relationship with other people. While it may be stressful at times, the challenge of overcoming this difficulty will also improve your people skills and anger management skills.

The following are a few tips to dealing with difficult co-workers:

1. Calm yourself.

Begin by looking at things from a positive perspective and attitude. Negativity has no place when trying to deal with poor attitudes and performance.

2. Open your mind.

Look at things from your co-workers perspective. Perhaps they’ve been working long hours or feel underappreciated for their hard efforts on the job. Try to find out what’s beneath the negative behavior that spreads through the workplace. Keeping an open mind is one of the keys to resolving conflict. When you understand your co-workers point of view, you can better understand how to stop their toxic behaviors.

3. Develop a strategy to resolve a conflict.

Define the common goals at the workplace and identify each co-workers important role in accomplishing them. Current studies have shown that workers are more motivated in being involved in an important project that has meaning and value than receive more money. Be clear on what you want to achieve as a team and let each individual know their own value.

4. Foresee possible confrontation.

Utilize a risk management plan as soon as possible to anticipate what a difficult co-worker may do and be prepared to handle the situation.

5. Avoid engaging in negative behavior.

When dealing with one or more negative co-workers, don’t allow yourself to participate in negative behaviors, sarcasm, pessimism, and other antics. This will weaken any attempts that you make at turning things around. Don’t avoid negative co-workers either; simply remain up-beat and positive in your interactions with them.

6. Bring it up to your superior.

When all other plans appear to be failing, it’s time to consult with your superior. Explain the courses of action you’ve already taken and then ask for advice. This will show respect towards your supervisor while demonstrating that you’re doing everything in your power to correct the situation.

You can be the most competent individual at the entire workplace; however, if you can’t communicate effectively, lead others by your own example, and develop healthy relationships at work, then the situation will never improve. Do your best to work with your co-workers and offer your advice and understanding with their personal and work-related issues. This will ultimately lead to a much healthier work environment.

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