Back to Blog Home
Here's how to handle a difficult coworker

Every working professional runs into a problematic coworker eventually. It’s simply the odds of working with other people. Not everyone you work with will mesh or vibe with your personality or work style. While you can solve a lot of these situations by just ignoring the person, bad coworkers can become a serious issue if it impacts your performance or attitude about a job you otherwise enjoy.

Learning to manage relationships with difficult coworkers is a skill of seasoned professional. Here are five strategies to help you make life easier at your job if you’re dealing with a workplace bully or distraction.

Don’t react immediately.

Most times, if a coworker creates an awkward or difficult moment, it’s because they are seeking a reaction. Before you respond, take some time to cool off and make a calculated decision. Don’t feed their negativity with another negative response that could be used against you.

Understand the context.

Does your coworker get defensive or angry often when receiving feedback? Are they typically late to their shift? Understanding why and what triggers your coworker’s response or actions can help you decide how to deal with them. Ultimately, your ability to diffuse your coworker’s toxic personality can depend on your understanding of why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Make an effort.

Sometimes the best way to deal with a troublesome coworker is to simply listen. Before you write them off altogether, make a concerted effort to get to know them. An active ear could be the easiest way to bridge the gap between your differences.

Get outside parties involved.

If all else fails, inform your superior. Caught in the middle of office drama is nowhere near where you want to be. Telling your supervisor that you have an issue with a coworker will ensure that you’re in control of the situation and show your intent to repair it. Be sure to bring evidence of specific events to your meeting so you can help make your case, and prepare yourself to make some adjustments in your schedule or workplace to mend it.

If you’re stuck between a troublesome coworker and a stagnant boss unwilling to help you mend your problem, changing jobs could ultimately be the best decision. It’s not always ideal, but it is a last resort solution that will definitely solve your coworker woes. The good news? It’s not difficult either. Creating an account on DentalPost will help you connect with over 750,000 qualified dental professionals and practices and is a great resource to help you land that next great job.

All in all, don’t stress; a life without troublesome coworkers is possible. Give one of these tips a try and ensure that you’re setting yourself up for a happy career at a job you love.

DentalPost is the dental industry’s premier and largest online and mobile job board.
We connect and educate more than 850,000 job seekers in the U.S. and Canada to build better places to work through teams that excel.

Featured Posts

2020 Dental Salary Survey

Posted September 4, 2020

Create your own user feedback survey Quick Links >> Browse Jobs>> Register as a Job Seeker>> Register as an Employer Thank you for your feedback! Understanding the status of dental professionals is important to the recovery of our industry. We’ll let you know when the 2021 Dental Professional Salary Survey Report is published. Click here to view last year’s DentalPost/RDH […]

Read more

Temp Talk with Two RDHs

Posted July 5, 2019

Updated September 14, 2020 One of the great things about a career in dental hygiene is how flexible the job is. At one point, when my kids were little, I sometimes worked as few as two days a month. It was perfect. But as flexible as the scheduling can be, once you commit to a […]

Read more

Want to Temp as a Dental Hygienist or Assistant? Use This Mindset Checklist for Success 

Posted June 21, 2019

Spend more time with family.  Have more time to pursue hobbies, go back to college, or write a book.  Earn extra income to supplement your current job.  Why do you want to temp as a dental assistant or hygienist? Temping in a dental office can be a super-convenient way to earn while maintaining a flexible […]

Read more