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5 Ways to Handle a Difficult Coworker

Posted May 10, 2019

The DentalPost Team

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, a difficult coworker 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 a 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 to your difficult coworker.

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.

Find a better fit.

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’s 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.

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