Is it possible to love your job, except that one person who makes you cringe when you are in the same meeting? YES it is! The workplace is challenging enough but when you have to work with others that you deem “difficult”, it makes it even more challenging. Even for us adult career professionals, right?

“Everyone is just not your cup of tea” And you know what? That is okay. However, it is important that you learn how to manage difficult people in the workplace because it is inevitable in our career.

If you have one of these difficult co-workers, you have probably enjoyed the “social distancing” and working remotely. But, pretty soon you will be back in the office and so will they.

So how do you keep your calm and deal with the negative people around you especially at work where you spend most of your time every day? Check out these 4 simple tips for dealing with the difficult people that work with you. 

Act with Kindness

While it may not be easy to stay patient especially when a colleague of yours is being a drama queen or a whiner, it may help to understand where they are coming from. Be quick not to judge and more importantly, don’t let their attitude get the best of you. Know that they might be going through something personal which can be the reason why they are acting this way. A small gesture of kindness can be powerful for your co-workers that constantly seem to irritate you. 

Don’t Take It Personal

It can be hard, but as much as possible -wear things “loosely” at work. Keep it light and do not take it personal. Sometimes, it is best to just compartmentalize and focus. We all want to have a harmonious and smooth relationship with the people we work with. When someone contradicts your ideas and suggestions, don’t assume that he/she doesn’t like you or that there’s something wrong with you as a person. It may be that your perspective and view of things are just really not the same. Try to accept the difference, without judgment.

Take Charge of Your Emotions

There is power in “never letting them see you sweat.” The way you react and treat others is a true reflection of you as a person. It is always a good idea at work to practice more logic, and less emotion. Know that you have 100% control on how you feel. You can choose to let an annoying or bossy colleague ruin your mood for the day or you can politely wave them along and move on. It is completely up to you!

Spend Some Time with Them

Yes, spend time with the “enemy”! I want you to put some positive energy into this and invite them to lunch or a coffee chat. Spending some time alone away from the rest of the team can potentially break down some barriers and you can have an open conversation on how you can work better together. Defenses can come down and real change can take place.

These 4 tips definitely fall in the realm of taking the high road, but they are much more effective than ignoring them, being rude, or retaliating back. Michelle Obama said it best: “When they go low, we go high!”

As a career professional, always be aware of your brand and the bigger picture. This too shall pass. They will move on. You will move on. And then there will be another difficult person waiting on you. So, get your mind right as you head back into the office and know you got this!

Barbara Mason is a career consultant that brings over 20 years Human Resources experience and has been in senior level roles for Fortune 500 companies. She is the owner and CEO of Career Pathways Consulting and her passion is helping career professionals stay, flow, or go in their career.

To learn more about working with her, visit www.careerpathwaysconsulting.com.

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