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How to deal with annoying colleagues

20 February 2013, 12:55

Are your fellow workers driving you insane? Here’s how to sort out your issues, nicely. 

Some of us are lucky; we work with great people whom we truly consider as family. Some of us, however, are not so lucky. This article is for them.

So you work with someone who constantly grates your nerves but you aren’t sure how to approach the matter? Don’t worry; you’re not alone, this happens to most of us at some time or another in our career.

One good thing to remember is that the colleague irritating you may not even be aware of his or her behaviour. Constant chatting, gossiping, rudeness, incessant pen clicking, coffee slurping – all highly irritating habits that, depending on our mood, can either be tolerable or absolutely maddening.

But how to you get them to stop? I hear you asking…

Try out these simple tips – you might be surprised at the response.

1. Just say it, but say it nicely.

Tell your colleague exactly what it is they do that’s driving you up the wall, but tell them nicely – if it’s something simple like pen clicking the chances are that they aren’t even aware of their annoying behaviour.

If the annoying behaviour is more like gossiping, let your colleague know how you feel about it and that you don’t want to be a part of it, bringing up the issue is usually enough to stop it.

2. Extend a hand in friendship.

Sometimes making a concerted effort to be nice to a problem colleague can see them doing a complete turnaround in how they treat you. If the annoying behaviour is aimed at you, simply getting to know the person a bit more can help you both to understand each other.

3. Keep things in perspective.

If your colleagues are in the habit of stopping by your desk to gossip or chat, and this socialising is getting in the way of your productivity, you will need to let your co-workers know that you have priorities. Arrange to chat after hours or during your lunch break, but be clear about your boundaries while working.

4. Fight fire with fire, but carefully.

If the problems you’re having involve a co-worker being rude to you or constantly shooting down your ideas, repeat the behaviour back to them, but explain afterwards why you were dismissive or rude and let them know how it makes you feel when they do the same to you.

Be careful to not overstep here, if you need to take the matter further you don’t want your colleague to be able to say you’ve been doing the same things.

5. Report the problem co-worker.

When you are unable to resolve the conflict between yourself and your colleague alone, it might be time to take further action.

If the actions of a co-worker are hindering your ability to work, or making your job unpleasant, you may have to report the individual to management and allow the matter to follow the prescribed procedure – but this should only be done as a last resort.

Have you had to work with any annoying co-workers? What did you do to fix the situation?


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25 October 2016, 19:44

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