Dealing with a difficult co-worker

four-things-all-career-lovers-have-youre-missing-1“I’m not here to make friends…”

You may recall this line from my previous blog entry on “How to deal with negativity at work.

I will never forget sitting in that meeting and my co-worker uttering the words: “I am not here to make friends…” Despite the dire situation at working on a very dysfunctional team, I couldn’t help but crack up at her comment. How sad that one had to work with someone who wasn’t at work to get along with anyone.



We’ve all worked with varying degrees of “those” kinds of colleagues:

  • The employee who doesn’t pull their weight
  • The employee who’s conniving
  • The employee who’s just downright rude and annoying
  • The employee who’s the master manipulator

…     and the list goes on.


So how do you cope with them?


Try these three tips to create a better relationship between you and your difficult colleague:


  1. Communication is essential: as soon as you start to notice that your relationship with one of your co-workers is starting to get a little wonky, address, it immediately (Read my blog entry on how to prep for an awkward conversation here.).
  2. Eye on the prize: Remember to think of the bigger picture: i.e. the project or job you’re trying to get done. Make everything you do or say about getting the actual project and stop making it about you or your co-workers. Focus on what it is you’re trying to achieve, together. What’s the goal for you as a team?
  3. You don’t have to like everyone to get along: as ludicrous as my co-worker’s statement was – there’s a little bit of truth to it.  You don’t have to be best friends with everyone on your team; everyone can still work together and be polite without any hostility.


It’s important also to appreciate that not everyone works the same as you and that everyone’s just doing the best they can at the moment, including you!



Are you currently struggling with a situation like this? Which one of these tips was most helpful for you? Have you had a colleague or team that is/was hard to work with? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from that experience? Remember your comment will be valuable for someone else!


Register for the Career Success Workshop Dec 7th at 6pm @ Hollister Staffing.