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.



How to deal with negativity at work

How to deal with negativity at work

blogOne of the most trying times in my career was my first year in New York City; I was dealing with a lot of negativity. I had just moved from London and had no real support network in my new city.

Work was a nightmare; there was all the usual office politics, a manager who set me up to fail and a colleague who wanted my blood. I had just left a meeting where my co-worker point blank said: “I’m not here to make friends.” To top it off, I also no longer enjoyed my actual tasks at work either.

The worse thing was feeling completely stuck. I was on a work visa and quitting this job meant bye bye America. I had hit rock bottom; I was lonely, overwhelmed and utterly lost! How did I even let myself get here?

I knew to get myself out of this mess; I’d have to dig deep, use all the coaching wisdom I had uncovered in my sessions the year before. I started to implement them one by one and finally gained back my confidence and control to move on.

Sound familiar?

Here are four strategies you can use to improve your work environment and figure out your next career move faster:

1: Shift your focus.
To get out of any messy situation, you need to shift your focus from the current problem to the solution. (even if you don’t know what the solution is yet, stop thinking about the issue that’s causing anxiety and stress for you.)

2: Commit to staying out of the drama.
Instead of obsessing over the usual work politics and drama, and this includes getting involved in negative conversations about it, start using every opportunity to visualize and strategize how you can do your job better, what is working, and what you’d like your future career to be. Bonus tip: try to see the good qualities in everyone.

3: Verbalize it.

If it’s possible, voice your concerns with your manager or team. Remember to come at this from a compassionate and respectful place. It may be a tough conversation to have, but it’s always better to keep an open dialogue to avoid misunderstandings and a complete breakdown of communication, which will only lead to more annoyance and stress.

4: Hire a life coach.

Working with a life coach will help you keep a level head, look at things more objectively and come up with creative solutions to address and solve the problems at work. A coach will also help you home in on your values and goals. Then the coach will assist you in aligning these takeaways with the demands of your job, or help you clarify a profession that honors them.

Implementing these strategies reduced my stress levels significantly, and a few months later I figured out my next career move!

If you’re currently finding yourself in a similar situation where you feel stuck, undervalued and caught in a company culture that’s not working for you, be sure to join me for my Thriving Career Webinar where I’ll help you develop and design a career that’s perfect for you.

Join others who are in the same boat as you and together you’ll:
1 – Discover your purpose by organizing your life and career goals
2 – Gain clarity and certainty to home in on the perfect job for you
3 – Get the step-by-step guide you need to build a successful career

Sign up for the Thriving Career Webinar Oct 3rd, 6:30 pm EDT! (Replay will be available to registrants.)

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Praise from Ultimate Career Bootcamp Graduates:
“Working with Hanneke restored my confidence in myself and my abilities and helped me to organize my goals and make strategic plans to achieve them. Every single aspect of my life improved because of the work I did with Hanneke. It truly brought happiness to a whole new level!” – Leanna Gonzalez