3 Ways to Handle
has dealt with a difficult
colleague at one point
or another. How can you
productively work alongside them?
SOLUTION In The
Schmuck in My Office: How
to Deal Effectively With
Difficult People at Work,
Jody J. Foster, M. D., and
Michelle Joy, M. D., explore
how to handle 10 different
but equally disruptive personalities you might come
across in the office. While each personality type requires
its own approach to encourage change, they all can benefit
from certain behaviors from their coworkers:
1 Early intervention When an employee’s behavior is disruptive, it’s key to intervene early on and allow
coworkers to express how they feel about the situation
before it spirals out of control. Foster and Joy recommend
communicating with the disrupter with the goal of a positive outcome for all.
2 Subtle adjustments Eccentric employees might re- quire a work environment that caters to their unique
interests. A seemingly robotic employee could benefit
from a rigid, predictable schedule. An easily distracted
worker might be more productive if assigned small,
achievable, step-by-step tasks. You may wonder why you
need to adjust to accommodate a problematic employee,
but according to Foster and Joy, minding your half of the
relationship can improve the overall morale of a team.
3 Talk in person With less-confrontational methods of communication like email and texting available, it
can be tempting to deal with a difficult situation indirectly.
However, Foster and Joy say it’s vital to speak directly with
employees, particularly when you don’t understand their
behavior. Tone and body language go a long way in connecting with a difficult colleague. .
— Casey Gale
For more information: schmuckinmyoffice.com