Career & Success

How to deal with your unbearable colleague?

Published on February 22, 2021, Seytoo
How to deal with your unbearable colleague?

Your aggressive colleague, in bad faith, is spreading rumors: he harms you. Here are some tips to protect yourself from difficult personalities.

Set your priorities

Your work team is home to a difficult personality. A pain in the ass that diplomatic language modestly prefers to call an assertive personality (PA) or a difficult personality. Negative, grumbling, absent, contemptuous ... If the PA is a colleague of equal hierarchical level, your room for maneuver will be reduced since you will not be able to reframe, move or find other functions. Your priorities: identifying the PA, you protect and alert your superiors. Your objectives: keep your motivation and the confidence of your supervisor intact.

Speak up.

As soon as the first symptoms appear (aggressiveness, silence during meetings, circulation of rumors, etc.), go directly to speak with the PA. Stay cordial, anxious to understand, without the slightest animosity. Gently test the ground. The goal is to put on the table a detail that would have escaped you, a misinterpreted attitude. If the atmosphere relaxes immediately after this update, false alarm! It wasn't a PA, just a misunderstanding. On the other hand, if the situation continues or worsens, you have to deal with a difficult personality and the first protective measures are essential!

Protect yourself.

Difficult personalities weaken your mind and the very success of your job. So you have to keep a good distance (physical and professional) with them and make sure that the situation does not turn against you. Never leave a written record of your exchanges that do not directly concern work. Even at the end of a professional email, at the turn of a short sentence, refrain from the slightest admonition. On the other hand, carefully save contentious / aggressive / inappropriate messages from the PA. They will be useful to you later, when you want to have the situation recognized.

Alert the hierarchy.

It is important not to remain isolated when you are faced with this kind of colleague. Before alerting the hierarchy, carefully consult your other colleagues on the nature of their interactions with PA: without revealing your sorrows, try to find out how their working relationship is going, if they eat together at noon, if the rest of the day. the team is affected by this behavior.

Once your little tour is done, alert your direct supervisor by first pointing out the negative effects on work: delay in files, etc. If necessary, mobilize yourself with other colleagues: your hierarchical superior will be all the more convinced of the urgency of dealing with this "file" so as not to harm the morale of the troops.

To do quickly.

It is essential not to let too much time pass between the first symptoms and the alert. Because the purely professional impact risks gradually turning into a personal impact, which would discredit your alert in the eyes of your superior.

The interest of this mediation is of course not to seek to resolve the situation alone: there is only one mediator, placed higher in the hierarchy, who can help you in the management of this difficult personality...

Watch out for abuse.

The name “difficult personality” can cover abuse ... Because it may quite simply be that said pain in the ass is only an executive who works differently, a “strong head” who refuses the standardization of work standards demanded by the hierarchy. A case that the management wants to weaken by stigmatizing it. Also, beware of the instrumentalization of such a name, the use of which should not be done lightly, you could also be the victim...

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