Difficult People

Question: My department recently moved to a new building … I was given an office that was originally designated for “Judy.” Judy seems offended by this change. I think she blames me for the decision, even though I had nothing to do with it. Now I’m starting to feel guilty. How can I fix this?
What should you do about a co-worker who takes advantage of a boss-less office? How do you bring this to your boss’s attention without appearing like a troublemaker? Here are some ideas for addressing a co-worker’s slacker behavior:

Tame those bullies

July 1, 2009 Categorized in: Difficult People

Is bullying marring your workplace? Gary Namie, co-founder and director of the Workplace Bullying Institute, advises going directly to management.
When a colleague or customer gets so upset they stop making sense, you need to remember this: Too much adrenaline is muddling their thinking. Here are the most common forms of ranting, along with what to say to get them back on track quickly:
We’ve all been put in situations where opinionated people force us to talk about something that we don’t care to discuss. What do you say in these awkward, challenging moments that allows you to speak your truth, yet leave another’s respect intact? Try out the following techniques:
Attitudes have changed for the better in many offices, where the fear of layoffs still runs high. But what happens when employees become so busy kissing up to the boss that they stop pulling their weight at work? How are you supposed to deal with a kiss-up, do-nothing co-worker?
At some point in their careers, most people end up in the position of being left to do the work after flaky colleagues drop the ball. Anita Bruzzese (www.45things.com), who writes about workplace issues, offers these four tips for handling co-workers who drop the ball, and how to get them to pull their weight:
Rudeness and incivility at work have a huge effect on performance, according to a Harvard Business Review study. For example, in response to rudeness at work, 48% of employees decreased their work effort, and 47% decreased their time at work.
Anytime you thrust people together, whether work related or family related, you come across a “toxic taker.” Toxic takers poison your environment, and you need to take action against them. Here are some survival tactics.
Imagine two employees, both working for a difficult boss. One gets yelled at by the boss and leaves his office looking calm and unruffled. The other flees to the bathroom in tears or kicks the wall. The difference?
She steals credit for your work, blames you for something that you didn’t do or attempts to damage your reputation: the workplace saboteur. Saboteurs are most apt to strike in a weak economy like the current one, business psychologist Wendy Alfus Rothman tells The Wall Street Journal.
Your boss’s gender can affect just how much pain he or she seems to inflict. Researchers at the University of Toronto compared men and women working in one of three situations: (1) for a lone male supervisor, (2) for a lone female supervisor, or (3) for both a male and a female supervisor.

Fight ‘desk rage’ With O-I-E

November 7, 2008 Categorized in: Difficult People

Tempers are flaring at work more often these days. About half of U.S. workers report yelling at a colleague this year, reports the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. How should you handle a co- worker’s “desk rage”?