Liane Moriarty has a new mystery book for your book club
Liane Moriarty has a new mystery book for your book club

Holly O'Neill

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make Time 100 Most Influential People list
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make Time 100 Most Influential People list

Holly O'Neill

Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread
Meet five Irish embroiderers doing amazing things with needle and thread

Megan Burns

Saying you are a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ is the ultimate conversation stopper
Saying you are a ‘stay-at-home-mum’ is the ultimate conversation stopper

Amanda Cassidy

The Hygiene Bank’s Sorcha Killian on hygiene poverty and how it’s impacting Irish families every day
The Hygiene Bank’s Sorcha Killian on hygiene poverty and how it’s impacting Irish families every...

Shayna Sappington

Wildfire: ‘We knew we wanted to tell a story with fierce women at the heart of it’
Wildfire: ‘We knew we wanted to tell a story with fierce women at the heart...

Jennifer McShane

The initiatives fighting hygiene and period poverty in Ireland
The initiatives fighting hygiene and period poverty in Ireland

Holly O'Neill

‘This WAS my reality’: Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton shares depths of alcoholism struggle
‘This WAS my reality’: Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton shares depths of alcoholism struggle

Jennifer McShane

Actress Gabrielle Union speaks movingly about her fertility struggles and fighting feelings of failure around surrogacy
Actress Gabrielle Union speaks movingly about her fertility struggles and fighting feelings of failure around...

Lauren Heskin

Let’s tax the uninventive Met Gala outfits instead
Let’s tax the uninventive Met Gala outfits instead

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Careers Clinic: How To Deal With A Difficult Work Colleague


by IMAGE
08th May 2017
blank

Do you work with a Jekyll and Hyde character? Is there a Talented Mr. Ripley type in your office? The workplace is, at best, challenging without having to manage these characters who have the capacity to ruin an otherwise perfectly good job experience, to destroy your confidence or make your life miserable.

If you are an employee, a manager or even the boss, these characters are plentiful at every stage of your career. They come in a variety of disguises. Sometimes as friends and other times as foes but typically difficult, insecure, jealous and nasty. Unfortunately, they exist and you are bound to come across them. Learning to deal with a difficult work colleague is a key skill that you must learn. Here are some tips to keep you on course:

Never let anyone dull your sparkle

Always remember your worth and value. Your confidence is your shining armour. Once you feel that your confidence, professional or otherwise, is jeopardised by a particular person or group, immediately put distance between you and them. Remain polite and maintain your professional standards but act instantly. Never give anyone permission to quash your spirit or to take away your dreams. Listen to your gut. The instant that you notice manipulative behaviour that you do not like, even if veiled as friendship, act.

Keep cool

Keep all communication professional and above board. As much as possible do not allow yourself to be alone with this person or group. Keep all communication in writing (everything). Avoid phone contact unless absolutely necessary. Avoid any contact, including responding to emails, taking calls or answering text messages, outside of working hours. In meetings, make sure that other people are present and that there are witnesses to everything discussed.

Keep a record

Start a diary as a form of protection. Believe it or not, when you are under pressure you may forget what happened when it happened or who was around. Your diary is a contemporary record that should contain what, where and when something happened, who was close by and how it made you feel. Refrain from giving out or having an emotional outburst. Keep this for your personal journal and use your diary to record professional examples of unacceptable behaviour that have impacted or upset you.

Be Brave & Clear

As hard as it might be, and as personally challenging as it is, be brave. If the person makes unwanted comments, is nasty or displays bullying behaviour loudly ask, ?Could you please repeat what you just said to me?? Trust me, if what was said was nasty, unkind, unprofessional or rude that person will not want to repeat it. What’s more, they will think a second time before doing it again.

Get Support

If things come to the point where you cannot deal with it yourself, discuss what is happening with your boss or HR. If this is not possible speak to a union representative or go to your doctor for advice. Tell a family member or a trusted friend. Do not bottle it up or keep it a secret as this is the type of situation that these people thrive in. If you are struggling to cope or manage seek support.

Don’t sacrifice yourself

If you have done everything in your power to manage the situation, do not sacrifice yourself to this person or these people. Days become weeks, weeks become months, and months become years all too quickly. Try to follow all the channels open to you and leverage all your skills to deal with this person or these people.

But also realise that sometimes the problem is systemic and actually rooted in the culture of the organisation. If this is the case, no job is worth your confidence. The right thing to do is move on. Be strategic and put a plan in place. Begin to actively job hunt, secure a job, cut your losses and learn from the experience. Don’t tell yourself that this is letting them win. No. This is putting you first and protecting yourself.

By Sinead Brady

@CareertoLove

Also Read

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy

alternative asthma treatments
EDITORIAL
Three alternative asthma treatments to try this hayfever season

Approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever, which can make summer days a nightmare. These three alternative...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
CULTURE
Reality Bites: TV shows like Love Island are warping our minds

It may be the most unifying show on television, but shows like Love Island are promoting some pretty damaging messages....

By Amanda Cassidy

Mandy Moore pumping
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan