Did you know that October is Workplace Politics Awareness month? Although it shouldn’t consume your life, thinking about how you get along with your coworkers is important. Your ability to work with them can have a huge impact on your job performance.
Unless you’ve been extremely lucky in your career, you’ve probably had to deal with a few difficult or possibly nasty coworkers. Hey even Jon Stewart had to deal with some jerks at the office. In an interview last year with Stephen Colbert, Stewart said that he almost quit The Daily Show soon after taking the job from previous host Craig Kilborn in 1999. The reason was a familiar one: “A lot of the people who worked there were assholes.”
We came up with a list of some of the most annoying coworkers – here are some tips on how to deal with them.
The Jealous Coworker
Maybe you’ve been promoted. Or you just have a really great relationship with your boss. Either way, the Jealous Coworker feels threatened by you.
How to deal: Try not to brag about your achievements or new perks, and ignore the negative comments. If none of this works try confronting her and say you honestly want to fix the problem. Sometimes an open discussion can make the world of difference.
The Debbie Downer
The Debbie Downer exudes negativity. According to her, everything is terrible, and there’s no hope for anything getting better. You may as well just throw in the towel.
How to deal: Try to listen to her complaints; there could be some merit behind them. And by listening, you may understand where her fear and anger is coming from. If the problem persists, try to spend as little time with her as possible, or suggest she takes her issues to HR.
The Lingerer or Cling-on
This Lingerer or Cling-on is always around. Stopping by your desk, engaging in conversation. And she doesn’t understand when it’s time to leave. Either she doesn’t get the concept of personal space, or thinks everything you do and say is absolutely fabulous.
How to deal: Let her know politely that you are on a deadline and really have to work now. Also, ask her for help when you need it, or give her something to do. If you show that you have weaknesses, she’ll be less likely to hang on your every word (you’re human, after all!).
Hey, we all like a little bit of juicy information, especially on a slow day, but The Gossip brings it to a whole new level.
How to deal: When gossip starts to get out of hand just try not to engage, and go so far as to ignore your coworker. Also, be sure not to share any personal secrets with The Gossip. According to Forbes, twenty-seven percent of us have had a friend who has told our secrets to others. One slip of the tongue at work can be a career killer.
The Blamer will never admit to having made even the slightest of mistakes. Before you can even breathe she has her finger pointed.
How to deal: You have to be careful with The Blamer. Keep on your toes at work, and if you’re involved in a project, make sure to document everything.
The Mean Girl
Mean Girls don’t disappear after high school. A 2007 Workplace Bullying Institute survey found the majority of workplace bullies are men (60/40), but female bullies target other women 71% of the time. Additionally, female bullies more frequently engaged in under-the-radar behaviors such as sabotage (53.7% of female vs. 39.9% of male bullies) and abuse of authority (50.2% vs. 44.7%), as compared to the more observable form of verbal abuse (57.5% vs. 47.1%).
How to deal: The Mean Girl is clearly dealing with something internally, and taking it out on you. Try not to take it personally, or counter attack them; there’s no sense in engaging, it will just make you look bad and further the problem. Find a friend who will listen to you vent (preferably someone you don’t work with). If that doesn’t work, consider speaking with HR.