Multi-racial business team sitting around an office boardroom


We all have at least one: the coworker, client, or boss you just can’t stand. Here are 10 tips on dealing with those problematic people in your workplace.

The colleague with the uncomfortable sense of humour. The client who has zero concept of personal space. The assistant who chatters non-stop.

When you find yourself teamed with someone whose work style and, well, personal habits couldn’t be further from your own, it’s tempting to just put your head down, and (as cordially as possible) tune out his or her differences but here are tips to help you have a healthy relationship with them in spite of that;

Start out by examining yourself. Are you sure that the other person is really the problem and that you’re not overreacting? Have you always experienced difficulty with the same type of person or actions?

Approach the person with whom you are having the problem for a private discussion. Talk to the coworker about what you are experiencing in “I” messages. Using “I” messages is a communication approach that focuses on your experience of the situation rather than on attacking or accusing the other person.

Follow-up after the initial discussion. Has the behaviour changed? Gotten better? Or worse? Determine whether a follow-up discussion is needed. Determine whether a follow-up discussion will have any impact. Decide if you want to continue to confront the difficult person by yourself.

If you do foster a great connection with someone legendarily hard to reach, your colleagues will likely be curious. So stay away from gossip and being judgemental.


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