Steps to handling difficult colleagues

Written By Gary Spirer Published March 29th, 2010

Do you have difficult colleagues in your business? Find out how to handle them professionally.

Step 1 Find the source of the problem

Most people use the term personality conflict to describe a situation where they are dealing with a difficult colleague. Generally speaking, these situations in any business occur over time. Small annoying behaviors are left unnoticed and begin to wear down on the parties involved. In any relationship, even in business, both people influence the other’s behavior. In almost every conflict situation, a conflict both people involved have some responsibility for where things stand.

Step 2 Change the situation

Don’t focusing on blame. The important thing is to focus on what you can do and change within your business to resolve these conflicts. You can’t control the personality or behavior of another person, but you can focus on your own behavioral changes to influence that person. It may seem unfair that you are the one having to make the changes when, in your mind, it is the other person that is the problem, but unfortunately that attitude will lead to no change at all. It is prideful and stubborn.

Step 3 Take action

Talk to the person. Never be accusatory because that may just cause the person to get defensive or lash out. Explain your situation and how you’ve though that you could resolve it together. Let the person know you’ve been thinking about ways that you can work together more effectively that you had some ideas and wanted to see how he or she felt about them. Let the other person know that you value their opinion and cooperation and that you’d appreciate hearing their input as well.

It’s that simple. Remember, difficult colleagues can lead to hostile work environments over time, which lowers profits and productivity. Please visit for more great business advice.

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