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Dealing with difficult colleagues

Dealing with colleagues who are condescending, less than competent, or never pull their weight? Tired of co-workers who make your job living hell? You may not have the power to change who you work with, but you do have the power to change how you react to such colleagues.

Learning to deal with difficult people is vital for us to stay mentally & physically healthy, thrive at our jobs and advance our careers. Avoid conflict and wasting precious time and energy over negative emotions with these simple methods:

Stay calm

After dealing with such unpleasantness for awhile, you learn to see it in advance. Plan how to handle it proactively. Rather than reacting emotionally, stay calm and don’t react at all. Use your experience to your advantage and visualize past scenarios in your head. Did your reaction worsen the conflict?

Get some perspective from others

A difficult colleague usually rubs other co-workers the wrong way too, so consult with other colleagues who have experienced a similar situation and seek their advice. They might be able to see things from a different angle and offer a different take on the situation.

Learn to compromise

The most important skill in the hospitality sector is being flexible and knowing when to let go of your ego. Working out an amicable solution that works for both you and your colleague is the best way to resolve issues without letting it affect customer service or operations. The important thing is to be able to figure out a plan to work together.

Shift your perspective

Sometimes, taking the high road is the best approach to handling daily conflict. Your colleagues’ circumstances and how they deal with work pressure may be the cause to their unpleasant behavior. Trying to understand what is causing their behaviour may help you diffuse the conflict. Maybe the behaviour has nothing to do with you so don’t take it personally.

Role model the behaviour you seek

Play fair and demonstrate the behaviour you want to see, irrespective of position or department. When colleagues see you being able to manage unpleasant situations calmly and without emotion will have a knock on effect, one that will hopefully foster internal reconciliation before a customer service experience goes south.

Involve a third party

If you have no luck working out things between the two of you, consider getting HR or a supervisor involved immediately. Having an unemotionally-involved third party can help look at the situation objectively and hopefully offer mutually agreeable solutions for both sides.