We’ve all met that one co-worker who just drives us nuts. Here are five common types of colleagues that will make your blood boil – and ways to deal with them without crossing professional lines.
1. The Jealous One
Ever since you started excelling at work, they’ve made it glaringly obvious they don’t like you anymore. Expect the occasional snide comment. At worst, they might turn the whole office against you, so watch out.
WHAT TO DO: Career coach Irene Lee from the Centre for Career Excellence suggests treating that colleague “as if nothing has changed” because their jealousy is a natural human reaction, especially if they feel things with you are no longer the same. At the same time, reflect on whether you’re giving credit to your co-workers where it’s due.
2. The Gossip Queen
This person knows anything and E V E R Y T H I N G about everyone in the office. You may love hanging out with them because they’re always ready to dish on all the latest drama, but you need to be very careful – there’s a high chance they’re saying sh* t about you too.
WHAT TO DO: If the gossip is about you, Irene’s advice is to weigh its seriousness. If it’s trivial, speak directly to the Gossip Queen and explain how the gossip is baseless. If the gossip has serious consequences, clear the air ASAP with all parties concerned first before it gets out of hand, before confronting the Gossip Queen.
3. The MCP
He’ll say stuff like, “Oh, you’re quite good at it… for a girl,” and think he’s paying you a genuine compliment. He’ll mansplain and he-peat (i.e., repeat what you said as though it was his brilliant idea) to no end, and even leave you out of important work conversations.
WHAT TO DO: According to Irene, the MCP tends to get a thrill if we react emotionally to what they say, so remember to maintain calm when dealing with them. Sit the MCP down and tell him how you feel about his actions. “You can also consider bringing up the issue to a higher authority at work,” she adds. Never put up with such treatment because it’ll only further encourage that behaviour.
4. The Know-It-All
All bosses have a go-to guy (or girl) in the office. That’s just a fact of life. However, the Know-It-All lets this position of power get into their head, and does more wayang than actual work.
WHAT TO DO: Before you blow up at them for talking over you in yet another meeting, remember they probably have confidence issues. “Go for meetings prepared with facts in writing, so if the Know-It-All doesn’t let you get a word in, you have something in writing to share with the team,” says career coach and author Nancy Collamer. “The better prepared you are, the less room there will be for the Know-It-All to commandeer the discussion.”
5. The Market Spoiler
This person always goes the extra mile. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can lead to unreasonable expectations from higher-ups. You want to tell them to dial it down, but you also don’t want to come off as bullying the hardest worker.
WHAT TO DO: Keep this colleague busy with loads of tasks, no matter how small. Career development coach Dianna Reed says such workaholic tendencies stem from a want to feel needed. So if you enrol their help in things, a) you’re free to focus on the important stuff at work and b) you boost the confidence of the Market Spoiler.