When people complain about their job, it is not about the actual work that but the people they have to deal with.
Sometimes if it is the personality of the person to be generally obnoxious then it can be handled. But dealing becomes all the more difficult if it is a personal attack.
There is no one type of difficult people, they are available in all varieties, the non-stop talker, the non-talker, criticiser and so on.
Difficult co-workers compete with you for power, privilege, and the spotlight; some go way too far in courting the boss’s positive opinion – to your detriment.
They all have one thing in common. You must address them. No matter the type of difficult situation in which you find yourself, dealing with difficult people or situations is a must.
While the first instinct is to get away from the trouble makers, the best thing to do is to learn to deal with them. If left unaddressed, it usually gets worse.
Initially, people go into shock when they are treated unprofessionally, so if you take some time to understand exactly what is happening to you, you are not alone. Once you are fully aware of what is happening, deciding to live with the situation long term is not an option.
If you start constantly complaining about your coworker it may earn you the name of whiner and will make people wonder why you are not able to solve your own problems.
When you are constantly embroiled in a conflict at work you may be tagged as a 'difficult person'. This will also result in affecting your career as your boss may decide that you are 'high maintenanace' employee who can be replaced with a more cooperative person.
An article in thebalance.com lists out a few points that can help you to productively confront your difficult coworker.
* The step is self analysis, find out whether the problem is really with the other person.
Does a pattern exist for you in your interaction with coworkers? Do you recognize that you have hot buttons that are easily pushed? (We all do, you know.) Always start with self-examination to determine that the object of your attention really is a difficult person’s actions.
* It is often difficult to objectively assess your options. Anger, pain, humiliation, fear, and concern about making the situation worse are legitimate emotions.
Pay attention to the unspoken agreement you create when you solicit another’s assistance. You are committing to act unless you agree actions will only hurt the situation. Otherwise, you risk becoming a whiner or complainer in the eyes of your colleague.
* Have a private chat with the person whom you have the problem with. Tell them what you are experiencing in 'I' messages.
You can also explain to your coworker the impact of their actions on you.
Be pleasant and agreeable as you talk with the other person. They may not be aware of the impact of their words or actions on you. They may be learning about their impact on you for the first time. Or, they may have to consider and confront a pattern in their own interaction with people. Worst case?
They may know their impact on you and deny it or try to explain it away. Unfortunately, some difficult people just don’t care. During the discussion, attempt to reach agreement about positive and supportive actions going forward.
* Direct confrontation does work well for some people in some situations. It works to ask the person to stop doing what they’re doing, publicly, but you can employ more positive confrontational tactics.
Their success for you will depend on your ability to pull them off. Each of us is not spur-of-the-moment funny, but if you are, you can use the humour well with difficult coworkers.
* Even after all that you still do not find any change in that person's behaviour you can take up the issue with your boss/manager.
Take notes and address the issues, not as interpersonal problems, but as issues affecting your productivity, the work and your progress on projects. Tell your boss exactly what the difficult person does.
Make a plan to address the issues. Perhaps involve your coworker's boss.
* Sometimes, a group approach convinces the boss that the impact of the behavior is wider and deeper than she had originally determined. Be careful with this approach, however. Know what works with your boss. You want to solve your problem, not make it look as if you are rabble-rousing and ganging up on another employee.
* Avoid working with the person when possible. Leave voluntary committees, Choose projects he or she does not impact. Don’t hurt your own career or your business, but avoidance is an option.
*If all else fails, you can quit your job. You need to decide whether the good in your current situation outweighs the bad or whether the bad outweighs the good.
If the good wins, stop complaining and get back to work.