This week while dining out with friends I had an epiphany moment; I realized previous, “girl’s night out” conversations tended to focus on how to find a boyfriend, difficult boyfriends and quirky husbands. We would ruminate over whether we should stay in or leave a particular relationship. I’m not sure if it is a sign of the times or if it’s because we are a little bit older and happily married, but the focus of this week’s conversation was how to find a new job and the challenges of working with difficult co-workers, supervisors and quirky managers. The question of the night was should we stay or leave a particular job. We came to the conclusion we are all happy to have a job and it is impossible to change our co-workers/managers, so we need to either accept these people the way they are and learn how to work with them or leave.
It appears many of my blog readers also have issues with the people they work with. According to my blog stats, “Working with a difficult co-worker, supervisor or manager,” I hate my supervisor,” Manipulative co-workers,” and “ A personal attack at work” are all popular searches bringing traffic to my blog. I’ve written about all of these topics in the past and have decided to create a “difficult co-workers post” linking all of my previous posts covering these topics. I am also including links from other blogs and book recommendations I have found helpful.
Alyssa's new supervisor tries to get her fired in I hate my supervisor. She asks me if she should continue to endure her supervisor's abuse or return to her old job which is less prestigious.
I wrote about how things turned out for Alyssa in an Update to I hate my supervisor.
In A personal attack at work, I write about my HR manager personally attacking me.
Here are my experiences Working with a Master Manipulator.
In Verbal Judo Communication I try to assist a reader who is having difficulty communicating with her manager by providing tips from George Thompson's book Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion.
In Moving on after a personal attack by a co-worker a reader asks just that, "How to move on after a personal attack by a co-worker."
Here are some of my favorite posts dealing with difficult co-workers written by other bloggers:
Penelope Trunk's post Do you have a good job? Take the test helped me realize maybe my job isn't so bad after all. Sometimes the crappiest job isn’t bad when your co-workers are your friends.
Suzanne Lucas of "Evil HR Lady" has written before about working with bullies. In Petty Tyrant she links all of her workplace bully posts onto one.
Anita Bruzzese's post Five ways to handle being personally attacked at work is the post I read shortly before my own personal attack at work. This post became a life-saver in the days following my attack.
If you are like me and can't think quickly on your feet you need to read Anita's Learn to handle verbal smackdowns. She provides tips to help us respond to snide comments from colleagues.
Miss Minchin’s post Workplace dangers - manipulate people helped me understand what the motivation was behind the master manipulator I work with.
Books mentioned in the above posts:
For a good book dealing with jerks in the workplace, check out Robert Sutton's The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving.
George Thompson's book Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion was recommended by my favorite librarian. He attended an entire seminar on this book; apparently library patrons can be just as difficult to work with as co-workers.
Megan Hustad's How to Be Useful: A Beginner's Guide to Not Hating Work. In addition to providing ways to make work not suck, she provides the most helpful networking tips I've ever read.
In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by George K. Simon, Jr., Ph. D. is a useful guide to help identify tactics used by manipulators. Once you recognize their tactics you can change the game and control the outcome.
Comebacks at Work: Using Conversation to Master Confrontation by Kathleen Kelley Reardon and Christopher T. Noblet offers advice for handling difficult conversations. This is the book Anita Bruzzese sites in her post Learn to handle verbal smackdowns.
If you have a book or blog post you've found helpful in dealing with "Difficult co-workers" let me know; I'd be happy to add a link.