Source | www.fastcompany.com | JORDAN HARBINGER
Of all the challenges of working in an office, dealing with a toxic coworker is one of the hardest.
Whether that colleague creates a minor disruption (like gossiping about other employees at work) or creates more serious dysfunction (like ducking responsibility and blaming other people for their mistakes), addressing these problems can be awkward and anxiety-provoking at best. In some cases, a toxic colleague can color your entire experience at the office, making it impossible to do your best work.
On my podcast, the Jordan Harbinger Show, I’ve interviewed dozens of experts about how to manage difficult relationships at work. Over the years, I’ve gleaned a few key principles that can improve your relationship with a difficult coworker.
It all begins with owning your experience.
RECOGNIZE YOUR ROLE IN THE DYNAMIC
The first step in dealing with a colleague’s problematic behavior is to understand your role in the dynamic. Even in conflicts where the other person is objectively at fault, you still have a role to play—at the very least, in the way you respond to the situation.
Take the example of the colleague who ducks responsibility and blames other people for their mistakes. Blaming other people when things go wrong is, of course, a highly problematic pattern. But if you investigated your part in that dynamic, you might find that you play a role there too.