Five “Monsters” at Work and How to Best Deal With Them
You’ll work with and for a lot of people over the course of your career. Some will be great, while others may seem like odd creatures that will take some Herculean effort to deal with
In just about any work setting, you’ll connect with some co-workers better than others. This is pretty much a given. You’ll even become friends with some, which is always great. But then, you’ll also meet a cast of characters who can prove to be a challenge to work with or to just be around.
From the innocently annoying (there’s always that one guy/girl who talks your head off with stories and prevents you from getting any work done) to the outright dishonest (they really took credit for YOUR ideas?), some of them can really get in our way— or at least on our nerves— when we aren’t careful.
It’s always a good idea to know who some of these “monsters” are, and how to go about taming these beasts.
There is always at least one teammate who acts like the boss more than your peer when the real boss isn’t around. They tell you what to do, directing and correcting you and others without any solicitation, and even go as far as to delegate tasks to teammates without even bothering to know what everyone prefers individually.
Would-be superiors have a tendency to do themselves in, starting with you and the rest of their peers, and then eventually the actual boss. So technically, you don’t really need to do much, although it is indeed better to nip the issue at the bud instead of waste time, energy, and overall productivity by waiting.
In these instances, it’s best to let your Boss-lite peer know how you feel. You are equals, so don’t be intimidated. Also, emphasize that you are only speaking for yourself (so he/she won’t feel being disliked by everyone). Let them know of your preferences when it comes to your role/own tasks, and that you value his/her opinion and will indeed ask for advice–when you want it.
The Credit Grabber
While true professionals are expected to go about their work honestly and ethically, competition in the office, and life, in general, will have some co-workers doing just about anything to impress the bosses and/or get ahead. This includes Credit Grabbers, or those who don’t hesitate to take credit for your ideas, the team’s work, or for just about anything else they believe will work to their advantage.
Working with people like this can be rather frustrating, and can be compounded when they also happen to be the aforementioned ‘Boss-lite’. The worst is, of course, when the Credit Grabber is an actual boss. When that is the case, seriously, yikes.
When Credit Grabbers arise, there is no point in wasting time to correct the situation. It’s either you decide to put up with it, or directly (but calmly) stake your claim to the ideas you had and the work you did, while still noting that you are glad your credit-grabbing co-worker is rather excited for the project. You can clear things up further by speaking privately, stating how it’s a little confusing when they speak of ideas/accomplishments their own.
The Chatter Box
One constant in just about any office is the distractions, with talking arguably being the topmost among them. And sometimes, the talking only comes from one person, considered the office Chatter Box. It’s fine when it’s just background noise, but when they begin talking to you directly, consider your work (or even department meeting) interrupted for the next thirty minutes or more, as they usually can’t take the hint to wrap whatever they are talking about.
Granted, when you are a new hire, Chatter Boxes makes your life immediately easier. They easily come up to you to talk, sans any effort from your end, and readily answer any questions you may have about your new workplace. They are actually easy to like, and sometimes can just be a little exhausting to have around.
When they start going a roll with the talking, it’s best to be direct and tell them that you’d like to resume your work. Despite the incessant chatter, they’re still professionals after all, and you’d be doing them a favor as they will likely resume their own work after you ask to resume yours. If in a flexible working environment, take advantage of being able to put physical distance between you, as this will also help from talking your head off to a minimum.
The Gossip Monger
Gossip is bound to happen in just about any office, and to an extent isn’t really so bad as it can help co-workers bond and be productive. However, when taken too far, it can often be divisive and bring down trust and morale, as no one wants to be whispered about behind their backs.
Unfortunately, this isn’t beneath Gossip Mongers, as they likely get a great deal of enjoyment being “in-the-know”, even if about the most private or trivial things about the bosses, co-workers, clients, and the company as a whole.
Extensive gossiping is generally frowned upon in most companies, so there really isn’t much needed to do about Gossip Mongers. On your end, it’s best to avoid becoming one and resist the temptation to engage in petty gossip, being mindful that too much can strain work relationships. Setting a good example is one of the best things you can do to curtail office gossip.
Or Negative Nick. Or Negative insert-name-here. Whoever this dark cloud of a co-worker is, their constant negativity or pessimism can feel like a shackle to everyone around them. They constantly reference “my old job” when ranting about something they think is being done in the office, as well as use the phrase “that won’t work” with regard to any new ideas.
Even when they aren’t discussing work, nega co-workers can truly be a drag. Maybe they vent about personal matters a lot, or maybe they are just dark clouds that manifested into a person with the goal of complaining about even the smallest things like office coffee, air-conditioning, or how far they live (why take the job when you can’t make the commute?). Oddly, most of these types of co-workers are often the longest-tenured and for some reason never leave.
Indeed, negativity can be toxic. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with it, and the first and easiest is to keep your distance. You should never reward negative behavior with your attention. You’re being a great colleague when you help a co-worker through a bad day, but when that is seemingly every day, you might want to reserve your time and energy for your actual work. Doing that, and being positive, is also a way to show them how to behave.
Feel like there are other co-workers that should be on this list? Contact us and let us know!
Ready to find that dream job? Sign up at Kalibrr and be connected to thousands of employers, today!
Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talent from all over, with over 2.5 million professionals and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.
The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.