How to Avoid Workplace Drama

Dealing with a difficult co-worker can be a frustrating situation. This person might be performing inappropriately, not doing their job, or they might be acting as a barrier between you and success inside the company.

You might be inclined to bypass this person and take the issue to a supervisor. However, this may not be to your greatest benefit. The truth is, going above or around your colleague might cause a greater rift between you and this person, leading to more office drama.

So, rather than allowing this problem to grow or fester, think about the following steps to cope with a problematic co-worker.

Focus on your work

As opposed to spending energy thinking about what others are doing, concentrate on your own job and ensure you’re performing as well as you can. Making sure you are doing your job will lead to respect from your co-workers, which you may need if a situation involving workplace drama comes to a head.

Don’t take it personally

Many bad co-workers have a hard time taking responsibility, blaming others when things go wrong. While you may want to avoid escalating any drama, you should avoid justifying any blame-placing behavior and never take sole responsibility for a mistake someone else had a hand in making.

Don’t retaliate

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” is a popular saying for a reason. While you might be angry and annoyed, you do not want to trash the person to everyone in your office. Often, it will circle back to them, and if this person believes they are being confronted or slandered, it could negatively complicate things.

Nobody likes to appear bad, particularly at work. If you get caught retaliating, it could mean more trouble for you, especially if the person is viewed as an authority figure in the workplace.

Have a heart-to-heart

Rather than going straight to a supervisor or human resources, have a discussion with the co-worker in question. Show them respect by voicing your concerns to them in person. Also, if you bring the situation to someone else right away without talking to the individual first, you risk making yourself look bad and losing the respect of other co-workers for avoiding a confrontation.

During this face-to-face conversation, allow the other person to give their side of the situation. Maybe you could make the situation better by modifying your habits. Or, perhaps the person is going through a rough patch in their personal life and their frustrations are being taken out on you. By listening to the person, you may find a way to ease the situation.

Go to management together

If you can’t arrive at a solution that works for both of you, suggest going to management together to find out if you can come to a resolution. You can both represent yourselves, and neither person feels like they are being talked about behind their back.

At LTI Services, we support all of our contract workers, especially when they find themselves in a difficult workplace situation. If you are looking to work for a company with that kind of support, please contact us today.