They're in every office. Nosy, rude and even outright hostile co-workers drag you down. What's worse, they distract you from your work, threaten your career and drain you emotionally.
When a co-worker asks you a way-too-personal question, here are 6 polite ways to respond to her prying questions:
• "What's your salary?" Strategy: Be vague. Response: "I do OK" or "I'd like to make more."
• "What did you do on your date last night?" Strategy: Use a little humor. The asker probably just wants to find out if you had a good time. So tell him. Response: "The usual: dinner, dancing, hot-air-balloon ride. No, really, we had a great time."
• "How much did you pay for that outfit?" Strategy: Feign a bad memory. Response: "I don't remember" or "Not that much."
• "What were you talking about?" Strategy: The asker probably wants an entrance into a conversation. Dodge the question and try to include her. Response: "Nothing much. Now, tell us: How was your vacation in Tahiti?"
• "What was your doctor's appointment for?" Strategy: Don't feel compelled to give details. A vague answer will send the message that you don't want to go into it. Response: "I'm just fine; thanks for asking."
• "How old are you?" Strategy: Exaggerate or let your body language answer for you. Response: Claim a ridiculous age, such as 91, or say "I'm aging rapidly just thinking about it." A shrug or a raised eyebrow can send a "don't go there" signal.
Difficult People at Work — our all-time best-seller on how to restore your power — reveals the other kind of people skills – the ones that aren't taught in business school, but should be because toxic co-workers can absolutely pollute your work environment and your career.
Difficult People at Work helps you handle office troublemakers in ways that will actually have positive results – so you look even better as a manager, a leader and an outright office hero. Learn How...
When a jaw-droppingly rude email arrives in your inbox, follow these steps:
1. Draft the email you wish you could send. Then file it away and revisit in a day or so. Your first instinct may be to say something you’ll later regret.
2. Start with, “Thank you.” Even if the other person is off-base, begin by thanking her for contacting you and offering feedback. You’ll defuse the tension. It also protects your reputation, should the other person forward your email.
3. Volunteer to get on the phone. By email, outline the facts that support your point of view. If it’s a more personal matter, though, offer to phone her, so you can have a more productive conversation.
4. Call her out. When someone crosses every line in the book—calling you names, making untrue accusations—let her know that the behavior isn’t appropriate. Tell her that in future conversations, you’d appreciate it if she could keep her tone professional.
Personality by personality, you'll learn shockingly easy ways to identify, defuse, manage and even motivate the 24 all-time, most-challenging personality types, including …
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- The Tyrant. An amazingly simple strategy softens the "rant" of a Tyrant Boss who bullies, berates, humiliates and declares "my way or the highway."
- The Saboteur. Often driven by envy, this person works behind your back to slander and sabotage you. Devious and hard to catch – unless you know the secret!
- The Coaster. Hasn't done anything in months. Drags down the team's performance. Here's how to get them rolling again.
- The Undercover Operator. Always smiling and telling you how great it is to work with you, until this snake-in-the-grass strikes. Three strategies expose – and defang – this operator's agenda.
- The Sexual Harasser. Two types: (1) the flirt who goes too far, and (2) the heavy-duty harasser out to overpower his victims. Either way, here's how to handle them both!
- The Credit Grabber. Don’t let a “mind-pirate” steal all your glory. Learn the six strategies that turn the tables so YOU get the credit – and the spotlight – you deserve.