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Work with troublesome types

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in Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

Dealing with difficult coworkers is often part of the job. Here’s how to deal with four challenging types:

  • Drama lovers. These employees create drama in every situation. Each project brings some type of “emergency.” Slip extra room into the schedule or provide an earlier-than-necessary deadline, allowing time for their inevitable crises.
  • Gossipers. These folks keep the rumor mill going strong and cannot keep anything to themselves. Never divulge any information within earshot of a gossip, and choose not to participate in the rumormongering.
  • Dumpers. Such coworkers appear to be busy, when in fact they are actually busy passing tasks to others. Steer clear and limit conversations to prevent yourself from being dumped upon.
  • Momentum killers. Just as everyone is getting excited about a project, these coworkers point out flaws in the plan or resist ideas because they are scared of change. Keep them focused on solutions and the positive qualities of a project, and continue on your path. When they know they can’t kill every idea, they’ll stop trying.

— Adapted from “9 Toxic Coworkers to Look Out For (and How to Protect Yourself),” Blaine Loomer, www.businessknowhow.com.

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