• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Good ideas to cope with bad people

Get PDF file

by on
in Centerpiece,Leaders & Managers,People Management

Coping with bad peopleJust as a virus spreads from its host, rudeness at work starts with one “carrier” who acts inappropriately. As co-workers react to a single nasty comment or incident, they are more likely to respond in kind.

To reduce disrespectful behavior, rid your workplace of individuals who tend to instigate it. The more you allow strong, negative personalities to run wild, the more rampant the rudeness will become as others pick up on it.

Document mean, denigrating or offensive actions. Explaining how someone’s behavior “crosses a line” or “falls outside the prevailing culture” of your organization can send a message that such antics will not be tolerated. Other tips:

Seek positive alliances. When dealing with a difficult manager, it’s tempting to dwell on the aggravating situation. But don’t let it overtake you.

Forge alliances with high-integrity peers and leaders across your organization. Spending time with respectful colleagues can elevate your spirit and prevent you from feeling ensnared by a bad boss.

“You have to build up those positive relationships to help buffer or neutralize the negative one,” says Christine Porath, a Georgetown University professor of management.

Convey strength. Awful bosses sometimes try to intimidate individuals whom they perceive as weak or isolated. If you’re a well-liked team member with strong connections among your colleagues, your favorable reputation may ward off potential bullies.

Band together. Explore to what extent others feel victimized by a boorish peer or boss. Then unify in an effort to convince human resources to discipline the problem personality—or at least pair the perpetrator with a behavioral coach.

— Adapted from “A field guide to jerks at work,” Jena McGregor, www.washingtonpost.com.

Leave a Comment