It’s inevitable – at almost any workplace you will run into “problem” co-workers. Some of these types of problematic coworkers include the negative co-worker, the overly competitive co-worker, the gossip, the bully and the person who pushes off work. Hopefully, your office doesn’t have too many of these types of people, but if it does, here’s how to (almost) deal with working alongside them.
The negative co-worker
This one always has something negative to say, no matter what. True, it can be helpful to have a critical thinker on the team who plays devil’s advocate, but far too often this person is quick to criticize without offering up solutions.
Whenever I think about negative co-workers, I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books, “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. She says, “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” This person does the latter. If you hear someone constantly bringing everyone down by saying, “I know the prospective client isn’t going to sign with us,” or “We’re definitely going to lose that client,” you know you’re working with a negative co-worker.
How to almost deal: When this person raises problems (and you know they will), ask them for more details. Why won’t the client sign? What’s going on there? Press them to fully describe the problem and ask them to provide a solution. He/she may raise some valid points, so never ignore what they have to say or write them off.