Having awkward colleagues? This is how you get along with them

Having awkward colleagues? This is how you get along with them

Do you have to sing karaoke on a team-building evening or sit next to a person that smells too funny? There's always a way how to solve such problems or get at least some relief.

A typical work life hardship is an superior who is … well, an asshole. A person that not only lacks empathy, but maybe even enjoys to belittle people. His or her behavior makes it hard to find motivation and to deliver a good job, not to speak of an unhealthy climate in the office. On the long run this makes you sick both psychically and psychically. In such case you can only confront the person directly, ideally as the whole collective. If your boss is at least partially sane, he or she will have to reflect a complaint that affects the functioning of the entire team.

Maybe there's a new colleague who's just too hard working, obviously aspiring to take over your position. And seemingly even a protegé of your boss. Never cut yourself off or even provoke conflicts. If your assumption is correct you only make your dethronement quicker. Rather try to involve the new rival in what you do, show him or her your skills and indispensability. Make your boss too feel why you're the right person in your position and talk with him or her about your future perspective. In any case try to be cooperative, after all it's your boss who will write your employment reference if the worst case scenario sets in.

Now imagine the new colleague stirs up the department in a whole other way: she's young, looking like a supermodel and constantly flirting with all male colleagues. (Or, of course, there's a new man on the block flirting with female colleagues.) Maybe she's got no ill intent at all, but the situations get increasingly embarrassing and the team spirit suffers. What you should try is to quickly integrate her in the established relationships within the team and to explain what is appropriate within the collective and what's not. This will be enough with most people and if not, you can still involve your superiors.

Sometimes you find yourself virtually compelled to self humiliation – think of a karaoke party you „can't spoil“. Firstly it's obviously not a good work place climate if you feel pushed to do things you're uncomfortable with. If it's not too had you may overcome yourself in order not to be the party killer – maybe you just ask for two minutes to drink another tequila first. But never ever let yourself be forced to anything you don't like.   

If a colleague smells unpleasantly or acts weird, you won't be able to avoid simply confronting the person. It won't help you further to only bitch around with other colleagues. If you feel harassed  sexually, never think twice what to do. You sure don't want to keep a job that you can't stand and work with a person you detest. In such case address the problem directly or defend yourself with legal means right away. 

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