Annoying Colleagues | Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

Dealing with annoying colleagues can be a challenge! I love where I work and I always seek to do the right thing by my teammates. This doesn’t always go according to plan. Like you, I am merely human, and I often make mistakes. I am sometimes irritating, occasionally lazy, bored every now and again and I have many personal habits that drive people up the wall.

And so do you – believe it or not.

Getting on with the people you work with is not just down to the good luck of having awesome colleagues. Even workplaces with the best culture can sometimes fall flat of the ideal. We all need to work on being better people and this (hopefully) improves with age. Learn what irritates and annoys your colleagues and work on these things if you’re guilty of them.

Here’s a few things you’re doing that are annoying colleagues

Annoying Colleagues | Dealing with Difficult Coworkers | Annoying Habits

Irritating coworkers can be a huge problem in the workplace

Talking too loud

I have a naturally loud and clear voice which can be heard even when I am not shouting. It’s a difficult fact that in an enclosed space like an office, a loud voice can really be irksome to people.

The Nest suggests this: “Start off by giving your loud co-worker the benefit of the doubt, as she might not realise how loud she is,” the publication says. “Tell her you have trouble concentrating with so much conversation going on around you, so you’re asking your co-workers to help lower the overall volume in the office. Thank her in advance for her cooperation.” A nice touch.

Taking up too much space

Offices and other workplaces can be squeezy affairs. When you’re crammed in like sardines, small issues can turn into big ones in quick succession. Be considerate of the personal space of those around you, don’t desk-hog, take up too much space in the communal fridge or push past people in the lift. Be considerate and polite when physically close to someone and give as wide a berth as you can.

Bitching and moaning

I really do not like the word “bitch” as I find it belittling towards women, and people in general Read my post Why I Don’t Mind the C Word, But Don’t You Dare Call Me “Bitch” for more information on the origins of this word.

In the office or workplace, don’t speak behind people’s backs in an overly negative way. Fair criticism is fine, and has its place, but be conscious of the crossover point to nastiness and unhelpful, spiteful commentary. “Bitching” about a colleague or task will only make you look weaker in the end.

Annoying Colleagues | Dealing with Difficult Coworkers | Annoying Habits at Work

When you’re dealing with annoying coworkers it can be very frustrating!

Bad personal habits

Yes, we all have them, even you and me! It’s hard to believe but little bad habits such as biting your nails, coughing without covering your mouth or taking someone’s pens and never returning them can become things that turn your colleagues against you over time. One way to deal with annoying work colleagues is to rise above the situation when you can and aim to improve the little things to make your workplace sweeter.

Want better manners? Read Bad Manners: The 7 Worst Mistakes You’re Making for some tips

Poor hygiene

It really is more common you think, and that’s not very good! HC Online says, “Nobody wants an awkward conversation to last any longer than it has to – especially the person on the receiving end. You don’t have to be blunt but you definitely can’t beat around the bush.” Finding annoying colleagues at work can be dealt with.

They suggest five main steps to addressing the problem, as recommended by Halley Bock, CEO of leadership development company Fierce Inc. She recommends five steps: “Name the issue, give an example, describe it objectively, clarify why it’s important, say you want to resolve it and then invite the person to respond.” Good luck!

Deflecting blame

It may be hard but if you have done something wrong, own up to it, don’t try to blame someone else. Personally I have worked in office environments (I worked for over a decade in commercial broadcast media/radio in Sydney) where “blamestorming” was the norm.

It might seem like a logical way of protecting yourself but the truth normally comes out. If you have stuffed up, admit it, learn from it and put a plan in place to prevent it from happening again. As the old saying goes, everyone makes mistakes – that’s why pencils have erasers.

Annoying Colleagues | Dealing with Difficult Coworkers | Obnoxious Coworker

Sometimes obnoxious coworkers can be a real pain in the neck – but are you guilty of being an annoying coworker too?

Taking credit for work you didn’t do

You are a brilliant worker with awesome ideas and a fount of knowledge resting within you – why would you bother stealing someone else’s thunder? If someone has helped you along the way, give them credit. Say, “Thanks for the feedback. Karen also assisted me with this project and her input on X, Y and Z really helped the team crystallise its layout.”

Giving credit to others when credit is due shows that you’re an honest person, a team player and someone that others will want to work with. There is no “I” in T-E-A-M”. It’s a fact that irritating coworkers come and go.

Being overly dominant

Can you be aggressive? Controlling? Well, that’s not an entirely bad thing, a little of this is needed in most workplaces, but only to a point. “Direct, decisive, determined, domineering. These are just some of the words that describe a highly dominant personality,” points out the Transitions For Business blog. obnoxious co-workers can be dealt with in a few ways.

They suggest:

  • Keeping your questions to a minimum
  • Focusing on the big-picture
  • Being direct in asking for what you want
  • Focusing your confidence on what you do know
  • Not viewing the dominant person as incompetent

Want better manners? Read Bad Manners: The 7 Worst Mistakes You’re Making for some tips

Getting along with others can really make or break your career, so learning the little things you do that irritate and annoy others is something to identify and work on.

Don’t lose patience with yourself – you’re human and not perfect, but aim to be the very best version of yourself whenever you can. Practise every day and go out of your way to make your colleagues feel good. Dealing with obnoxious people is never fun, especially if you become that person!

What’s the most annoying thing your colleagues do? Tell me in the comments below!

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