4 Tactics that Backfire When Dealing with a Difficult Colleague

One of my favorite questions to ask people who are dealing with a difficult colleague is: What would you do about this situation if you could do anything you wanted? 

In researching and writing my book, Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People), I had the opportunity to ask this question of dozens of people, and the answers usually ranged from practical to entertaining to a bit scary (there are lots of people who want to punch an annoying colleague in the face!). Many fantasize about quitting dramatically. Others just want to tell their coworker exactly how they feel without mincing words.

I ask this question because I want people to think expansively about how they might respond, and often, without constraints, they land on a strategy that might actually work (not punching someone in the face!).

But there are quite a few tactics that are less productive that we sometimes gravitate toward because we think they’ll help us feel better,…

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This article was written by Amy Gallo and originally published on hbr.org