June 17, 2014 | 4 minutes

Clashing Coworkers: How to Handle Office Personalities

Angry Coworkers

By Nathan Strum

They say the world is full of all kinds of people, and you probably work with every kind there is. You have the type A personalities who are extremely aggressive, the passive type B’s, the gossip artists, and the people who are always trying to one-up everyone. The concept of “surviving the workplace” is not going to help you get ahead at work. What you really need is good advice on dealing with different personalities and finding ways to get your job done.

Accept People For What They Are

If that guy in the mailroom is a loud and obnoxious person, then you have to accept him for who he is. When you are able to accept people and understand what kind of personality they are, then it is easier for you to be able to pick and choose who you avoid and who you deal with. If your attitude is that everyone should change over to your way of thinking, then you will be involved in a lot of workplace confrontations.

You Are Not Always Right

One of the hardest things for people to do is admit that they are not always right. But when you can accept your own shortcomings, then you may actually start to benefit from the variety of personalities that you have to deal with at work. Maybe that lady who thinks that she knows everything actually is pretty smart. If you pay attention to what she has to say, you may learn the things you need to learn to get ahead.

Play To Everyone’s Strengths

An arrogant person in an office setting can be really annoying. But an arrogant person is also a confident person, and they can be the perfect ones to deliver company presentations with confidence and conviction. Everyone has a strength, but sometimes those strengths manifest themselves in ways that make office conflict inevitable. But if you can break those personality traits down into the component parts, then it is easier to find positive elements the team can use to be successful.

Not Every Conflict Requires Resolution

Some people just grate on your nerves, and you want to scream at them in the loudest voice you have. But that is obviously not the best approach. Sometimes, your best method for handling clashing coworkers is to just walk away and ignore the situation. More often than not, the antagonist will walk away as well. But when a problem starts to escalate in intensity, then it needs to be brought to management’s attention and dealt with immediately.

Ignore The Ones You Don’t Have To Deal With

After a decade of working with business professionals of all kinds, I feel like an expert in the topic of avoiding office conflict. Up until now, we have spent time talking about ways to deal with coworkers that who simply cannot avoid because you have to work with them. But you and I both know that it is not necessary to deal with every person in your office every day of the week. If you do not have to deal with an annoying person, then don’t. The office does not need to be a social setting if being social affects productivity. Sometimes the best way to deal with annoying coworkers is to not deal with them at all.

I help people from all over the world to solve their virtual office problems, so I get to deal with a lot different kinds of personalities. In my years of experience, I have found that finding ways to handle the people you have to deal with and just avoiding those you never need to talk to will help you to attain levels of corporate success that you can be proud of.

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