Career Tips

How to Deal with Nasty Co-workers

Date Posted: 09/20/2017

Sa work, hindi na bago kung may di ka feel or may nakakainisan kang ka-trabaho.  Nasty co-workers, can often be a difficult problem to deal with, one that requires tact and professionalism when being tackled. May ibang tao kayang i-dedma na lang and just hope that it stops, while others may be tempted to fight back. When you are being treated poorly by co-workers, you should look into how you can change the dynamics of the workplace. If all else fails and you end up having to deal with a real bully, what should you do?

Here are 6 steps towards dealing with nasty co-workers:

Try to understand

The first step is to try and understand why the particular colleague is being mean. What is causing their behaviour? Did you inadvertently offend them? Is their ego threatened, or are they making up for incompetence in the workplace?  O baka may pinagdadanan lang problema si Ate o Kuya? Try to sooth their ego with small and meaningful gestures, such as dropping a comment admiring their work or skills every once in a while.

What are you doing?

When being bullied, you should also be introspective. Wag magisip ng negative agad. Try to consider whether you are simply overreacting to the person, or perhaps you unknowingly offended them. Ask yourself if you may have, without realizing, made the person feel threatened or mistreated. Kung hindi ka sigurado kung may nagawa ka bang mali? Get a second opinion from another colleague. While you shouldn’t put too much blame on yourself, you should still try to solve any problems that are on your end. There may not be any problems with you at all, as bullies usually target those that are more skilled and well-liked than they are.

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Focus on your work

If you are truly not attacking or offending the co-worker and you are innocent, then you should try and stay focused on the task at hand. Huwag mo hayaang ma-distract ka or maapektuhan na ang work mo. Avoiding reacting to their provocations, and instead put them in the background by focusing on the work. Kung hindi naman maiiwasan and you have to work with them in a team, do your part, and make sure that you show nothing but friendliness and helpfulness towards them.

Stand up for yourself

If the bad behaviour or bullying in the workplace continues, huwag ka matakot to stand up and call it out. If a co-worker does something that upsets you, let them know what it is in a clear and professional manner na hindi umiinit ang ulo mo.  Take immediate action to point out what it is that’s bothering you. If you are shy and afraid to speak up immediately, for example during team meetings, then do so as soon as possible in an environment that you are comfortable with. This may even mean shooting them a quick email kindly explaining why you didn’t appreciate their behaviour.

Make friends in the workplace

One should always have connections in the workplace. You should try and make meaningful friends with co-workers, as well as people that are above and below you in the workplace. Para kung sakaling may mang-bully nga sa iyo, maasahan mo ang mga kaibigan mo to come to your aid, by either giving advice, or talking to the co-worker in question on your behalf. They can also help support your case to HR.  However you should always try to solve the situation casually before raising the issue formally to management, para maiwasan lumaki ang issue at may ma-involve pang ibang tao.

Take formal action

If all else fails, and you are not to blame, it is time to take formal action. Report to your higher ups or manager the problem you are facing with the bully. Provide evidence if possible, as well as witness accounts of the bullying from other colleagues. Explain the situation in a way that management will understand. This means telling them how the situation is affecting work performance in a negative manner, and therefore is also creating a negative impact on the business and work environment.

Keep these steps in mind, and try not to blame yourself for the problems. Try to informally resolve the situation before escalating it. Lastly, if all fails, don’t let the bully grind you down. Try for a department transfer or even leaving for another job, rather than suffer unnecessarily.

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