Everyone has a story about that one person at that one place they had to work with who drove everyone crazy. It doesn’t matter if it’s the boss or just some person down the hall, there are certain personalities that are just tough to deal with.
1.) The Drama Queen: This is the easy one . The drama queens are those people who live among us who are determined, by sheer force of will, not to have a good day. Relationships (or lack-of), bad food experiences, traffic, family… the list goes on and on. Their lives move from one self-inflicted crisis to the next and they’re not happy until everyone knows about it.
The best way to deal with a Drama Queen is not to deal with them at all. The more you’re willing to listen, the more they’re willing to talk.
2.) The Toddler: The Toddler is a force of nature. It’s focus never remains on one thing for more than a second and if it doesn’t get its way, beware. Toddlers function off one principle; the world revolves around them and they do everything in their power to keep it that way. Cross a toddler and you’re likely to see a full-blown meltdown.
Dealing with a Toddler is not for the weak. It’s too easy to pacify them and let them have their way. But to deal with them, you have to learn how to say ‘no’ and stick with it.
3.) Mr. Needy: Mr. needy can be a bit disarming. It’s that first time or two that they come to you for help that you think it’s no big deal. You’re happy to help. Somewhere around the fifth time you start to notice a problem and by round twenty, you’re doing everything you can to avoid eye contact with the person. The needy person can’t seem to do anything on their own, from insecurity, to incompetence, whatever it is, watch out!
Much like the Toddler, you have to learn how to say ‘no’ to the person who won’t stop asking you for help. You have a job to do and so do they.
4.) The Not Boss: The Not Boss is a special kind of someone, who while in absolutely no way do they have any authority over you, systematically behaves as if you’re their own personal employee. The Not Boss likes to delegate projects to you, discipline you and otherwise inflict a level of superiority over you like they were knighted by the CEO. The Not Boss is the workforce equivalent of that kid in school who would run to the teacher every time they saw someone break a rule or give them the stink eye.
Just about the only way to deal with the Not Boss is bluntness. Polite, but firm bluntness. You’re a great co-worker, but you’re not my boss.
5.) The Armchair Quarterback: The Armchair Quarterback is that one person who is always more than happy to tell you how they would do whatever it is that you’re doing better. Much better. The Armchair Quarterback makes an art out of unsolicited advice. In some cases, they may have good ideas, in others you simply want them to shut up and go do their own job.
Being upfront with the Armchair QB is important, but be careful that you don’t come across as a know-it-all who can’t take criticism.
(Bonus) 6.) The Know-It-All: All too often these are the youngsters in our midst who are fresh out of school and fresh out of experience. The Know-It-All lashes back at any attempt to offer helpful advice or criticism. The most obnoxious of this group are the ones who also attempt to take on the role of the Armchair QB.
Sometimes the best way to deal with a Know-It-All is to let them figure out on their own they they don’t know nearly as much as they thought as the whole office watches as they do a spectacular nosedive of failure. Once that’s done, help them up and let them dust themselves off and you might find they’re a little more willing to listen.
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