How to Cope With Toxic Co-Workers

By Dennis McCafferty
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    1-How to Deal With … the Backstabber

    How to Deal With … the Backstabber

    Never nod in agreement with badmouthing colleagues. You'll just encourage it or lend credence to it.

You will undoubtedly encounter a parade of extremely, ahem, challenging co-workers throughout your professional career. There's the backstabber in the corner cubicle, closely watching over everyone else's performance so he can casually drop scathing remarks. Then there's the excessive emailer who, for some reason, feels compelled to cc everyone on every single email. And there's almost always an office bully—the individual who badgers colleagues to the point of tears. Fortunately, you don't have to feel powerless in dealing with these and other toxic peers. In the recent book, Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People: Over 325 Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases for Working with Challenging Personalities (Amacom/Available in October), author Renee Evenson presents the following surefire tactics to disarm troublesome colleagues and even undo the damage. Working in an office—like playing in a schoolyard—requires social and political savvy. If you prepare in advance for potentially explosive situations, you'll put yourself in a better position to rise above them. Evenson is a small-business consultant specializing in workplace communication and conflict resolution.

This article was originally published on 2013-09-26
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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