Dealing With Difficult Colleagues

Caller Three asks Dhru Beeharilal: That’s great. I have one last question.

Another area that I think my company sometimes struggles with is giving advice on how to deal with difficult colleagues. It is essentially conflict resolution.

My job requires that we be very creative and innovative with out-of-the-box thinking. That can create friction. People with think that their ideas are better than others.


Dealing With Difficult Colleagues: Confrontational

Do you have advice on how to handle confrontational colleagues or friction in the workplace to make sure you’re maintaining friendships and not ostracizing yourself or causing problems?

You don’t want to develop a bad reputation. Do you have any advice on how to deal with conflict?



Dhru Beeharilal

Dealing With Difficult Colleagues: Work Versus Friends

It’s not bad to have work friends, but be careful about drawing a line between having colleagues and co-workers versus friends.

A lot of people won’t draw that line and it’s important to do. You want to make sure that they respect you as a colleague.

If you get promoted and they think you’re a friend, they will take advantage of that.

It’s a much longer conversation about difficult colleagues.


Dealing With Difficult Colleagues: Listen To Them

There are small things you can do regarding ideas being heard.

Acknowledge what they’re saying. A lot of times, people will say something and they just want people to acknowledge that they said it.


Dealing With Difficult Colleagues: Dialogue

You can say, “That’s a really good idea. I think that’s worth exploring. Why don’t we hold off until another discussion?”

It sounds submissive, but that little acknowledgment by telling them that you will talk about it another time, it will give that person a feeling of, “I was heard. People hear what I’m talking about.”

Then do address it with them. After the meeting, you can say, “I thought that was a really good idea. Let’s talk about it more.” That will build their respect for you.

They will think, “That guy actually listened to me. He listened to what I said. Whether everyone else talked about it in the meeting or not, that guy knows what I’m talking about. He took the time to reach out to me about it.”

Small things like that will really help in those situations. Otherwise, it’s a personality-based question so it’s hard to answer on the phone about that.


Caller Three

Yes. Thank you. That was good advice.


Tell Us:

Do you have tips on dealing with difficult colleagues? Share with us below in the comments section.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dhru Beeharilal.

The entire interview transcript is at: Dhru Beeharilal NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – Being True to You

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: NetIP Spotlight- Live Your Potential

[Being True to You – Dhru Beeharilal]

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes