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For most people, work takes up a huge chunk of their time. Americans, in particular, tend to work longer hours than their peers in other developed countries, according to OECD data. For the nonremote and nonsolo workers, spending a lot of time at work equates to spending a lot of time with your colleagues. So when one of them has annoying or destructive habits, you want to identify them early on and figure out how to deal with the issue in an emotionally intelligent way. Here are some steps to follow, based on personality type:
This colleague seems incapable of giving others credit and constantly wants to hog the limelight. In a meeting, they will shut down other people’s ideas and insist on why their ideas are better, even when everyone else thinks otherwise. Your colleague may be an egomaniac or a narcissist. Because individuals with these kinds of characteristics are prone to putting people down to make themselves feel better, it’s tempting to get defensive and tell them why they’re wrong. But that’s not going to help the situation, and it definitely won’t stop them from doing it in the future. So what can you do? Rather than stroke their ego or ignore them altogether, clinical psychologist Craig Malkin previously told Fast Company that a better way is to “catch” and acknowledge them when they display good behavior. Say they bring you coffee one day when they know that you have a pressing deadline. “It’s way more effective to pay attention to those moments and encourage them. You can say, ‘Thanks for offering coffee. I feel like you’ve got my back and I want to press harder,’” said Malkin.