4 Types Of Negative Co-Workers And How To Deal With Them

by Srikant Chellappa Nov 17,2017

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Landing on a job that you love is absolutely amazing; but there are a lot of other things that come along with the package that can change the way you look at your dream job.

Basic challenges like adjusting to the work environment or overwhelming workload can affect your amazing experience. One of the least spoken challenges that employees face at workplace is working with negative co-workers.

Here’s a list of different types of negative co-workers that you might come across at your workplace and a few tips to deal with them.

The Official Gossiper

There’s always that one colleague who is interested and excited about every office gossip and circulates rumors around the entire workplace. While there are many articles that talk about how knowing basic office gossip can help your career, it is also important to understand where to draw the line.

Participating in gossips decreases your productivity and gradually makes the workplace culture toxic.

How To Deal?

Even if you cannot directly confront the gossiper and tell them that they’re wrong, there are few things that you can do to deal with the workplace gossiper.

  • If you find yourself in a situation where gossip dominates the conversation, remove yourself from it
  • Don’t give importance to the gossip or even acknowledge it
  • Share as little information as possible about your private life
  • Confront baseless gossip with facts
Also Read: 7 Unwritten Office Etiquette Rules

The Negative Nancy

There are a few teammates who are so negative that their negativity affects the overall productivity at the workplace. These employees focus only on the bad in every situation. Their negative outlooks tend to affect others in the workplace and as a result, morale suffers.

How To Deal?

The first thing that you should do is have a chat with them regarding their negative behavior. Some people genuinely might not know they are being exceedingly negative.

If possible, find out why they are being so negative. Some employees tend to be more anxious than others, so this manifests in the form of negative or pessimistic behaviors. Let them know how their behavior is affecting you and others. If their negative behaviors continue but they produce consistently good work, remember that your emotions cannot be dictated by a negative person and let it go.

The Control Freak

At every workplace, there is one teammate who dominates every conversation and tries to control and push the situation. This could get really annoying sometimes because others do not get a chance to express their ideas or do their work their way.

This might lead to many unwanted arguments and spread discontent.

How To Deal?

It can be really frustrating to work with these control freaks but try to recognize the good intentions behind their behavior. If their controlling behaviors persist, talk to them and point out how their behavior is affecting others. When despite your efforts, their behavior persists, you have to consider whether keeping them on your team is worth the effort or not.

Also Read: How To Manage Employees Who Are Shy?

The Bully

The workplace bully is everybody’s worst nightmare. It takes us back to high school or college and also makes us remember how helpless we felt in those situations. Workplace bullies might not display overtly aggressive behaviour that might cause superiors to take notice. However, they will find ways to needle their targets, carry out constant micro-aggressions that bother them, subtly undermine them, etc.

Like most kinds of negative co-workers in the workplace, bullies can be very demoralizing, especially if they constantly getaway. In fact, in some cases, workplace bullies will even cause others to leave their jobs.

How To Deal?

Bullies are tough to deal with. What they are looking most is for a reaction. When you find yourself being bullied, one way to deal is to absolutely not react to whatever they throw at you. Alternatively, stand up to them and call their bluff. Very few bullies actually follow up on their threats. These threats are simply meant to intimidate their targets. Documenting a bully’s actions is also a good step in case you ever need to escalate the situation to your superior. The documenting of actions is a precursor to the final step. When all your efforts have failed, talk to your superiors. Good superiors will find a way to help you.

Share your experiences with your negative co-workers with us. Do you want to know more about Engagedly? Request for a live demo!

Request A Demo

Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

Privacy Preference Center