How To Deal With A Bossy Coworker?

by Srikant Chellappa Oct 8,2018

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

A perfectly beautiful day at work can be ruined by a colleague who behaves like your boss.  Some employees are blessed with coworkers who just cannot resist the urge to tell them how to do their job.

They tend to make use of every opportunity to make themselves look better than the rest of the team. They give you hard time by endlessly interfering in everything you do and giving you feedback that you never asked for. It can be really annoying to work with an overzealous and bossy coworker.

While there isn’t much you can do to change their behavior, you could use the following tips to neutralize them and protect yourself from the situation.

Learn To Ignore And Stay Focused

It is important to stay focused at work despite having an annoying coworker situation. Do not let them draw your attention from your job. Focus more on the job you’re doing and on improving yourself. Remember why you chose your job and how doing your job makes you happy and hold on to it. Set workplace goals and work hard towards achieving those goals. It is important to learn to ignore bad influences in your life.

Ignore the orders of your bossy coworker and resume your work. Never get yourself into an argument with them because this will cause you more mental stress than the counterpart. Instead, focus more on your job and ignore their unnecessary feedback/ orders.

Also read: 7 Steps To Setting Workplace Goals And Making Them Happen!

Set Boundaries

Bossy people usually target introverts and people who wouldn’t talk back to them. While there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, it is important to set boundaries from the beginning giving no scope for bossiness to creep in. Try to maintain a healthy relationship but understand when to respond and when not to.

Take The Chance – Speak Up

One of the common reasons for bossy employees to be the way they are is that they were never told that their behaviour makes others uncomfortable. The next time they try to take over a situation, take the chance and speak up. Let them clearly know that you do not agree with what they say and that their bossy behaviour makes you uncomfortable.

Humour Is The Armour

If you don’t want to take that chance and let your coworkers know about their bossy behaviour, humour is the best solution for you. Expressing your disagreement or declining feedback from bossy employees in a funny way will cause less stress on your peer relations and it’s likely that they will understand that you can handle your job better without their interference.

Give Them Feedback

If your bossy coworker doesn’t take a hint to stay away from you, maybe it’s time you had a private talk with them and give them feedback (that they desperately need). Take them for a tea break and let them know that their attitude towards you is problematic and that you’ve been hired to do a job and you’d do it with or without their orders. You can either choose to individually talk to these bossy coworkers or involve other coworkers who feel the same about them bossing around.

You can also choose to give anonymous feedback through employee management/ performance management software. There’s a possibility that many more coworkers can come out with similar anonymous feedback.

Also read: Anonymous Feedback: The Good And The Not-so Good

Request for a live demo to find out how Engagedly can help you maintain focus at work, set goals and give anonymous feedback!

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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.

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