How to deal with someone who talks behind your back … and more!

I have had many requests to send the following list of answers from The Reactor Factor: How to handle difficult work situations without going nuclear. Perhaps our current lagging economy and skyrocketing unemployment is driving these requests. Or maybe it is dysfunctional work teams, poor leadership or just plain toxic people.

Do you have additional approaches that work for you?  Please share! I’m thinking my next book title will be SOS: Stamp Our Stupidity. Your story may land in that new resource!

I can no longer deal with a fellow colleague who talks behind my back.

You first have to approach this person who you believe is talking behind your back by saying something similar to, “I understand that someone has been saying <add the issues here> behind my back.  It is not true and I want to make sure this stops.  Do you know anything about it?  Can you help me end this gossip?” The behavior must be called to their face.  If this does not work, go to your superior and tell them what your approach has been and ask for their assistance in ending these untruths.

I don’t get along with my manager.

This is your issue not theirs.  Take time to learn about and understand their mode of communication and their behavioral style. Then train yourself to flex to their style. (You may need to read Chapter 4 What Leaders Want in The Reactor Factor again.) You must learn to accept their “quirks” because they are your superior. If it is unbearable, repackage yourself and find another job.

My manager doesn’t like me.

This is your perception. Determine the work outcomes expected of you by your manager. If they don’t tell you, start the conversation. Ask for the rewards of doing the job and the consequences of not doing the job. The relationship with your boss does not have to be a love fest.

My work environment has turned hostile and I have to tell someone what is going on.

If you feel physically threatened, you need to first notify your leader and if no action is taken, consult with your human resources department.  If you don’t have one, you can notify the EEOC Before you take this step, do everything you can to resolve the conflict and hostility yourself.  These are soft skills and your company expects you to have and use them. Do not go running to someone else, like the EEOC, until you have exerted every option.

Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA, CSP

Photographer, Fisherman, Outdoors Woman and Wife to “The Boy Named Sue”

Also a Professional Speaker and Author of a bunch of books and other stuff

Connect with Marsha: TWITTER @mpsue; LINKEDIN; PLAXO; FACEBOOK


Be Sociable, Share!

One Comment

  1. Jan says:

    Great advice! Love your approach. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *