Nearly everyone I know has shared a story about a difficult person they’ve encountered in their workplace. Experiencing difficult individuals in the workplace is common. So common that author Amy Gallo identifies eight archetypes, each representing a common type of “difficult” person likely found in most workplaces.
“We might lie awake at night worrying, withdraw from work, or react in ways we later regret—rolling our eyes in a meeting, snapping at colleagues, or staying silent when we should speak up,” says Gallo.
"Too often we grin and bear it as if we have no choice. Or throw up our hands because one-size-fits-all solutions haven't worked. But you can only endure so much thoughtless, irrational, or malicious behavior—there's your sanity to consider, and your career,” adds Gallo.
Fortunately, Gallo shares in her new book, Getting Along, practical insights, tools, and techniques for how to get along with each type of difficult co-worker you’ll likely encounter.
The eight archetypes are:
- The insecure boss
- The pessimist
- The victim
- The passive-aggressive peer
- The know-it-all
- The tormentor
- The biased coworker
- The political operator
Wondering if it’s worth your to take initiative to build stronger relationships? Gallo says that deenergizing relationships have a four to seven times greater impact on our well-being than energizing, positive relationships. So, it's well worth you taking the initiative.
Gallo devotes a book chapter to each of the eight archetypes. Particularly useful are the Phrases to Use and the Tactics To Remember (Do’s and Don’ts) when interacting with each archetype.
Toward the end of the book, Gallo offers you these nine principles for getting along with anyone:
- Focus on what you can control.
- Your perspective is just one perspective.
- Be aware of your biases.
- Don’t make it “me against them.”
- Rely on empathy to see things differently.
- Know your goal.
- Avoid gossip, mostly.
- Experiment to find what works.
- Be—and stay—curious.
Finally, in Chapter 12, Gallo shares that if you’ve persistently taken steps to get along with your difficult coworker, but you aren’t seeing progress, there are a few things you can do before you throw in the towel. “These strategies won’t magically turn things around, but they will help you protect your career, reputation, and your ability to do your job without losing your mind,” says Gallo.
And no matter what transpires as you take your journey to improve coworkers relationships, Gallo says don’t do these things that rarely work:
- Suppress your emotions
I wish this book was published earlier in my career. It would have been invaluable to me. Now, you can benefit from this wise, well-researched, practical, actionable, and indispensable book.
Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.