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Insights: How to Work with Difficult Coworkers

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Ask the Expert! Through WISE Insights, Connect with knowledgeable experts to receive honest and thoughtful answers to your career-related questions, or read about challenges your peers are facing.

Question

Submitted by: WISE San Francisco member | 6-15 years professional experience

I am in a situation where I work with a very difficult boss that I don’t trust. The level of office politics is high and I feel that my work environment is unhealthy. How can I better maneuver around difficult coworkers and superiors and remain neutral?

Answer

The challenge of working in any office is that there is always politics — the only thing that differs is the level of politics. Some workplaces are great while others are toxic. If this is a company you want to stay with, my best advice is:  

  • Stay focused on your job
  • Don't engage in office gossip
  • Don't let difficult co-workers derail you from what you want to achieve
Jane Hollman

About Jane Hollman

Jane Hollman has more than 25 years experience in senior human resources roles at large multinationals and sports across Asia Pacific and the United States. Currently a career coach, she helps business leaders and university students think through their career paths. Hollman is passionate about creating flexible, innovative work places and mentors women looking to start their own businesses. She is also a freelance writer covering the business of sports for publications such as Women Talking Sports.

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