Working with an angry co-worker can be difficult. Despite what you feel about his reasons for being upset or him, it’s easy to tire of his outbursts and continual complaints. Help yourself overcome the poison he’s spewing five days a week by purposely minimizing his ability to sway your thoughts and mentality.
1. Change the subject.
Avoid spending your day talking about an event that has your co-worker up in arms. Instead, when he begins speaking about what hurt him at length, change the subject. After a while, he’ll get the hint.
2. Listen, occasionally.
Handle an angry co-worker by occasionally listening to him when he’s really upset. But, don’t make this kind of behavior a habit. Nine times out of ten, the longer your co-worker talks about his issue, the more frustrated he’ll get.
3. Don’t be manipulated.
Disgruntled employees often like to bring others into their mess. Don’t be manipulated into taking part of a grievance that really isn’t yours. You may not know all of the facts of what went on between your co-worker and another peer or the boss. Try to stay neutral and low key.
4. Refer him to the boss.
When you can’t handle an angry co-workers behavior anymore, refer him to the boss. Be honest about your feelings and that although you understand his anger you can’t continue to listen to his tirade. Ask him to speak to the boss and work out whatever his problem is and give you a break.
5. Draw clear boundaries.
Be clear on boundaries with your co-worker. Angry employees often use the name of their peers and misconstrued words to prove a point to human resources or the boss. Ask your co-worker not to compromise you in this way unless you trust him to repeat what you’ve said verbatim or what to get involved.
6. Keep up a good attitude.
The best way to handle an angry co-worker is through example. Show him that even though things may not be fair at your job, you refuse to let them change your personality. Keep a good attitude and don’t let your fellow co-worker bring you down.
7. Challenge him to take action.
If your co-worker can actually change his situation through action, challenge him. Urge him to create a proposal to the boss, go back to school or even redo his resume. These activities might take the fire out of some of his ire and help him move forward.
These 7 suggestions can help you handle an angry co-worker. Don’t let someone else’s attitude about work affect yours without a fight.