- If you have done what you can do and employed the first five recommended approaches with little or no success, it’s time to involve others - your boss or a manager. Note that you are escalating the situation. Prepare to talk with your boss. Take notes and address the issues, not as interpersonal problems, but as issues affecting your productivity, the work and your progress on projects. Tell your boss exactly what the difficult person does.
Make a plan to address the issues. Perhaps involve your coworker's boss. Recognize that a good boss is likely to bring your difficult coworker and his supervisor into a three or four-way discussion at this point. Expect to participate in follow-up over time.
- Rally the other employees who might have an issue with the difficult person, too - carefully. Sometimes, a group approach convinces the boss that the impact of the behavior is wider and deeper than she had originally determined. Be careful with this approach, however. Know what works with your boss. You want to solve your problem, not make it look as if you are rabble-rousing and ganging up on another employee.
- If these approaches fail to work, try to limit the difficult person's access to you. Protect the needs of your business, but avoid working with the person when possible. Leave voluntary committees, Choose projects he or she does not impact. Don’t hurt your own career or your business, but avoidance is an option.
- Transfer to a new job within your organization. Depending on the size of your company, you may never have to work with this difficult coworker again. Fleeing is definitely an option.
If all else fails, you can quit your job. What, flee, you ask? But, I wasn't the employee with the problem. I was not the difficult coworker. All I tried to do was my job. You're right. But, what price, in terms of your happiness and success, are you willing to pay to stay? You need to decide whether the good in your current situation outweighs the bad or whether the bad outweighs the good.
If the good wins, stop complaining and get back to work. Back track on these recommended steps and retry some of them when appropriate. If the bad wins, redirect your energy to leaving your current employment. You'll be glad you did. Check out the second part of this article to find out how to conduct a stealth job search and much more about job searching.