We have all been there, stuck working with someone who makes your work life miserable.

They are the proverbial ‘colleagues from hell’ who won’t go away.

Fact: If you are not feeling comfortable around someone, then you can be sure they are feeling it too.

Fact: They may have turned their back on you and seem like they are made of iron, but the reality is, it takes a lot of mental energy to morph into defense mode.

Fact: If they haven’t approached you yet to talk about it, then they aren’t experienced dealing with this and it has now become your problem. Let this work to your advantage. It gives you so much room to step up first.

While each situation is unique and holds its own share of drama, there’s actually a way to handle these difficult situations.

How to handle the Co-Worker from Hell

• Put emotions aside. As women, it’s our Achilles heel. You don’t have to like it, you just need to know it, especially in this situation.

• Choose an empty office, conference room or any private area and ask if they has a few minutes to speak. Never confront someone in front of others – it becomes office gossip and will not look favorably on either one of you.

• Say:

– ‘I know we haven’t exactly hit it off working together but..’ or

– ‘I’m pretty sure you agree, there is room for improvement for us to work well together…’

• Offer solutions. You need to have at least 3 potential ways in your hip pocket which you believe will help the situation. You can bullet them out or say them casually, but if she’s given you her ears to listen, then it’s your job now to offer possible solutions.

Put aside your pride and think of the end-game. Who cares if you took the high road first ? Think of the bigger picture when this will be a distant memory.

Before leaving the room, thank them for making the time. Always leave on a good note to make room for progress.

Marisa is hosting gutsy tele-seminars each month. Look for her Home Study System on Gutsy Education for Smart Women to Raise their Rank in Business. Subscribe to stay in touch. Business Email to register: [email protected].

image: © Crystal Agozzino