Managing Coworker Conflict | Atlanta Career Tips

There is no perfect workplace.

However, when you work around people for the majority of your life there are certain environments that are positive and others that can quickly become intolerable. One such situation that you don’t want to get into as allowing coworkers to take advantage of you. This can happen innocently enough.

One day, a coworker asks you to take on one of their tasks because they have an emergency. You, being a kind person and professional that you are, agree to take it on. But then, another day comes and you are asked to continue to do this other person’s work. Meanwhile, your colleague goes home early every day, while you are stuck at work picking up another person’s slack. It’s easy to feel used and abused in this situation. How can you avoid being taken advantage of by a coworker? There are some tips for dealing with this situation.

Remind the employee that you have other pressing responsibilities.

Employees who try to take advantage of others generally do not manage time very well. They also don’t have much respect for their colleagues. Therefore, if they start asking you to take on their tasks all the time they’re not taking into consideration that you have your own stuff to do. Remind your colleague how busy you are and that taking time out of your schedule takes you away from your own work responsibilities.

Ask the coworker to take something off of your plate.

This can also be an opportune time for you to reach out to your colleague and ask them to take something off of your plate. Choose a task that your coworker can do and remind them that you took on something for them, so could they be so kind as to return the favor? Use this as a way to teach the other employee what it’s like to be taken advantage of and also what it means to be part of a team. There is a give and take in every relationship, especially in the workplace. It is a valuable lesson for your coworker to learn this first hand.

Stop being a “yes” person all the time.

It can be easy to become a doormat for other people. This could be something that you are doing unconsciously. You may be the type of worker who likes to help others and doesn’t mind saying yes to taking on new things. However, if it leaves you feeling taken advantage of, then it is not a healthy situation to get into. Stop saying ‘yes’ and start being more selective about the things that you decide to accept. Learn to say ‘no’ more often.

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