The workplace has all kinds of people. Some are nice and welcoming to you while others are simply jerks. In order to advance professionally, you will need to know how to deal with all these kinds of people. Robert Sutton, a professor of management at Stanford University, has written a book that may just help you navigate through these waters. The book is titled “The Asshole Survival Guide” and is simply a documented account of different people’s approaches in dealing with jerks at work.
The book features a number of strategies and here are a few of them.
Use Cognitive Tricks to Find the Silver Lining
If it’s getting too hard to deal with difficult coworkers, you can use a few cognitive tricks to find the silver lining. For instance, Sutton says that one woman working in a two-year clerkship with a difficult federal judge had to imagine the rewards that would come at the end of this experience in order to find the strength to keep going.
Maintain Your Sense of Humor
Maintaining your sense of humor is also a cognitive skill. There’s just something about laughing more regularly that keeps us going. Laugh more often at work and you will be fine.
Physically Avoid the Worst People at Work
There’s no better way to deal with a jerk at work than to avoid him or her. Unless it’s necessary to interact with them, you really don’t have to do it. Keep your distance and the difficult person you are avoiding will do the same.
Collect Evidence of Bad Behavior
There are situations at work that may go overboard beyond what you can really tolerate. If and when this happens, you will need evidence documenting bad behavior towards you to put the jerk away.
Exert Power If You Can
If you are in a position of power at your place of work, don’t be afraid to use it. Sometimes you get a hard time even from junior employees and you will need to exert power in order to make your life easier moving forward.
Talk It Out
You can also confront the person whos making your life at work difficult and let them know you don’t like how they behave towards you. Giving them a piece of your mind could help prevent future bad behaviors.
Explore Your Legal Options
When the degree of difficulty in dealing with jerks at work becomes too much to handle, you may be forced to explore legal options. Make sure you understand what these options are and how you can use them.
Stand Up for Yourself
The best way to deal with a bully is to stand up against them. While some people may prefer to quietly walk away, sometimes standing up for yourself and making it clear you won’t tolerate nonsense can really help.
Team Up with Colleagues
If you can find right minded colleagues who like you then you can form a united front and confront the jerk in the office. There’s always power in numbers so make sure you use it.