Several years ago I worked on a team with a prima donna team member. You probably know the type of annoying colleague.
It didn’t matter the years of experience you had, or the knowledge you brought to the team, the prima donna always knew the way to do things.
Their way. And no other way.
The prima donna would take over conversations, whether it was a one-on-one conversation or a team meeting.
Our manager struggled dealing with the prima donna, and so did the rest of the team.
It wasn’t a good working relationship for anyone.
Unfortunately, as we tried to accommodate the prima donna, we weren’t able to move forward on our projects and goals. Our team wasn’t viewed positively by the rest of the organization.
It was a negative working environment. Eventually I left for other opportunities.
If I had seen this video from Professor Gretchen Spreitzer at The Ross School of Business–University of Michigan when I was on the team, I think I would have tools to deal with the prima donna in a more successful way.
Check out Spreitzer’s less than two-minute video with tips for dealing with jerks at work.
Takeaways from How to Deal with Jerks at Work
For managers, consider these tips for managing difficult people on your team:
- Set standards of appropriate behavior, and enforce them
- Consider behavior when promoting people. Look beyond technical qualifications.
- Companies with happy employees outperform their competitors
As a team member, here are steps you can take to improve your work life:
- Don’t wait for management to act
- If you have a meeting with a difficult colleague, spend time meeting with a positive colleague on the same day
- When considering project teams, consider who you like working with, not the person with the most expertise
- Make sure you have meaningful work you enjoy doing; it keeps you feeling good
Have any tips to share for dealing with annoying colleagues at work? Share them in the comments.