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4 Tips to Handle a Sabotaging Coworker

4 Tips to Handle a Sabotaging Coworker

Beverly West, Monster Contributing Writer

We all like to think of our coworkers as friends, but what happens when you become the target of a coworker’s dirty politics? Here are some strategies that can help you keep the peace without losing your edge, shared by fellow soldiers on the office wars’ front lines.

Take Precautions

It is wise to have some good measures in place to protect yourself if you ever fall under a colleague’s attack.

“Always have backup for everything you’ve done in case a coworker tries to place blame on you,” says Aubyn Peterson, an administrative assistant for the Miss USA Pageant. For instance, save all emails with pertinent ideas you contributed and work you’ve done. “This way, you can be prepared to answer any difficult questions from your boss confidently, and it won’t just be your word against somebody else’s,” she says. “You’ll have written proof.”

It’s also important to remember the old adage about squeaky wheels getting the grease. “If you feel that a coworker is trying to oust you out of a well-deserved promotion, then do your job exceedingly well and make some noise,” says Peterson. “Make sure your boss notices your excellent performance, and make doubly sure that your boss knows that you want to be promoted.”

Rise Above the Drama of Coworker Sabotage

If you can, don’t let your coworker’s anger or frustration get to you. You don’t have to play a major role in somebody else’s drama, and your coworker’s hostility doesn’t have to undermine your positive self-image or job performance.

“My first instincts are to resort to a voodoo doll, a stapler or a tube of Super Glue, but I fight those urges and try to remain calm and peaceful,” says Richard Ogawa, a sales and special events assistant for Broadway On and Off, a group ticket sales organization.

“I just avoid the situation,” Ogawa says. “I don’t give the person the time of day. I don’t get upset. I’m not mean, and I try to feel sorry for him for being in a state of mind that triggers him to create drama to make himself feel better.”

Laugh, If Possible

Try to find the humor, if any, in the situation. Ogawa has a few tricks he plays on himself to generate a little comic relief and defuse the tension. For instance, “whenever you want to yell ‘idiot,’ yell ‘you superstar’ inside,” Ogawa suggests.

Try to Communicate

There are times, though, when avoidance and humor won’t work, and you have no choice but to address the situation. “If it comes down to having to confront the coworker, try and approach the situation with logic, not emotion,” says Peterson, who stresses that it is important for you to honestly make an effort to communicate with your coworker and try to see where he is coming from.

This article originally appeared on Monster.com.




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  • 028_max50

    xiaos

    almost 4 years ago

    516 comments

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    blackrings70

    over 4 years ago

    12 comments

    I got screwed over at my last job, but it sucked anyway. Now I'm better off than everyone there. So, HA to them.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Sphereseeker1

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Essentially you can do nothing. Either your boss already knows your good points or not. In my case, my boss promoted the woman who, (this was an overnight job) slept 2 or more hours on the floor of her office, went out for 2 hour lunches at an all night diner, sabotaged my coffee creamer by pouring salt in it, and bent the boss's rules about having her children accompany her to work. Within a day of her promotion, I found the working conditions intolerable. The boss suggested a vacation. I took a permanent one.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 4 years ago

    boy, I should have taken this advice 'before' I let it cost me my job attempting to work with a knowledge-selfish hormonal bearded woman half my age who had ''''to be the only one needed'''' there. Well, onward!! team player - not her, more like wolf in sheep's clothing!
    signed, relieved, but somewhat scared of the future at 50

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    admin1000

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    Just lost a job for this very reason. Once the knife was in my back, I didn't know how to extricate it. I had backup which the supervisor with whom my co-worker had an alliance completely ignored. Once someone is out to destroy you, there really isn't anything you can do. You may as well just tune up your resume and move on. It becomes a hostile environment and unless you can form an alliance with more juice than your co-worker, you are toast.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gphoenix

    over 4 years ago

    6 comments

    I think this author had good intentions, unfortunately I don't believe this person has any real experience with dealing a sabataging coworker. These "hints" don't address the real issues or offer any solutions. Basically the author is saying the same thing we have all heard a million times before. You are paid to perform a job and the basic assumption is that the rest of the workers are there for the same reason. When the focus becomes protecting yourself and establishing and maintaining your alliances the focus is on the wrong things. Countless people loose their jobs on a regular basis because of unacceptable, inappropriate behavior totally ignored by their boss. This problem continues to get worse not better. Today it is an accepted part of the worklife experience ...that you will have to deal with sabataging coworkers. My question is WHY? This article doesn't offer any new advice or suggestions. It only continues the current trend of paranoid self protection thinking which does nothing to prevent or help the situation.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 4 years ago

    It's not what you know anymore or that you are qualified for a job. It all boils down to who you know and that's why we end up with incompetent management and co-workers not able to perform in a professional manner. It's all rather silly if you ask me and I feel sorry for them. One day it will catch up to them. Yeah!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 4 years ago

    I recently lost a job due to a co-worker. We worked closely together so we had no choice but to get along. She is unprofessional and also was friends with the supervisor so she could do no wrong. Her job affected my job and I was always out of balance because of constant mistakes that she was not held accountable for. On a daily basis, she emailed and phoned do-workers about me, she left me out of company functions on purpose and never stopped putting negative thoughts in my supervisors ear.

  • Donna_n_mike_max50

    nonniejay

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I was in a job situation with a co-worker who was incompetent and unprofessional. She was not held accountable because she was friends with our supervisor (which is how she got her job in the first place). When I tried some of these strategies, they did not work. She accused me of "trying to steal" her job! It wasn't fair, but I had to leave a job I loved to keep my sanity.

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