How to work with difficult people – 9 tips to reduce office tension

Co-worker tension accounts for up to 80 per cent of all workplace difficulties, but how do you reduce tension and improve productivity?

How often have you found yourself having to calm a tense situation between arguing co-workers? Spending nine hours of the day in the same room as other people can often cause problems. While your staff may work well as a team, managing different personalities, expectations and workloads to make cohesion is a daily struggle for CEOs.

We have all had to work with somebody that we didn’t like. It is, unfortunately, part of being an adult! But making sure that co-workers are not distracted by their dislikes and grudges and focus on the task at hand is pivotal.

Co-worker tensions account for up to 80 per cent of all workplace difficulties, with many employees applying for other jobs to escape the arguments. Loss of talent and efficiency in the office is a major worry for a lot of businesses who are looking to grow, so it is important to keep on top of tense situations. Looking for new work is not always the best option for your staff, so instead, try and encourage employees to make life easier for everyone, by following a series of easy-to-implement techniques.

There are plenty of steps you can take to improve things in a tense office space, whether it’s through your body language or the way you define your working relationships. Staying calm is essential, particularly as the vast majority of top professionals say that they are good at managing their emotions.

It’s not just a case of knowing when you need to keep cool or when to stand up for yourself, you also need to take your colleague’s thoughts and feelings into consideration. Remember that they also will be struggling with this tension. Studies have shown the importance of good communication for maintaining productive working relationships.

These are all skills and techniques that you can learn and develop to improve not only your ability to enjoy your work week, but to also your company’s productivity and your own career prospects.

As a former senior police office, author and self-help guru Kul Mahay has managed a lot of high-pressure scenarios where tempers have the tendency to flare.

“When we hear the word conflict, we can’t help but feel some level of trepidation or apprehension. After all, none of us enjoy any kind of confrontation. But to expect to go through life without any kind of conflict is simply not realistic,” Mahay says.

“Some level of conflict has to be expected in all areas of our lives. It is through these disagreements and misunderstandings that we grow and learn.

“Conflict in the workplace is not a rare occurrence, but the sad thing is that the vast majority of conflict could easily be resolved if all parties were to adopt certain strategies from the outset.

“The strategies are not rocket science but very often, in ‘the heat of battle,’ we can allow our emotions to drive our thinking and behaviour rather than a clear, logical mind.”

NetCredit have put together this infographic with nine effective ways that you can learn to work with difficult people. Try out the tips today and see what you can achieve.

Courtesy of: NetCredit

Owen Gough

Owen Gough

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...