I bet you have faced this situation sometime in your life or you will face it sometime in the future. This happens to the best of people, so it is better to be prepared and understand what this may be like.
I have been very fortunate that my colleagues have largely been supportive and nice. But there were a few occasions where I had to deal with a bossy co-worker, no matter how well-meaning their intentions.
Being a non-confrontational person, I was stumped on how to deal with this situation. Through my experience, I’d like to share 3 key things you can do to deal with this person.
Identify the Pattern
When does your co-worker seem to get bossy towards you? Is there a particular project or assignment you’re working on that creates this behavior? Also, notice how they do it, whether they put words into your mouth or patronize you like a child.
It’s important to identify this pattern because then you’ll be more tuned in and notice whenever this occurs.
Identify Intention behind the Bossiness
After identifying the pattern and noticing many instances of this behavior, determine why they are bossy towards you. Is it because they don’t trust you? Or does it come from a good intention, but they just end up being too bossy? Or is it because this person is attention-seeking?
Whatever the reason, it’s still not right to boss you. But by identifying the motivation, you can then figure out how to tackle the issue with your co-worker.
You must take action and draw boundaries because this kind of behavior is not acceptable. Choose to have a private word with your co-worker and explain as objectively and rationally as possible how you feel. Cite examples of his or her’s bossiness and how it affects your work. When conducting this conversation, make sure it is one-on-one and do it professionally. At the end of the conversation, thank them for their time and listening to you.
Remember this is your workplace and you should always behave professionally as you want to continue a good relationship with this person.
Most of the time, the person will understand and rectify their behavior. If not, then you may need to take this up to your supervisor or manager.
What are your personal tips on dealing with a bossy co-worker or colleague? Please share with me in the comments.