Boss & Colleagues


It can be challenging to deal with people in a work environment. While it’s possible to chose one’s friends in life, it’s impossible to chose one’s coworkers. A work environment requires everyone to work in harmony. What to do if you need to deal with a difficult boss or colleagues? Our tips may help you.

By controlling your own reactions, focusing on issues and solutions, keeping others in the loop and documenting your interactions, you can keep difficult people from impacting your happiness and performance at work.

Dealing with People at Work

There are many ways to deal with unpleasant people when trying to secure a new job. Whether a boss is a nightmare or not, many times that same boss will want to keep a current employee because the employee is one of the best. That nightmare boss may even believe that the way they handle their employees is the reason that they are performing so well.


One of the things that a nightmare boss may attempt to do is refuse to give a good reference whether the employee deserves one or not. The best thing to do on a resume is to leave that contact information blank or to use the phone number and name of the superior to the nightmare boss. It is assuming that remainder of the resume is more than sufficient to secure an interview and that gives the person a chance to explain any issues that may be occurring on the current job.

There are legal limits to what a boss can say during a reference phone call. To begin with, the boss cannot offer any information that is not asked for by the caller. In addition to that, the boss cannot give specifics about anything other than the number of days an employee missed and tardiness. Most of the time, depending on the state, it is also acceptable to state whether that employee is eligible for rehire.

If someone believes that they are going to have difficulty getting a letter of reference, it is advisable to go to the boss’s superior and advise them that the request will be made. This make them aware and they may even pull that persons records to see what kind of reference will be made. When that reference letter is either refused or is not what is expected, then the employee has sufficient recourse to go back to the superior and file a complaint.

Larger companies have an HR department that handles things such as reference letters and reference phone calls. This makes it much easier for an employee that is trying to circumvent the nightmare boss.

The HR department goes on more than the opinion of one boss. There will be records of attendance and various supporting documents that show what kind of employee a person really is.

There are also very few companies that will base a hire upon the opinion of one nightmare boss when there are multiple references in a resume. This is not the end of the line that some people may feel like it is. There is always a way to get around such issues as problematic boss. The last resort may be some legal advice, but there is rarely a need for that and it can make things worse sometimes in the end.There are always ways to deal with issues such as these built into a company. A good place to start is the HR department. A person can also look for a bulletin board that is in the break room. It legally as to have various posting of phone numbers from state and federal agencies that are developed for issues such as these.

You always learn from both good and bad bosses.

Rajeev Suri

Nightmare Boss

And what if you need to remain working under your nightmare boss? There is nothing worse than the boss that drives you crazy. Your job is already filled with stress from customers, co-workers and the multitude of things that go wrong during the day. When your boss is still not impressed, or doesn’t understand why you are behind, it just pushes you over the edge. What do you do when the boss drives you crazy?

Try to See His Point of View

The boss is probably just frustrated because his boss is on him about production or trying to get a job done in an unreasonable amount of time. Your boss has people above him who probably treat him just like he treats you. While you might feel under the gun, you are certainly not the only one who feels that way. Try to handle the situation like a professional and be calm. Just smile, assure your boss you are on it and then do your best to finish the task.

Ask for Help

If you can get it, asking for help is going to be a good idea in this situation. Whether you need help handling the workload, you need to ask a question about the instructions you were given, or you simply cannot get the job done on your own due to safety laws, you should ask for help. Not being able to do your job is just going to make things worse and your boss will understand that. Most bosses would rather you ask for help as opposed to getting nothing done, even if he does huff and puff about it.

Understand It Is Nothing Personal

Your boss might seem like he is singling you out, but it is just business. You have options if your boss is really driving your crazy or being demeaning. Talk to HR if need be or find a new job if you cannot handle the stresses of working at your job every day. Otherwise, figure out a way to do your job to the liking of your boss, and understand he won’t be there forever, nor should he figure in to your worth as a person no matter what he says while at work.

When your boss drives you crazy, the only thing you can do is smile and nod. When you leave for home you can scream and cry, but all you can do while at work is just do the best you can.

Humiliation by Your Boss 

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the work environment. If you are subjected to a boss who does not appreciate your efforts or even actively works to undermine you, don’t simply accept your fate. There is always something that you can do to improve your situation. First of all, there may be avenues you can explore within your place of employment. You could quietly complain to Human Resources or collaborate with others who you know are being treated the same way. Your action might be enough to change the boss’s behavior or even get a new person in there.

This is not always a feasible option, however, and if your employer is making you miserable, is it really worth persisting with that job? If you can imagine yourself happy in any other job, you should probably seriously consider going somewhere else. If you enjoy the work otherwise, try to get a similar job with another company. Wouldn’t it be much more pleasant to work in an environment where your contributions are valued, and you feel validated?

When you decide to embark upon a new job search, you will need to dust off your resume and take a look at it. How have you grown as an employee since you began work at your current place of employment? Edit your resume to reflect the changes that you have made and the accomplishments that you have achieved during your time at this job. When you go in for an interview, don’t focus on your issues with your employer. Instead, focus on what you have brought to the job and how you might apply those skills in a new position.

When you are employed someplace, it is important to keep the peace with the boss, but that doesn’t mean you can’t raise complaints when your employer is behaving inappropriately. Even if you do decide to keep your silence, once you have secured new employment, you might want to consider confronting your boss or at least writing a letter outlining your issues. It could have an effect on the way she interacts with future employees, and they will be grateful that you took the time to make their work environment more pleasant than yours was.

Coach Your Boss

Everyone has to work at some point in their lives. Working is not just for those following the American dream or people that fall below the poverty line. At some point, even the wealthiest people will have to answer to someone else in exchange for something they want. The amounts and situations may be different but the concept is the same. Work is necessary and having a great boss makes all the difference.

As a person on the job hunt, a good thing to remember is that a job is still a job. Sometimes one cannot be picky when searching for jobs, especially when tough financial situations come up. It is a sad truth that bad employers are often tolerated for things like benefits, high pay and fear that there will not be another job available for a while.

A boss can set the tone of an entire business. Even a manager with more people to answer to than to lead has more power than they may think. They must use the power they have to help out their employees and make sure the place their spending 40 hours a week at is somewhere that will not end up sending their employees to therapy.

It falls on the shoulders of the employer if the moral around the workplace is low. Though as an employee, one must remember that not everyone is perfect. Some managers do not mean to cause stress or chaos in the workplace. It could simply be that they are going through something in their personal lives. Just because a person is a leader, it does not mean that they stop being human.

As an employee, it is okay to check on a boss and make sure everything is okay with them. Being a leader is harder than it looks and one of the biggest problems for some supervisors is feeling disconnected from their staff. A bonus is that reaching out may be an asset to the employee because the manager may begin to see them as a person they can trust. This is not the only reason to show compassion to an employer, but it doesn’t hurt to be the team member that the boss feels they can rely on.

Overall, the way to have a good boss is to be a good employee and upstanding citizen. If the employer is honest, they will respect those qualities. It is then that an employee can say they love their boss.

However, if you find your boss needs coaching in a particular area, don’t hesitate to speak up.

A great manager is someone who says, ‘You come to work with me, and I’ll help you be as successful as possible; I’ll help you grow. I’ll help you make sure you’re in the right role; I’ll provide the relationship for you to understand and know yourself. And I want you to be more successful than me.’

Curt Coffman

Does your company operate in teams or is it hierarchical? Does your boss espouse an open-door policy or does he expect everyone to fall in line?

Team Management Style
  • Make an appointment with your boss.
  • Prepare notes about the task or procedure to improve. If possible, back up your ideas with numbers, such as how much more quickly or accurately a task could be done.
  • At the meeting, tell your boss how happy you are that she is willing to meet with you. Then discuss your idea, how you think it should be implemented and how the facts support it. Offer to take on extra.
  • If she doesn’t agree, accept it gracefully and ask whether there are other areas in which you could help.
  • If she does agree, make a plan with her on how to carry out the change. Thank her.
  • If you do implement the plan, make sure it includes regular meetings with your boss so you can report how things are going or give her more tips if needed.

Traditional Management Style
  • If you workplace is hierarchical, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t coach your boss. Ask for an appointment.
  • Prepare a written description of the task or procedure you’d like to improve. Back it up with numbers.
  • At the meeting, respect your supervisor’s position and thank him for meeting with you. Briefly describe how you have been performing and the challenges you have met. Tell him that as you’ve been carrying out the duties he set for you, you’ve seen ways to make the system better.
  • Describe your idea. Explain how it will make the tasks he’s assigned easier to carry out or will make the accomplishments he wants better.
  • Defer to his seniority. Ask what he thinks about the idea – whether he thinks it could be done or whether there are ways he would modify it.
  • If he doesn’t agree, accept it gracefully. Thank him for his time.
  • If he does agree, thank him and plan how to carry out the change. Tell him you will be accountable along the way.

Use these steps when you want to implement a change. Also use them with a new supervisor who may be less familiar with a certain task. Contribute your ideas, coach your boss on improving work flow and maintain your position as a valuable employee.

Say NO to Him

Your boss is someone whom you should generally always follow. There are times that you should clearly say no and there are even times that your boss is looking for you to say no. The truth of the matter is that good employees may regularly say that two-letter word without ever letting it leave their lips. Therefore, learning how to say no is something that is as essential to your job as being able to actually do it.

But no one should just bend over backwards and do everything their boss says. That would be foolish and irresponsible. It is better to establish some good rapport with your boss initially so that you both of you will be on friendly terms. You want to be a pal of your boss. You don’t want to be an underling.

While common sense and logic may dictate that you should be totally subservient to your boss, that actually doesn’t work out well in the long run. Your boss may think you resent him or her, and they could fire you in lieu of someone that is nicer. You always want to be punctual, efficient, tedious, and quick with all your work. However, you should not have a negative personal attitude, or a neutral personal attitude. You need to have one that is positive.

It is best that you work together with your boss to get the job done efficiently, and always acknowledge that you are in a lower position. But, you shouldn’t do just anything your boss says at the drop of a hat, and you certainly shouldn’t do it with a negative attitude. That is one of the major tricks to succeeding with a good boss.

How to Say NO

In order to grasp an idea of how to say no without actually saying it, think about how your mother responded to things she didn’t want to do when you were a child. “We’ll see.” and “I’ll think about it.” are two common no phrases that she might have used. Both are politer versions that mean the same thing given the situation.

Take a more practical example, say that your boss is bogging you down with too much work. The first step in crafting a “no” statement that sounds polite is getting rid of any language that might be provocative or harsh. One thing to keep in mind is that your boss should generally always appreciate things done in order to make sure your work is quality and done in a timely manner. Therefore, simply let your boss know that whatever is too much for you to do may actually be affecting your current quality of work. He’ll generally understand.

If your boss gives you something that’s simply “too much” for you to do, make a compromise. Instead of directly refusing to perform your boss’s demands, say that you can instead do something else. If your boss tells you to pick up his laundry, then say that you can make sure to take any and all phone calls to his office while he’s out. If he wants you to spearhead a new company movement, say that what you can do is instead brainstorm with your boss about new ideas. Focus on what you can do and try to deflect from what you don’t feel is your responsibility based on the job position you hold.

We must say “no” to what, in our heart, we don’t want. We must say “no” to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s. We must say “no.

Suzzete R. HINTON 

There will also be times that your boss will ask you to do something that you can’t actually do. If you don’t have the required time, resources or even the expertise needed to complete a project, ask your boss if there’s someone in your company that does. If that doesn’t work, ask if there’s a better individual in the company that can handle it. One bargaining tool that you have that you could use to say no is your qualifications with the qualifications of others being an even greater one.

Don’t Do Everything

If everyone did everything their boss said, then the boss would grow tired of the worker, no matter how good they were at what they did. You have to establish and forge that human connection. Even if you eventually end up doing everything that your boss says, you still need to question and ask a few things about why it is he is helping you do that. That is the best way to establish yourself as someone worthy of promotion.

If you are someone that you think can garner a promotion, then you should act that way. You should speak up and question what your boss is saying. But, you should also have a better solution proposed. You should really try to find out if your boss is the kind of man that respects an honest opinion, because if he is, then you are well on your way to a promotion if you keep coming up with good ideas.

If you are searching for a job, especially online, try to get a good e-mail trail going so you can establish what kind of person your potential boss might be. If he is totally brutish and bossy with you in an e-mail stream, then you may not want to work with him at all in the long run. It might be better to see what kind of person he is at first and then decide if you want to work with him at all. Remember, in online job searching, you are interviewing him as much as he is interviewing you. You are checking out what kind of person he is by the kind of e-mail interview he conducts with you. This is a great way for you to come to terms with the kind of boss you are going to have in the future.

Lastly, there’s the idea that your boss might give you an order to do something illegal, immoral or something you simply don’t agree with on a personal level. If this ever happens, tell your boss directly that you can’t do it. But you need to also tell him why you can’t and what the result would have been if you did follow through with his orders. One of the most important responsibilities of an employee is knowing when to simply say no.


Being a professional in the office entails so many different things. You have to not only be good at your job, but you have to be able to get along with others and navigate your way through the office politics. If you are not good at any of the three above aspects, you are not going to last long, or have many people to count as your friends.

Challenging Coworkes

Some people aren’t aware how their actions affect other people. These actions can include making inappropriate jokes, listening to loud music, sharing private information, or acting in a way that is demeaning to other people. This type of antisocial behavior can increase one’s stress, reduce one’s productivity, and can make a work environment very unenjoyable.

It’s important to determine the cause of antisocial behavior at work. While it’s possible to have a bad apple in any workforce, lots of challenging coworkers may indicate a poor work environment. Poor work environments can be found in any industry: jobs where an employee feels undervalued, overworked, stressed, or underpaid may result in antisocial behavior. If the majority of one’s coworkers display antisocial behavior, it’s imperative to find a new job.

A few bad coworkers are common for many jobs. A bad attitude or antisocial behavior may be caused by painful experiences in a coworker’s life. These can include childhood trauma, relationship problems, financial problems, or insecurity. Most forms of antisocial behavior are caused by insecurity or pain in an individual.

There are several ways to deal with challenging coworkers. It’s important to approach any work situation with care. It may not be possible to challenge the antisocial behavior of a superior or a boss. In these situations, it may compromise one’s employment to challenge a boss’s antisocial behavior. Contacting a human resources department may allow one to vent their frustrations, but a conversation with HR may result in retribution from a boss.

Coworkers can display covert and overt antisocial behavior. Many white-collar employees will display covert antisocial behavior, while blue collar workers may display overt antisocial behavior. Covert behavior will include setting up an individual to fail, undermining one’s confidence, and playing mind games with an individual. Overt behavior includes physical bullying, name calling, and other visible acts.

Overt behavior can be dealt with directly. It’s important to confront any overt antisocial behavior immediately. This will prevent a coworker from thinking that his or her behavior is acceptable. Try confronting an individual directly without physical violence or harsh words. Ask them to stop their behavior immediately and warn them of potential consequences for further bullying.

I am thankful for all those difficult people in my life. They have shown me exactly who I do not want to be.


Covert antisocial behavior can be challenging to confront. An antisocial coworker may deny that he or she is engaging in office politics. For these situations, it’s important to create a network of friends or allies that one can rely on. It’s important to maintain a network of solid friends at work — this can help reduce the chance of covert bullying in the workplace.

Never allow any individual to make threats of physical violence. Communicating a threat is a misdemeanor in many areas and is grounds for dismissal for most jobs. Always contact a boss or superior if you feel threatened.

Here are some suggestions how to deal with challenging colleagues:

Respect for Others Is Key

The biggest reason why your colleagues hate you is because you don’t show them any respect at work. Maybe you show up ten minutes late to work each day, or you play your music really loud at your desk. If you are doing things that cause you other co-workers to not be able to do their job, it will make them hate you. Show them the respect you want to be shown and show up to work on time and bring some headphones as well.

Doing Well on the Job

You have to do a good job for anyone to like you, or at least try to improve each day. There is nothing worse than someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. All that does is slow others down and make a stressful day at work even more stressful. What is worse is that some people think that they don’t need to improve or take advice. If you don’t know what you are doing, and won’t seek help, no one is going to be your friend.

Saying and Doing the Right Things

Don’t tell your overweight boss that she looks pregnant. Don’t spread lies and rumors about other people at work in hopes of getting a promotion out of it. Doing things like that will come back to bite you in the end. People will find out that you are the rat in the office who doesn’t understand that being rude, insulting and obnoxious is not going to make you a friend of many in the office.

Your colleagues hate you because you are being rude and selfish. There are some workplaces that hate new people, or just tolerate hazing in general, but usually it is because of something that you did, or something that you do. Take a look at yourself in the mirror, make some changes, and maybe your colleagues won’t hate you so much. It is the best way to ensure job security.

Aggressive Coworkers 

He’s the guy who blames everyone else for mistakes or makes constant last-minute demands. She’s the woman who derails meetings by drowning out your input with her own complaints.

Aggressive colleagues add stress to your life and can even impact your productivity. However, you can take steps that will minimize their impact on your job and even help forge a productive working relationship.

  • When a colleague acts in an aggressive, unprofessional manner, stay calm. Remind yourself that you cannot control their actions but are completely in charge of your own reactions. Remember that your colleague’s behavior isn’t necessarily personal. Some people are aggressive by nature, while others act out when under stress.
  • Assess your location. If your colleague is behaving aggressively in a public area, calmly suggest that you move somewhere more private. If the situation makes you feel threatened, do not isolate yourself. Ask another co-worker to witness the discussion or move to a spot away from the public but still near colleagues.
  • Avoid counter-attacks. Focus on understanding the issue at hand. Perhaps your colleague is lashing out because he submitted a last-minute request and wants you to drop everything to fulfill it. Instead of retorting that he should have asked you in a timely manner, focus on understanding why the request is critical.
  • Your aggressive colleague may want to vent, but keep the conversation moving towards possible solutions. For example, you might say, “so, the training document needs to be completed by noon. I am scheduled to work on a project with Joe. Let’s explain the situation to him, and if he agrees I will work on your document first.”

  • Avoid “you” statements, instead discussing what “we” need to address.
  • In many situations, your focus and willingness to help will calm an aggressive colleague. But sometimes, even your helpful demeanor and solution-focused approach will not change their behavior. In such a case, end the discussion until your colleague is calmer or others can be involved.
  • Keep your supervisor in the loop about interactions with aggressive colleagues but be ready to give concrete examples of problem behavior and demonstrate that your reaction was appropriate. Managers do not like being blindsided by potential problems. Your supervisor may wish to address the situation or have pointers to help you deal with your aggressive colleague.
  • Always document your discussions. Having the problem and the agreed-upon solution in writing can protect you in the future.
  • Revisit issues once immediate problems are resolved. For example, you or your boss might follow up with an aggressive colleague who makes last-minute demands by giving him written notification that work requests must be submitted at least three business days prior to their due date.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

You may be dealing not only with difficult people. Be prepared to solve difficult situations at work as well. And although gossips and damaged reputation feel like not the most pleasant events to deal with, they are definitely not the worst things you can face.

Gossips and Damaged Reputation

Gossip in the workplace is an all common occurrence; gossiping has been taking place for hundreds of years and unfortunately, it probably won’t cease anytime soon. Typically, it can be easy enough to ignore the gossip and go on with your day. Of course, if the gossip is about you, the situation can take a drastic turn for the worse.

People gossip. People are insecure, so they talk about other people so that they won’t be talked about. They point out flaws in other people to make them feel good about themselves. I think at any age or any social class, that’s present.

Blake lively

Having people gossip about you can be both hurtful and humiliating. It doesn’t matter whether or not the gossip is true; gossiping can be very damaging, especially when it’s taking place at work. If the wrong things get back to people that are influential in your career, you could find yourself in a sticky situation. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with co-workers gossiping about you in a way that allows you to avoid conflict and go on with your life.

Depending on the situation, the gossip may be indirect or direct. Direct gossip is much easier to deal with as it’s very obvious that a co-worker is spreading rumors. On the other hand, dealing with the indirect gossiper can be slightly tricky as they simply may be dropping innuendos and subtle hints that imply something about you that’s malicious or revealing in nature. The best way to solve the problem is to get the core of it; most of the time, someone starts gossiping because they feel badly about themselves. Gossipers in the office may feel more powerful and “needed” if everyone starts to come to them for the latest gossip. If this sounds like a familiar situation, the best thing to do is to not beat around the bush.

Although being direct can be difficult, it’s the best way to deal with gossiping co-workers. If you know that the source is coming from one specific co-worker, you can meet with them in private and address the issue. Chances are, your other co-workers are probably fed up too, but aren’t brave enough to talk to the gossiping co-worker. A confrontation shouldn’t take place, but an adult conversation should be had about the unnecessary gossiping taking place.

If you’re uncomfortable with that solution, an office meeting can also be held to address gossiping. The important thing is to get the issue out in the open; when the gossiper is called out, you may be surprised at how his/her tone changes. While having a co-worker gossip about you can be extremely annoying, dealing with it in a mature manner is the best road to take.

Gossiping about you can even affect your productivity and damage your reputation. Even the best employees sometimes struggle at work. You may have missed important deadlines. Perhaps you arrived late several days in a row. Whatever the reason, if your reputation is damaged, then it’s your job to fix it.

Assess Your Situation

Most large companies have formal human resources policies in place to address employee remediation. During your annual review, your supervisor will likely address any performance deficiencies and hopefully detail how you should address them. Don’t wait until then; it may already be too late. Perform an honest self-evaluation of your job performance. Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly.

  • Do you arrive on time and ready to work?
  • Do you come prepared for meetings?
  • Do you meet your deadlines?
  • Do you routinely promise more than you deliver?
  • How do you get along with your co-workers?

Once your self-analysis is complete, ask your supervisor what areas he feels need improvement. Compare that list to your own. By demonstrating self-awareness and a willingness to improve, you’re already well on your way toward improving your reputation. Your proactive attitude will be duly noted.

Rebuild and Improve

Once you have identified areas for improvement, address them one by one. Remember that it takes time to develop a reputation, but only moments to destroy it. Rebuilding your reputation at work may take more time than it took to gain your employer’s respect the first time, but it’s a necessary chore. Otherwise, your downward spiral will continue, and you may be at risk of losing your job or being relegated to performing menial tasks. Follow these five tips for fixing your damaged reputation at work:

  1. Arrive early and stay late. People will notice.
  2. Volunteer to help your co-workers. Demonstrate that you’re a team player.
  3. Avoid office gossip. It’s usually wrong.
  4. Learn new skills. Increase your value as an employee.
  5. Toot your own horn. Track your accomplishments and be detail them during your next performance review.

Patience Is Key

It’s difficult to redefine office dynamics, but it’s not impossible. When people have a preconceived notion of you and your abilities, they may be unwilling to revise those notions. Give them time and stick to your plan. Show your boss and co-workers that you’re serious about change and keep a positive attitude. Eventually, even your most ardent critics will revise their opinion of you.

Revise Your Resume

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may not succeed at rebuilding your reputation. This may be because you have waited too long to begin the process, or for some reason the deck is simply stacked against you. Don’t despair. Prepare yourself and your resume for your next position. Continue your high performance at your current position and stay positive. After all, you may need to ask your boss for a reference. Contact a professional resume service to update and modernize your resume, particularly if you are changing fields or haven’t looked for work recently.

Mobbing and Bullying at Work

Mobbing is not a new phenomenon. When one person chooses to pick-on, berate, or otherwise harass a fellow employee, it is considered bullying. When a group of individuals do the same, it is called mobbing. Mobbing is easy to pinpoint, but more difficult to stop. A person who finds themselves to be the target of mobbing should bring the matter up with management but may also decide that it is time to move on to a new environment.

If you are in a job that you otherwise enjoy but find yourself a victim of mobbing, there are certain levels of action that can be taken. As long as you do not feel physically threatened and believe the matter to be of small scope, the first approach is to speak with the bullies individually. Tell them that you are finding it difficult to work and ask them kindly to stop or you will need to take the matter to management. If you do not feel comfortable with this approach, if you believe it will not cease the mobbing, or if your company discourages one-on-one confrontations, you should either speak to your direct superior, human resources, or both. Whichever method you choose, you must document each instance of mobbing. This includes the saving of any electronic harassment and the recording of the date and time of every incidence.

It can be difficult for employers to reprimand or otherwise discipline an entire group. Also, it often becomes one person’s word against a number of others. This does not mean that the victim should back down. Mobbing simply should not happen and it is the victims who must fight back to make it stop. However, while being a champion of your own right to work without being harassed, you may also find that another atmosphere is better suited to your skills.

Seeking New Employment

Most victims of mobbing decide to move on from their current atmosphere into a less hostile environment. Searching for a new job does not have to be difficult. Employment levels are on the rise once more. Those with special skills find themselves more desired in the workforce, and the unique experience of having been mobbed at work can actually work to your advantage. Knowing how to handle difficult situations can help you in future endeavors and you can possibly be more attuned to the signs of a hostile workplace. This may allow you to avoid future calamities in the workforce.

Mobbing should neither be accepted nor ignored. However, no one should feel forced to remain in a work environment that supports group bullying. Reporting the conduct, then seeking new employment, is sometimes the best course of action to combat this behavior.

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

Ralph W. Sockman

Workplace Friendship & Romances

Getting along with all of your colleagues is extremely important and makes going to work each day a much nicer experience. You must be friendly with your colleagues to make working together easy, but that doesn’t mean that your colleagues are your friends.

There is conflicting evidence as to the effect an office romance has on the workplace as a whole – it seems that there can be negative or positive impacts on the effectiveness of the romantics and their co-workers.

Employers tend to take the line that workplace romances cannot just be done away with, that they cannot, realistically, be legislated against and so policy makers tend to take the line that a romance is best ignored unless it begins to affect morale in the work place or the effectiveness of the organization. If the romance is beginning to present a serious threat of disruption, then it is likely that some kind of managerial intervention will be necessary. It is important that the work force see the Human Resources department as a force for good – not as a bunch of interfering busybodies.

There are many complications which can arise from the development of a workplace romance not least a claim of sexual harassment and even dismissal. It is probably best to avoid getting involved with work colleagues in any kind of personal relationship at least until you are well established in the company. Office romances are almost always the subject of intense speculation and gossip – neither of which are conducive to a successful relationship. All in all, it seems that a supervisor should not date a subordinate and that when at work all staff members should behave in an exemplary professional manner – keeping work and romance separated at all times.

Friendship & Romance with Colleagues

Friends are people that you enjoy spending time with and can talk to about what’s happening in your life. You never have to be worried about what you say or how it will affect others. You don’t need to feel self-conscience with your real friends. There are boundaries you can cross with friends that should never be crossed with colleagues.

Keep in mind that when you are hired to do a job, you are hired to do just that. You are not paid to make friends, socialize on the clock, or spend time holding conversations about topics that are not related to work. Of course, you should always remain pleasant with your colleagues to ensure a comfortable working environment.

Being friendly simply means that you have a positive attitude, you are willing to help others, and you acknowledge everyone equally. That doesn’t mean that you share your secrets or personal feelings. That doesn’t mean you talk badly about others to someone you are friendly with at work. These things have a way of coming back to haunt you in the long run.

Keep in mind that things change in the work environment. Let’s say that you want to apply for another job within your company, or you want a promotion. If is definitely more comfortable to go up against a colleague for a higher position than it would be to have to compete against a friend. It is also possible that you could become the boss one day. In this case, you wouldn’t want things you said or did with what you thought was a friend to come back to hurt you in any way.

Competition at work is always present. This can make it difficult to know who is genuine and who is just trying to sabotage you to make himself look better. This means that it is never a good idea to confide in a colleague as your colleague may be able to use information against you that can harm your professional reputation.

Your best bet is to maintain professional distance, so that you don’t become too close or too friendly with your colleagues.

When Strong Bonds Are Created …

However, work can create some strong bonds. A team that works together for a long time will forge bonds that allow them to work together betterthan a team that has just gotten together; this is something that managers like to encourage rather than discourage. However, sometimes this close friendship can create some problems at work, both between those on the team as well as how those team members interact with those outside the team. Because of the problems it can create, friendships at work should come with some warning tags.

Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.


This is not to say that friendships should be discouraged, just watched. Tight friendships allow for a number of shortcuts that can lead to increased efficiency, and the familiarity with each other’s flaws and shortcomings can allow those on the team to allow for them, as well as some patience when they are brought up. However, because of the potential business costs, friendships should be monitored for when they start fraying so that supervisors can allow for separation time to keep the relationship stable. Because of the potential for blow-ups that can cost days and weeks of development, however, friendships need to be monitored closely, costing management some time, especially for those that are decidedly volatile.

A friendship that only applies after work tends to work best and should be encouraged by management. This can include anything from potlucks to baseball teams. After-work get-togethers should be encouraged by management; the staff needs some time to blow off some steam, especially in teams that deal with high-stress situations. It also allows for the company to pull together as a whole rather than as cliques, ensuring that the usual incestuous pairings do not form and that teams will have at least some occasional fresh blood piped in to keep creativity fresh. The “same old partners” is not always the best solution.

The other problem with friendships from a business perspective is the effect on politics. Tight friendships also tend to mean that the friends tend to back one another when it comes to dealing with politics, making it necessary to waste time dealing with blocs before any major meetings rather than merely presenting an idea before a general meeting. It also means that the bloc will be acting in concert to ensure that as many resources as possible regardless of whether or not they need to actual resources or not in order to ensure that they have the resources when they need them. Until that point the resources lay fallow rather than being used. Any political group should thus be broken up as soon as it develops.

This is not to say that friendships should be actively discouraged,especially as they are inevitable in any group that works together for any amount of time. Rather, they should be moderated when they begin to interfere with work, and partners that have worked too long together should be forced to work with others every so often so as to allow the spread of ideas. With proper management friendships should serve the company.

In Love with a Colleague

If you have fallen in love with someone that you work with, the situation might be similar. It could be the best thing that has ever happened to you, or it could be the absolute worst thing that could happen to you. How much you value your job will help you determine how you react, but you should understand that the feelings may not be mutual, so be careful in how you proceed.

The first question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you can work with this person without revealing your true feelings. If so, you have nothing to worry about. You can see how the relationship proceeds and wait for a proper time to reveal your feelings. If these feelings don’t get in the way of working with this person, you can admit your feelings without too much fear of rejection. If the feelings are not mutual, it is OK because the professional relationship is still intact, and the other person won’t feel as if you are still wanting something more.

Having someone you have fallen in love with not share your feelings can be hard. On the other hand, it can be hard if someone does share those feelings. If you start dating, would you put your job at risk? Would others at work feel awkward around a couple or feel like the relationship might be getting you and your significant other ahead based on something other than merit? There needs to be a plan to deal with that.

How This Could Affect Their Life

What if the person you have feelings for is married, or has kids? While it would be nice to say that they would not be interested, this isn’t always the case. You could be tempting someone to commit adultery or risk their marriage for you. Yes, it isn’t your fault entirely, but you should understand what you are doing is wrong and should consider backing off. Considering only your feelings is selfish.

Having feelings for someone in the office is a totally normal thing. You spend a lot of time with the folks that you work with, so it would only be natural that you might develop something for one of your co-workers. However, keep things professional as much as possible and make sure that you are not risking your career because of your feelings for someone at the office.

Friendship & Romance with Your Boss

Romance in the workplace is a tricky thing to navigate, but it can sometimes lead to long and successful relationships. However, attempting to form a relationship with one’s boss is rarely a good idea. There are usually rules in the employee handbook against this, and it can lead to all sorts of unpleasant situations with coworkers who are jealous because it seems you are getting preferential treatment.

Some people flirt with their bosses without any genuine interest in a relationship but rather in an attempt to gain favor and get perks as a result. This is an underhanded tactic that often backfires because the boss will be upset if the deceit is exposed and may end up taking it out on the employee. Someone who engages in such practices might even get fired because of it.

Unfortunately, many employees do not feel secure enough to let their work stand on its own merits and instead have to try to validate themselves through the use of overt sensuality. This can begin as early as the job interview. This is never a good approach to take. If you are only getting the job because the boss has a physical interest in you, there is a good chance that you will start work and find that you are not qualified for the job you have to do.

Work place romances always seem to get very confused and peculiar, in my experience.


Let your resume do the talking for you. Of course, you need to answer the boss’s questions openly and honestly, but let your past achievements and experiences recommend you rather than relying upon your physical attributes. You will be happiest in an environment in which your own unique contributions are valued. If you are only there as eye candy, before long, it will start to wear on you as you spend your work life being objectified.

Sometimes a little office flirtation is unavoidable as sparks fly between fellow employees, but don’t ever use flirtation as a means to a better job or a higher salary. This type of behavior will come back to haunt you in the end, and you will wish that you had just stuck to utilizing the skills that benefit everyone in the office equally.

Your Boss & Your Ex?

There is nothing worse than having a boss that doesn’t like you. It is harder to get your job done, the boss is always on you and things just aren’t very friendly at the office. However, what if your boss happens to be an ex? That can add a layer of intrigue to the typical boss-employee relationship.

Stay Professional

The best thing to do is to understand that there is a job to be done and that you have to do what the boss says. Yes, it could be very hard to have to take orders from someone who may have broken your heart, but business is all about being professional and keeping your personal feelings out of it. Once you clock out, you don’t have to see your boss, but you have to make it work during the working day.

Stay Away If the Relationship Is a Bad One

Another good idea is to simply stay away from your boss. If you and your ex can come to an understanding that you don’t have to see each other any more than necessary, it will make things much easier for the both of you. Face to face meetings could be replaced by electronic exchanges and/or others in the office who can be a line of communication for the two of you.

Do What Is Good for Business

At the end of the day, you still want to be employed. Even if your boss is an ex, there is still a mutual goal of success for the company. Take that into consideration and make sure that you both are working toward the common good of the company and are looking out for your careers in general. Don’t let pettiness get in the way of a promotion down the line.

Working for anyone can be tough but working for an ex can be even trickier. Just remain professional and understand that there is job to be done for the moment. At some point, you won’t be working with this person and maybe the awkward feelings will actually go away through working together. No matter what the personal feelings are, there should be a professional attitude taken at all times.