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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    How do you deal with bossy co-workers?

    Hi all,

    Just wondering what sort of strategies everyone uses to deal with bossy co-workers and busy-bodies? Apply sarcasm? Giving them a taste of their own medicine? Manipulate them (in a good way)? Selective listening?

    I'm just curious how others go about dealing with situations like these, I used to get upset about these situations, but now I'm much more laid back - because these people aren't my boss so they can't fire me or reprimand me in any way. These things kept me up at night at times, because I often saw it as unnecessary conflict.

    I've found that much of my twenties have been me learning to control my reactions to new and at times uncomfortable situations.

  2. #2
    I have a bossy co-worker who, while in a higher position, is not my boss. It used to drive me crazy when sheíd order me around. It still sometimes does, but like you, Iíve learned to usually just deal with it. It especially helped when we got an intern who also gets bossed around, and I realized that my co-worker is just that way. She demands we do things, rather than asking.

    I donít really have any advice, more of an insight into why some people are this way. In my case, I think my co-worker feels threatened by me (something which another co-worker pointed out). Sheís older than me and has been here for years, while Iíve been in this position less than one. Already, Iíve taken on a lot of her duties because, as my boss said, I pick up on things really quickly and am more than able to take on bigger tasks than the ones I originally was assigned.

    I don't know your situation, but is your co-worker older? Older co-workers often feel threatened by younger ones. Or maybe your co-worker is a mom? Mothers sometimes have a hard time getting out of ďmommy mode,Ē Iíve noticed, meaning they treat inferiors at work, especially younger ones, the way they would their children.

    Either way, I wouldn't say anything or employ too much sarcasm, unless it really gets to be a problem and you feel the need to speak with your boss. The less drama in the workplace, the better.

    As for busybodies, my guess is they're just bored with their own lives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lost-In-A-Book, Somewhere
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    No, she's a twentysomething also. Actually a year or two younger than I am, and she picks up on things pretty quickly - similar to you actually. I on the other hand, not so much - I pick up on things the more that I do them.

    Our productivity is the same, I think its a personality difference. I'm not passive, but I don't enjoy being told what to do by someone w/o designated authority to do so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    The Oregon Trail
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    42,345
    I give them a bemused, "yeah, right," look and promptly ignore them. Nobody really tries to boss me around more than once, because it's not very fulfilling to attempt to direct somebody you have no authority to direct who looks at you incredulously, and then just keeps on doing what she was going to do anyway. While I'm all for collaboration, I don't answer to anybody who's not my supervisor or higher. I find that just ignoring works best for me.

    For this to work well, it helps to be at the top of the pecking order, most respected by people with actual authority, etc., obviously.
    Last edited by wordsmith; 03-31-2009 at 06:36 PM.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    The Oregon Trail
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    Yeah, obviously not talking about mentoring, which is awesome (my workplace actually has established a mentoring program for new employees, since it's such a potentially emotionally taxing field to work in, and I'm involved in that). It's pretty easy to tell the difference between helpful info and just your basic typical ranking out done by insecure employees with little power.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  6. #6
    It's best to just mind your own business and be confident in what you're doing. People that are trying to poke around and boss others are probably insecure in their own work and performance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    The Oregon Trail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minipan
    It's best to just mind your own business and be confident in what you're doing. People that are trying to poke around and boss others are probably insecure in their own work and performance.
    I think this is the key. It's always worked out well for me just to worry about my own success and not spend a lot of time focusing on other people's issues.
    "Even when I've f*&%ed up, I've spun it into a learning experience that's brought me to bigger and better things."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    On an island
    Posts
    15,836
    I agree. Screenname, I thought you were going to look at things differently after what you wrote in the other thread?

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