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Sneaky Colleagues? Do This!

As your career progresses and you advance in your industry, you may unfortunately deal with jealous and sneaky co-workers and colleagues.  It’s unfortunate, but dealing with sneaky, manipulative, or jealous colleagues is easier if you know what to do beforehand.

The most important thing to remember is that jealousy is a sign of you doing something correct.  The corporate world is naturally a competitive place and can, at-times, be cutthroat.  With people looking to advance in any way, shape, or form, you will want to be careful and make sure that you deal with them effectively.

Don’t Take It Personally

It’s easy to take the sneakiness, manipulation, or jealousy personally and to allow it to affect your work.  However, you have to take a step back and understand that those feelings of jealousy are occurring because you are doing something right in the office.

By allowing yourself to take it personally, you risk it affecting your work and your performance.  Additionally, taking it personally may allow you to act on those feelings and risk your career.

Once you identify who it is being sneaky, manipulative, or jealous, take the mature approach and step away and out of the situation.  By identifying the main culprit, you can take the best possible approach to keep yourself safe and progressing in your career.

However, if the wrongdoings become overbearing, you should take steps to protect yourself within the office.  Keeping detailed instances of infractions and bringing these up to your manager or Human Resources department is vital. 

Protect Yourself

While feelings of jealousy can be natural, you need to be able to decipher between what’s normal and what’s not.  While you may feel empathetic or sympathetic towards your colleagues, even if they don’t feel the same for you, should never supersede your own self-preservation.    

If you see or notice any acts of hostility or aggression in the office, take extremely detailed notes on what happened, the date it occurred, and any other colleagues who may have been around when it occurred.

Bringing up these acts to your manager or Human Resources department may become crucial.  If it becomes a he-said vs. she-said situation, you will want all available documentation and support to back up your claims.

Just Say No!

While it may be difficult for you to not offer a lending hand or a willingness to assist, you should attempt to avoid additional conversation and interactions with people who harbor these feelings.

You should absolutely be a team-player and work together on mandatory tasks and projects but allowing yourself to be used for someone else’s gain should be a hard pass.  They will only utilize your skills and expertise without giving credit where credit is due.

In addition, allowing yourself to work with individuals who harbor these feelings may potentially lead to an altercation while in the office.  This could negatively affect your career and your future prospects.

Mediate and Escalate Appropriately

While it may be tempting to bring up the initial levels of infractions to your manager or begin complaining to your fellow colleagues about it, you should attempt to take a more mature and diplomatic approach from the get-go.

Speak to the aggressor regarding their behavior and how it makes you feel.  You should speak to them in private and offer real-world examples and how you took those interactions.

When speaking with them, offer reassuring words and pieces of advice, if they seem open to it.  You want to be an ally for all colleagues but only if they are receptive to it.

If, after speaking with them privately, you do not see their behavior getting better, then you should escalate to your manager initially.  Bringing in the detailed notes will assist you with your claim.  A good manager should know how to handle the situation appropriately and will escalate your concern.

Your manager should know how to handle the situation and begin to attempt to resolve.  However, if you see that your manager is not handling the situation or that the situation has gotten considerably worse, you should consider going directly to your Human Resources department.

Your HR department will escalate as needed and bring in all pertinent parties to address.  Your HR department shouldn’t be your final or last resort, but you should try and avoid them being your first line of defense either.  However, a caveat to this is that if any acts of aggression are too much to handle, then going directly to HR is your best option.

While no one likes dealing with co-workers and colleagues who are jealous, aggressive, sneaky, or manipulative, it is sometimes an unfortunate occurrence.  Knowing how to deal with these jealous types and what steps to take will help you mentally and professionally.

Have you ever had to deal with a jealous or sneaky co-worker?  What steps did you take to resolve?

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