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[Living]–It’s another productive Monday morning. As you are preparing for today’s work, you are probably thinking about that difficult co-worker of yours, whose office etiquette is zero. I have a 5-simple steps strategy for you.

Picture Source: Oprah.com

However, before you get this strategy on how to handle a co-worker that is always on your neck and always doing the exact opposite of the office etiquettes, are you sure you are not a difficult colleague to another co-worker? Do you observe the general office etiquette?

Whatever your response is, I will still like to remind you about some general office etiquettes:

Do not go late to office, either you relieving a co-worker off duty or you are starting the day at the office. Same goes for meetings and appointments. Always keep to time. This is an important attitude that tells how your colleagues see you.


Keep the atmosphere as quiet as possible. Do not put your on speaker while making calls. Avoid laughing out too loud because you might be interrupting someone else’s concentration. Instead of gisting while working, wait till launch break. That 15minutes is enough to catch up with the latest gist.

Address your colleagues with respect

We all know the general saying that respect is reciprocal. Always remember this when dealing with your co-workers. Don’t yell and scream at others. Compassion and empathy will serve you much better to earn respect.

Ask before you take

Whenever you need anything form any colleagues, ensure that you take permission from the person before you take the item. Do not just take someone else’s working materials or personal belongings without their knowledge. Imagine if you have been searching for an item, only for you to see on the table of your  partner who did not ask for your permission before taking it.

Always keep to these general etiquettes so that someone else wouldn’t have to apply the five simple steps I am about to reveal, on you.

So here they are:

  1. Do not reciprocate bad office behaviour: in as much as respect is reciprocal, bad behaviour is not. So if co-worker does something bad, do not reciprocate. If you do, it simply means you could have done such to the person too, he was just fast enough to be the first person to treat you badly. So what then should you?
  2. Apply Emotional Intelligence: emotional intelligence is one of the things you need to survive in a corporate world. You need to have endurance, patience, empathy, open mind and many more. For instance, you scheduled an appointment with your partner to discuss the way forward on project and he came late. Try to think about what could have made him come late and when stating your displeasure, do it with understanding.
  3. Discuss it: if this person persist in this bad behaviour. Meet with the person one-on-one and tell him how his or her bad manners are affecting you. Remember do this with respect and understanding. You can even suggest a way forward.
  4. If the bad behavior continues or worsens after you’ve spoken with the offender, seek help from your manager or a representative from HR.
  5. Make sure you understand your company’s business ethics and procedures for reporting infractions. This is necessary  In case you have to adopt the last step which filing report against the person. This is last measure after you have tried every other methods.


There you go. Good luck!

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