How to Get Along with Difficult Colleagues

How to Get Along with Difficult Colleagues

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Bardzo mi przykro, ale lekcje na platformie The Blue Tree działają jedynie na komputerze lub tablecie.

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Practise speaking by describing this image

warm up

Answer the questions below.

  • Who do you like/dislike the most at work?
  • What traits should a good colleague have?
  • What annoys you the most about the behaviour of your workmates?


Listen to the article first. What is the main idea behind this management tip?



How to Get Along with Difficult Colleagues

It’s easy to 1. get caught up in interpersonal conflict at work. But these negative dynamics can lead to mistakes, reduced creativity, and worse decision-making. Here are four ways to work more effectively with difficult colleagues.

Understand that your perspective is limited. It’s not realistic to expect everyone to agree with you all the time. When differences arise, ask yourself questions like: What if I’m wrong? How would I change my behavior? What 2. assumptions have I made?

View the conflict as a problem to be solved together. Understand what 3. outcome you’re aiming for. Do you want to get a project over the finish line? Build a healthy working relationship that will last into the future? Feel less angry or frustrated after your interactions? Decide on your goals before interacting with your colleague, and keep your eyes on the prize.

Avoid 4. venting and 5. gossip. Choose whom you talk to (and what you share) carefully. Look for people who are constructive, have your best interests at heart, will challenge your perspective when they disagree, and can be 6. discreet.

Experiment to find what works. Start by coming up with two or three methods you want to test out. For example, if you want to improve communications with a 7. grumpy colleague, decide that for two weeks you’re going to ignore their tone and focus on the 8. substance of their messages. Often small actions can have a big impact.

This tip is adapted from How to Navigate Conflict with a Coworker,” by Amy Gallo

dać się złapać, wrobić


rezultat, wynik

dawać upust (emocjom)

plotki, pogłoski

dyskretny, rozważny

gderliwy, marudzący, zrzędliwy

merytoryczna wartość



Answer the questions below. Try to throw some of the newly learned words into your answers.

  • How can arguments at work affect our performance?
  • How does it help to understand that our perspective is limited?
  • What questions can we ask ourselves at this point?
  • How can we view the conflict as a problem to be solved together?
  • What should we remember about when we decide to approach a difficult colleague?
  • Who can we talk to about this issue? Why?
  • What’s the forth tip about? Can you think of any other ‘experiments’?


Cast your vote in the poll.

Which piece of advice from this lesson sounds the most practical for you?



How would you deal with a difficult colleague at work? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with us?