Working With the Enemy

Emma De Vita reviews Mike Leibling's book on dealing with difficult colleagues

The subtitle to this book, written by business coach Mike Leibling, is How to survive and thrive with really difficult people.

But what he's really talking about is how to deal with the different types of 'enemy' you will inevitably encounter when you come into contact with bosses and colleagues. For the heat of the battle, he recommends 10 survival strategies that range from communicating extra clearly to not taking it personally.

Who are the toughest enemies you can face in the office and how should you tackle them? First up are the bullies. If you find yourself working with one, take a step back and ask yourself whether their bullying is intentional or not. If it's unintentional, it can quickly be stopped. If it's not, find out what your organisation's anti-bullying policy is, then get HR to do something about it.

Another difficult kind of person is the manipulator. The best way to handle them is to appraise them regularly and make it clear what it is they need to achieve and how you can work together to achieve it. Finally, remember life is full of difficult people, and the trick to handling them is to remain cool, calm and collected - and make sure you're not one of them.

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