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How to Beat the Sharks at Work

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shark coworkers

Summary: There will be sharks in any workplace, so be prepared to deal with them so that they don’t get the best of you.

You’ve seen them looming before, circling prey with those hungry eyes. No, you didn’t see this at the wildlife park, but right in your very own office. The human sharks stopping at nothing to get what they want with very little to no regard for anyone else. We have some advice on how to deal with these kinds of sharks and stay clear whenever possible.

Don’t let emotions get the best of you – These kinds of power hungry people will talk to others in a demeaning manner in hopes of getting a reaction out of them. Don’t fall for their trick. Keep the discussion focused on the business issue and avoid the parts where they are prying for emotions. It takes a thick skin, but it is doable. If the shark gets too intense, then turn to a supervisor for help.

Focus on yourself – Focus your efforts on your goals and achievements, not on their aggressive behavior. Don’t let them stop you from achieving success. Most importantly, never stoop to their level to compete with them.

Be smarter – Follow their pattern of behavior and be one step ahead. For example, be careful in your documentation because there will come a time when the shark will try to take credit for the work of others or exaggerate on the amount of work they contributed to the project. If you have everything documented, you will be able to prove what they actually did with evidence like emails, communications, paper trails, etc.

You are the shark – Maybe you are thinking to yourself as you read this that you don’t know anyone at work that fits the description of a shark. Well, maybe you are the shark. Now that you know, you can work to rectify this behavior. Someone that exemplifies characteristics of a shark will have short-term success. Colleagues that get continually belittled by this kind of person will never stick around. Think of the long-term effects of how you treat people – you never know when you may need a favor.

Read these related articles to learn more about dealing with difficult coworkers:

Photo: theonion.com

How to Beat the Sharks at Work by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin