Headstrong Colleague

Dear Jean,

I work in a structured environment, and there are four of us at the same level.  Of course, there is a boss above as well.  We have one individual who is headstrong and who wants to be the guy in charge.  He wants to make the decisions, much to the irritation of the boss.  When the boss isn’t there, it’s even worse.

It makes all of us uncomfortable there and even gets to the point that we have little face-offs.  The boss had to talk to him a couple of times.  This has been going on for about a year now.  Do you have any suggestions?

Reply:

There will always be a headstrong person in your work environment.  And you will always be “having to cope.”

It is important for you to separate your issues from your co-workers’ issues in this challenge.  Ganging up on this guy will make him even more defensive and bullheaded.  If you have an issue with him, take him aside and tell him.  Stay calm and pleasant.  The conversation you have with him will not make him change, but it will make him more aware of how he is perceived, and you will gain valuable experience that you can use again and again.

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