Frictionless Friday: How to Stay CALM When Dealing With Jerks at Work

We all have to work with jerks at some point. Sometimes, they come in the form of that dreaded boss, other times the jerk is your annoying teammate or a client you can't wait to get rid of. We've all been there, and we haven't all dealt with the jerks in the best way. 

Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, has come up with an easy way to stay calm. It's an acronym that reminds you of the steps to take when dealing with the jerk at hand. 

Communicate: Do so honestly and regularly.

Anticipate: Prepare for the worst case scenarios before they arise and have solutions ready. 

Levity: Use a bit of humour to lessen tension and help your boss/coworker/client understand that you're in this together. Use this with discretion and don't overdo it. 

Manage Up: Be a role model for the behaviour you want to see. Use positive and negative reinforcement, and learn how to set boundaries. 

"Your first line of response is to intervene early, and diffuse, mirror, inquire, and resolve," Taylor told Fast Company of dealing with jerky clients "Rather than say, ‘Your attitude is appalling,’ which will only fuel the flame, take the high road, steer clear of emotion, and stick to the facts." 

She adds that face-to-face meetings are the best way to communicate when relationships are going sour.