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4 tips to handle a colleague that’s as reliable as Loki

Varsha Roysam
22nd Nov 2016
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We all tread carefully when it comes to trusting people, especially at work. Most times, we can never be sure whom to trust. But there are times when a colleague’s true colours are unmistakable – very much like Loki, Thor’s untrustworthy brother. It’s very difficult and stressful to work with someone we can’t trust, someone who’s willing to step over us for their own personal gains. Here’s what you can do in such situations.

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(Note: I personally love Loki but for the sake of aptness, we will hereafter refer to our untrustworthy colleague as Loki)

Make your roles and goals public

This is the first and the most important thing to do. You know how your chances of getting mugged in broad daylight are low? Similarly, when you make your work public you give Loki lesser chances of sabotaging your work, or claiming it as his. Discuss your work in groups as they are your key witnesses. It’s important to have at least one person who’s aware of the work you’re contributing so as to discourage Loki from sabotaging it. This way, you’ll be giving him a chance at exercising better work ethics while still placing a safety net for yourself (something our mighty Thor never learnt to do).

Don’t let Loki get to you

The only way you’ll be able to handle this situation tactfully is by staying calm and clear headed. It is when you lose your cool that you give Loki control over the situation. Don’t get too anxious when you’re forced to delegate to or share work with him. Know that you can’t control everything which makes anxiousness a waste of your energy. Calmly gauge the situation, be attentive, and follow it. Try not to involve yourself in a heated drama or worse, create a fight. When you do feel yourself being pulled into a temper, remind yourself that it won’t solve anything. Keep calm and work smart.

Seek help from someone you trust

If Loki does succeed in getting on your nerves, confide in another colleague, but only someone you completely trust. Let them know of your sticky situation. Their inputs and advice may or may not help, but you will have at least eased your mind. Moreover, it always helps to have someone on your side when Loki’s wreaking havoc on your work life – someone to back you up and vouch for all your hard work.

Let Loki know that you mean business

If Loki’s just not backing off, it’s time to confront him. But confronting someone is always a tricky business as they can get offended and the situation can easily get awkward and out of hand. Maintain a polite and calm exterior and be clear and firm in what you say. There’s a very good chance that Loki will completely deny everything. This is when you take the matter to a higher authority as it’s your last resort. When you do, don’t complain, but speak your mind confidently.

With dicey situations like this, it’s always best to work smart. Loki, too, is smart. So once you establish the fact that you can’t be messed with, he will (hopefully) stay out of your business.

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