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How to Manage Difficult Coworkers

How to Manage Difficult Coworkers

By Joelle Shusterman , Sep 29th 2022

 Introducing five books to improve your relationships 

 Nancy won’t stop gossiping about your coworkers. Bob is a micromanaging boss who won’t give you any peace. Sally has eaten your lunch 3 times this month. And Jeff smells weird. How do you cope with all these people at work that are just plain impossible to deal with?

Take back your life at work and stop giving toxic people your head-space! Get unstuck with these books on how to turn bad situations into manageable experiences.

The Book of Boundaries

1. The Book of Boundaries by Melissa Urban

Setting boundaries at work is crucial when dealing with difficult people. In fact, boundaries are the key to better mental health, increased energy, improved productivity, and more fulfilling relationships. In The Book of Boundaries, Melissa Urban gives you user-friendly tools to set boundaries so you can become your best self and not be interrupted by everyone else’s needs instead of your own. Releasing in October, preorder today!

In this book, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Stand up for yourself by saying no, nicely 
  • Build healthy relationships with the people around you 
  • Feel confident and empowered by reclaiming your time, energy, and health 


Surrounded by Idiots

2.  Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson

Another helpful strategy to deal with difficult people at work is to better understand different personality types. Thomas Erikson breaks personality types down into 4 categories: Reds are ambitious, boisterous, and commanding; Blues are quiet, analytical, and precise; Yellows are social, creative, and optimistic; and Greens are calm, reliable, and considerate. Once you understand the basic underlying traits of a person’s behavior you can become a more effective communicator in any situation.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Improve your relationships by recognizing the four personality types
  • Define the people who perplex you the most
  • Mitigate bad situations by communicating effectively with your boss and colleagues

Crucial Conversations

3.  Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny

Communication is a major contributor to conflict in the workplace so we’re recommending this book for anyone who needs to have those difficult conversations. Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny teaches readers how to be persuasive rather than abrasive, how to get back to productive dialogue when others blow up or clam up, and it offers powerful skills for mastering high-stakes conversations. Read this book to gain the skill of remaining calm and extinguishing other people’s blow-ups.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Master the six-minute technique for high-impact situations
  • Be patient when others clam up or when difficult people blow up in a bad situation
  • Discover how to communicate best when it matters most 

Getting Along

4. Getting Along by Amy Gallo

Getting Along by Amy Gallo provides funny and cringe-worthy examples of difficult people in bad situations to give you the practical advice you need to solve any problem at work. Her method of dealing with difficult people is to always take the high road. When doing so, you won’t look back and regret any conversation and can reason with a fresh mind knowing you’ve done what you can.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate complicated workplace dynamics and turn your work relationships around
  • Identify eight different types of workers, their habits, and how to deal with them
  • Save your own sanity by not regretting workplace conversations


Jerks at Work

5.  Jerks at Work by Tessa West

Have you ever had to deal with someone who is being a jerk at your job for the sake of completing a project? Jerks at work by Tessa West provides clever strategies on how to deal with even the most difficult of people in the workplace. Stop a bulldozer who is the first to speak up in every meeting, report a kiss-up without looking like the bad guy, use gaslighters tactics to win their own game, and protect your team from free-riders. Apply these clever strategies and feel relieved by how situations turn in your favor.

In this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Break free from overbearing bosses, irritating coworkers, and all-around difficult people
  • Not pull your hair out over an irritating colleague who is technically not breaking rules
  • Use clever strategies to stop difficult people from taking over your life

Purchase any of these titles and more for your company at BookPal, your go-to source for bulk book orders of 25 copies minimum. Get up to 55% savings with our wholesale pricing and free shipping on orders over $100. Connect with us for a custom quote and get the books you need for your next company meeting, outreach event, or training session!


This post was written by Joelle Shusterman, the Marketing Intern aBookPal. She is currently reading Work-From-Home Hacks by Aja Frost 

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