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How to Deal with a Mean Colleague

By Amy Gallo

When a colleague is mean to you, it can be hard to know how to respond. Some people are tempted to let aggressive behavior slide in the hopes that the person will stop. Others find themselves fighting back. When you’re being treated poorly by a coworker, how can you change the dynamic? And if the behavior persists or worsens, how do you know when you’re dealing with a true bully?

What the experts say

“When it comes to bad behavior at work, there’s a broad spectrum,” with outright bullies on one end and people who are simply rude on the other, says Michele Woodward, an executive coach and host of HBR’s webinar “Bullies, Jerks, and Other Annoyances: Identify and Defuse the Difficult People at Work.” ...

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