How to Deal With Sabotaging Colleagues

Written by erin schreiner Google
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How to Deal With Sabotaging Colleagues
Some work relationships are not as cooperative as they should be. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

While ideally colleagues work collaboratively to help each other succeed, in some workplaces, this collaboration is simply absent. If the individuals with whom you work seem less prone to collaboration and more prone to sabotage, you may find your workplace a less than hospitable environment. Although there is no easy way to deal with this situation, handling it immediately --- instead of simply ignoring it --- is of paramount importance, as the problem will likely only continue and have a negative impact on your ability to serve as a productive member of your office team.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Identify the problem. To tackle the problem, you need to identify it specifically. Dedicate new energy to pay attention during your interactions with the suspected saboteur, jotting notes of things that she does that you equate to sabotage. After taking these notes, step back and review them to ensure that you are not blowing things out of proportion.

  2. 2

    Speak to your co-worker in a polite and nonconfrontational manner. Before escalating the situation, try to work it out with your co-worker. There is a possibility that she is not intentionally sabotaging you. If what you equate to sabotage is not intentional on her part, you can likely work through the issue. When approaching your co-worker, avoid using the word "sabotage" because it sounds highly accusatory, but instead ask her to speak to you about how you can improve your working relationship and become better teammates.

  3. 3

    Try to partner with your colleague. If you are working in tandem with this colleague with whom you have previously had trouble, sabotage will be more difficult. If you pair up with your co-worker in your next cooperative endeavour, you may also have the opportunity to strengthen your relationship as co-workers.

  4. 4

    Steer clear of the colleague, if these efforts prove ineffective. There will always be some people with whom you just do not mix. If this co-worker proves to be one of these people, avoid her. Be cordial when you see her in the hallways or at meetings, but do not depend on her --- as you would your other colleagues --- or try to force a relationship where one simply will not develop.

  5. 5

    Report the colleague if her behaviour violates company policy. Although reporting your colleague may seem akin to tattletaling, if what she is doing is a direct violation of company policies and rules, reporting the issue is a requisite. There is only so much you can do without the help of management; so, reporting this problem is sometimes a necessity.

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