I was a guest on the KING5 New Day Northwest program on the topic of how to deal with difficult co-workers.
My 5 tips:
1) Consider first that you also might be perceived as “difficult”.
2) Don’t avoid the problem, deal with it (before running to the boss or HR to “solve the problem”). Avoiding it leads to mounting frustration and resentment. And going to the boss before trying to resolve it yourself makes you look bad. Take the initiative to address the issue with your co-worker.
3) Identify what kind of relationship you want with your co-worker. Identify your intention for the relationship and communicate this to the co-worker.
4) Identify and relay what your part is in the conflict. “This is how I see I have contributed to our challenge…”
5) Identify and offer feedback to the co-worker about what behavior you have been experiencing from them that you deem is problematic. De personalize it by describing their “behavior” not just saying they are “being rude” or “aren’t being a team player”. Ask for what you want/need to make work life better.