Books About Dealing with Difficult Coworkers

by / ⠀Career Advice / May 31, 2022
Have a toxic coworker making things worse? These five books about dealing with difficult coworkers can help you improve your work life.

It can be challenging to deal with toxic coworkers, and sometimes the stress of the situation can become unbearable. However, no matter how difficult the situation, there are usually ways to get through it. Nowadays, books about dealing with difficult coworkers are flooding the market, but which ones are worth the investment of your time and money?

Remember, not doing anything about toxic coworkers can have severe effects on your career and mental health.

In this article, we’ve compiled five book recommendations about dealing with difficult coworkers in a healthy way. From tips on dealing with anger and frustration to strategies for communicating better, these books will have you moving forward in your challenging work environment.

5 Book to Help You Deal with Difficult Coworkers

1. The Promise of a Pencil

  • Tagline: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change
  • Author: Adam Braun

Anyone who has ever had difficult dealings with coworkers or just wants to get ahead in their career should read The Promise of a Pencil. This easy-to-read book has the inspiring and motivating story of Adam Braun that will help you take control of your career journey.

Braun takes an in-depth look at his journey to found the charitable organization Pencil of Promise. Similarly, he discusses how he had to find the courage to navigate through the corporate world and absurd policies to pursue philanthropy. Today, his organization has built over 300 schools for underprivileged children around the globe.

Who’s likely to benefit from this book?

Braun talks about how you can turn any challenging situation in your favor. Therefore, if you’re looking for a book that will help you improve your work-life balance and reach your goals, then The Promise of a Pencil is the perfect read for you.

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2. Am I the Only Sane One Working Here?

  • Tagline: 101 Solutions for Surviving Office Insanity
  • Author: Albert J. Bernstein, PhD

If you’ve ever had a difficult coworker or just been dealing with office insanity on a day-to-day basis, then you need to read this one. This book offers solutions to common problems faced in the workplace and is packed full of advice and insights from Bernstein’s experience as a workplace consultant.

Not only is this book offers helpful, practical advice, but it is also enjoyable to read. Likewise, it includes practical strategies to change things between you and those toxic employees, such as the following.

  • Coworker doesn’t like you? Feed them!
  • Someone has hidden agendas? Leverage the power of ”cc:” mail!
  • Coworker is gossiping? Use positive gossip to counter it!

And so on.

Who’s likely to benefit from this book?

If you need a book that can help you deal with the daily stresses of work caused by toxic coworkers, then this is the one for you.

3. Beating the Workplace Bully

  • Tagline: A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge
  • Author: Lynne Curry

There are times when we all have to work co-operatively with people who can be difficult to deal with, especially if they’re targeting you on purpose. It’s not easy dealing with bullies, whether in school or office, day in and day out. This is where “Beating The Workplace Bully” comes in handy.

The book offers advice on how to deal with toxic coworkers. Topics covered include assertiveness, communication, and setting boundaries. It helps readers understand how to:

  • remain aware of office gossip;
  • avoid the common traps of bullies;
  • staying calm when being confronted;
  • developing confidence;
  • combatting cyberbullying;
  • and a lot more.
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A must-read for those who’ve ever had a difficult relationship at work.

Who’s likely to benefit from this book?

If you’re tired of putting up with office bullies and want to take a stand without being unprofessional or violent, read this one.

4. Coping with Toxic Managers, Subordinates…and Other Difficult People

  • Tag Line: Using Emotional Intelligence to Survive and Prosper
  • Author: Roy Lubit

It can be tough dealing with difficult people in your life, but you can make it through with the right emotional intelligence. Sometimes the best way to deal with such people is to leave them alone — or at least that’s what some studies show. However, since that’s not an option due to having the same workplace, this book can help.

Lubit focuses on the emotional intelligence skills you need to deal with difficult people. Moreover, he explains how emotions can be used as tools for personal and professional success. He breaks down each skill into small parts. This helps you better understand how to deal with difficult people.

Who’s likely to benefit from this book?

This book is a must-read for anyone who has ever had to deal with a difficult person. Whether you’re dealing with a toxic manager, an angry coworker, or a difficult subordinate, this book will help. It will teach you the practical life skills you need to navigate your way through these challenging individuals by using emotional intelligence.

5. Crucial Conversations

  • Tag Line: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior
  • Authors: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
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Do you find yourself struggling to resolve conflicts and build trust with your coworkers? If so, then you need to read Crucial Conversations. This book covers topics such as establishing trust, resolving disagreements, and handling difficult conversations in an easy-to-understand way.

Crucial Conversations was written to help people improve their communication skills. Therefore, the book talks about the different types of conversations that happen in a work environment and how to navigate them productively. For instance, if an employee talks to a manager in an insulting tone, how should the manager talk to the employee? Likewise, if you are unable to meet the deadline set by your boss, how to talk to him or her the right way.

Who’s likely to benefit from this book?

It is perfect for professionals of all levels — from managers to employees. Most importantly, it is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills, especially in unpleasant situations.

Conquer your workplace one toxic coworker at a time.

Toxic workplaces, especially with gossip, bullies, and harassers are 10 times more likely to contribute to employees quitting. Therefore, if you’re also going through the same issues, you’re not alone.

The best part is, that there are ways to win over difficult people in the workplace. These incredibly helpful books to help you deal with difficult coworkers in a constructive way.

From handling people with difficult personalities to coping with toxic work environments, these books have everything you need to get through the day.

About The Author

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Taha Khan is a professional content writer by trade. He is a business administration graduate with a focus and interest in marketing and entrepreneurship. Khan has been working as a content writer for several years and has collaborated with 100+ businesses on their content marketing projects. When not writing, he is probably reading – mostly going through psychology and philosophy books. And when Khan is not reading, he is gaming on his PC – another hobby mostly associated with introverts.

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