Customer Service

How do you Deal with Competitive Coworkers?

Readers give advice to an unfortunately common issue between coworkers. 

The only way to deal with a competitive co-worker is to ignore her and not let the situation bother you. Hopefully, if you ignore the situation, your co-worker will get the message and stop. If she doesn’t, then you should have a talk with her. If you don’t talk to her about it, it will make your job miserable.--Kerry Marmanidis, NailTique, Norwood, Mass.

My approach is to find a common ground, for example, children, a hobby, etc., and bond that way. Then you can work on the problem. Find something positive in the person and relate to it.--Springs Romano, Express Nail, Kailua, Hawaii

I had stepped out to get a soda because my client didn’t show up for her appointment. When I returned, the client was sitting at the other technician’s table. I went over to get her, thinking the tech was preparing her nails for me. The technician became insulted and caused a scene, so I just stepped aside and let her work on the client. The poor client must have felt so awkward. Afterwards, I went to the salon manager and told her how unprofessionally the tech had handled the situation.--Cecilia Pilate, Natural Nails/Sundays, Washington, D.C.

At the previous salon I worked at, I confronted the technician one-on-one and asked her if she realized what she was doing. You need to deal with the situation right away and get it out in the open. --Michelle Orton, At Your Fingertips, Phoenix, Az.

I would speak to the person directly, behind closed doors, and ask her what the problem is. To prevent the situation from happening in the first place, I strongly recommend weekly meeting so that staff members can be open and honest and express any complaints or concerns. --Tracy Presba, Nails by Tracy, Seattle, Wash.

One of the reasons I opened up my own salon and work alone is because I don’t like to play those “competitive” games. If there was a problem with another technician, I’d bring it up with her. And if that didn’t take care of it, I would speak with the manager. I think it really depends on the situation. Sometimes you can cause more grief by addressing a problem if it’s a petty one.--Liz Morris, Liz’s Nails Inc., Silverdale, Wash.

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