Four Tactics to Work With a Lazy Colleague

Lazy. Passive. Unresponsive. Whatever adjective you use to describe your lackluster co-worker, chances are it boils down to laziness.

According to a post on Forbes, there are several ways to deal with your nonchalant colleague.

1. Stay focused. For starters, they may try to distract you. Instead of focusing on your colleague slacking off, tune into your work instead. Executive and personal coach Stever Robbins tells the site, “Human beings are funny that way. We will spend more time focusing on the fact that our colleague isn’t doing their work than it would take to just do it ourselves.”

2. Decide who you want to be. Again, don’t focus on their lackluster performance. What you should focus on? Your ability to shine.  “Think of the people you deeply admire, and what personal qualities make them admirable? Regardless of the practical implications of your actions, ask yourself how the ‘Ideal You’ would deal with the situation. You’ll behave very differently with Chuck Norris as your role model then with Ghandi as your role model.”

3. Keep your positive attitude intact. If you normally see the glass as half full rather than empty, good! Let’s keep it that way. Getting annoyed and angry about your co-worker will only tarnish your sunny outlook. Plus, your work performance may slide and you may start snapping at people.

4. Don’t tattle. Sure, it may be tempting to squeal on your colleague but Robbins recommends refraining since it could go either way. Some bosses may want to investigate further and others may tell you to mind your own business and just focus on your own performance.

If you want to approach your supervisor, you can do it in a team-oriented way. He suggests saying, “I’m at a point where I can’t go any further with this project because I’m waiting for Bill to finish his part. What can we do about this?” This will drive home the point without looking like you’re tattling.