The Dog Whisperer Way of Dealing with Problem Co-Workers

Last Updated Nov 12, 2009 9:31 AM EST

Deal with problem colleagues the Cesar Milan wayProblem co-workers, everyone's got 'em. Whether they're too chatty, too moody or too interested in your personal life, one of the biggest shocks new entrants to office life experience and struggle with is how to manage the great, strange, annoying diversity of humanity you encounter at work. One such baffled cubicle warrior writes in to outspoken HR expert and blogger Laurie Ruettimann at her site Punk Rock HR and asks for some guidance on what to do about a problem colleague:
This person I work with has no friends, has a weird view of the world, is constantly talking about topics as if he's the authority on everything, is constantly wanting to talk to me about personal things that are happening to me, goes on and on about his kids and financial problems, wants to hang out with me -- and has started to touch me -- like hands on shoulders, etc. like he's my buddy or something. I see this person -- I cringe.... From an HR perspective, what's a good way of dealing with this sort of person in the workplace?
Does Laurie suggest a visit to HR? A chat with the supervisor? A regular routine of deep breathing and yoga? No, she has a different model for how to handle a cringe-worthy colleague: TV's dog whisperer Cesar Milan. She advises her correspondent to be assertive and "clear and direct with your coworker. Look at his behavior, determine what's inappropriate, and tell him to stop. No discussion. No negotiation. Be kind, be clear, and be timely."

Sounds simple and sensible -- do you think it would work?

(Dog image by rgourley, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.