Dealing with Divas at work....Tell us your strategies.


So what are the strategies that you would recommend wit dealing with difficult co workers?
And if yo are in a producer or management position how do you deal with Divas?

I am looking forward to your tales and tips.
And please NO NAMES.


You mean like a narcissist?
If you can’t get them fired go work somewhere else.
Get away.


Dealing with toxic, two faces people, manipulators, etc etc is very very very hard. I can’t imagine sane person could deal with them, only if you are like them. It is impossible. I read countless of articles, advice, strategies, but honestly, in practice, is very hard.Only if you read their mind, and you will get advantage what to do, what to say, otherwise, just move on. These people are everywhere, somewhere they are too many of them, hoping from job to job just to avoid them, well what are the chances?

Don’t interact with humans, would be the best advice someone give me.


That’s terrible advice.


What kind of Diva are we talking about here Roberto? There’s different types. Some you can deal with and some you really can’t …


Many years ago at a job ( non cg related ), we had a … well lets just say a ‘feminine guy’ to cover all bases, who lived up to term ‘Diva’ - even by his / her own admission. I knew I was going to hate him within a minute of seeing ( and hearing ) him - and vice versa as it turned out. So I decided to keep well out of it’s way and just see out the contract. But his voice. It…it… travelled. I couldn’t escape his bitching and whining. I even took to purchasing noise cancelling headphones but not even Bose could tune this ‘thing’ out.

Now I will admit, at least once a day he would say something hilariously funny. He was as witty as hell and a complete savage when it come to put downs. Even the insults he aimed at me where funny as fuck. But for the rest of the time, he sucked the energy and will to live out of everyone ( except the women, they thought he was a God ). And his influence soon crept into my work space. He became un-ignorable.

One day it all blew up and we had major argument, it was pretty brutal. It brought out the worst of both of us and we were hauled to the office for a bollocking. I told the foreman that it’s either him or me - one of us had to go.

That night, the boss man called me to say that I was the one ‘to go’. The ‘diva’ was so good at his job, they could not afford to lose him during the contract they had. But they could afford to lose me. i either had to adapt or leave. But because of some of the language I had used when we were arguing, a few of the office girls felt I was ‘problematic’ and also put in a complaint. I should of listened to the old guys, the engineers, the real money earners. They told me to keep quiet, do your work, collect your money and go home every night. Desk people are not worth the drama.


Indeed tis sage advice boyo, that’s if the pay-rate is worthwhile keeping yer ass on site in the first place whilst taking into account an inevitable/unenviable?!..negative impact upon ones sanity putting up with day too day ‘office politics’ fur flying overhead :slight_smile:


I was thinking of a high drama employee. Think the opposite of a team player.


I’d rally the support of the manager/supervisor, explain how they are hindering production, and let them discuss it privately. If the problem continues and the manager/supervisor won’t address it further even after complaints from other people, then sadly that’s the best the situation will be unless you go to the next higher person to plead that your manager/supervisor isn’t being effective. Only do that if you’re willing to leave the job anyway though because of the situation.

If you are that person’s manager/supervisor and you recognize the problem, you need to try to explain to them why you need their cooperation. If they don’t seem concerned then remind them that your job is to ensure maximum teamwork is taking place and contrary to however important they may be, they CAN be replaced and maybe they need to be reminded of that fact. After several months, if they show no signs of improvement according to their peers, then it’s time to think about either reducing their role with the team so their negative influence can be minimized and/or hiring someone else to take on their role either partly or completely.

I’m sure a business case can be made about the amount of time spent managing the person’s issues and the time spent listening to the complaints of other employees. Worse yet, if other people leave because of that person, that quickly adds up to time/money lost.


IMO that’s actually really bad advice. By his own admission, grrinc didn’t get fired because he addressed the situation. He got fired because of HOW he addressed the situation. I can’t recall a time where I saw someone deliver the “It’s me or them” ultimatum, and NOT get fired. An employer will chose “them” 99.999% of the time in that situation. Plus, the “desk people” part of the original comment sets up an awkward “THOSE people aren’t worth our attention” kind of vibe that almost always indicates a very poorly managed work environment for all involved. There is a happy middle ground between not doing anything and just being miserable at work and completely blowing your stack to the point that you’re having a shouting match in the middle of the office.

[quote=]I was thinking of a high drama employee. Think the opposite of a team player.
I have found that most of the time, this behavior stems from an insecurity. You just need to figure out if A. the person is worth putting in the effort, and B. where the insecurity comes from. To give a personal example:

At one point in time I worked in the art department of a nuclear power company. Despite being engaged in a fairly hi-tech industry, the company had a very “1950’s” kind of attitude about it and the art department was looked at as a necessary evil. To give you an idea, at one point I had a meeting with an engineer about creating a logo for a new technology his group was working on. At the end of the meeting he actually said “So how do you guys get paid? I’m assuming I just buy you shirts with the logo or something?” I laughed thinking he was just making an awkward joke. To my horror, he was very serious. He was then equally horrified when I told him I get paid a regular salary. The general vibe was “Shut up and press the buttons art monkey”. So if there was ever a situation where we as a company were about to make a dumb mistake with something like the company website, or with external marketing etc, you had to pretty much light the room on fire to be acknowledged at all.

Fast forward a few years to a MUCH better job where I got pulled aside one day about a month in and asked if there was something wrong? I was totally dumbfounded because I loved the place. They wanted to know why I was being so aggressive and overly assertive in meetings. They explained how off-putting and unecesary it was. I was so used to not being heard that I didn’t even realize I was coming across like a total bully. Needless to say I changed my approach immediately once i realized what I was doing, but if they hadn’t said something, who knows how long I would have gone on being an over-bearing jerk? Sometimes people just need a little gentle coaching to realize they need to make a change.

For dealing with it in others, I look at it like this -
Every coworker has a professional side and a personal side. For %95 of people, I can relate to at least one of those sides. So maybe I wouldn’t pick someone as a friend, but I respect them as a professional, or maybe their work isn’t always top notch, but I like them as a person. Finding that common ground helps lay a good foundation. If you’re just a co-worker that’s often about as much as you can do. If you’re a leader of some type though, you can take this further. I always try to encourage an atmosphere of “play” where mistakes are encouraged and there’s only competition in as much as “hey, last project WE AS A TEAM did xyz, let’s beat that this time”. I make it a point to occasionally point out (in front of a group), when I’ve made a mistake and what I learned from it, and i expect my leads to do the same. If people see leadership making mistakes and learning from it, their insecurities often have less power over them. Encourage those people when they make positive steps and ignore them completely when they “Diva out”. This approach has actually helped me turn around two people who would otherwise have been labeled “divas”.And for the times where it didn’t outright eliminate the behavior, it at least went a long way towards showing that the Diva behavior has no place at work.


I generally agree with this but to be honest, I don’t think I’d ever venture back into that world again. For me, it is a one off. I thought this world only existed on TV shows to be honest - it was a quite jarring to see. For clarity, I am mostly a manual worker. I get involved in projects that require specialist pipe fitting and plumbing and I occasionally deal with an interior designer lady that I have gotten to know over the years. She invited me onto a bigger project that involved a luxury hotel refurbishment. I was supposed to bridge the sales / design team and the engineers and fitters. It was assumed that I would be able to handle the language, etiquette and politics of a sales / design team and then communicate to the engineers and fitters. But two worlds collided and I was bang in the middle, way out of my depth. Usually a flare up does resolve things and everyone has a laugh afterwards and buys each other a beer. But it all got a bit corporate and political.

On reflection, I wonder if my idea of a ‘diva’ would be different those who work in an office / desk environment. I think I am just used to straight talking people and piss taking / banter. Most issues are resolved over a flare up and a cup of tea. I think certain people gravitate to certain environment. I guess the world of manual labour does not attract those who value drama and attention seeking. I am keeping the hell away from now onwards.


I can totally identify with this feeling. I grew up paying for my cars and computers by working in construction jobs. So when I did something dumb, or just generally did a poor job of something, I was used to being told directly that I had done something dumb, or poorly. You do tend to have to dance around a bit to say the same thing in an office environment. IMO there’s a difference between being direct and being rude, and that difference isn’t always easily understood in the “white collar” world.


The people creating the problem just need a 1 on 1 sit down so they can save face. Usually no one intends to be a jerk, but they need to be told if they’re creating problems for others. If they can dial it back, great. If not, then they need an additional 1 on 1 with the threat of a possible change or consequence that’s appropriate. Maybe it’s a more personal issue that they need to see a counselor for and going forward, you will require proof they’re getting help such as a copy of a receipt for therapy sessions.

Firing someone should only ever be last resort. Every other possible solution should be explored first. It also can help to talk with the people complaining, and without revealing anything too personal, explain that you need their help in being understanding that the person is trying to change their ways.

Egos can actually be perfectly healthy if they expand across to everyone on the team. A team team that puts out their best work and thinks they’re the best is actually a very good thing - it’s synergy. A team that is fractured where some members think others are beneath them and it’s all about themselves, that’s when it’s bad.


Three steps here:

  1. Ignoring them or tolerating them
  2. Being confident
  3. Informing the manager

Fortunately, I haven’t encountered a diva at work.