How to Know a Trouble Maker at Work

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Some of your co-workers are real trouble makers. Keep your reputation and nose clean by spotting them and avoiding them.

Know-it-All ~ When a new employee is hired and they think they know how to run the business, this is a sign of trouble. In general, the more people talk, the less they do. Know-it-alls think they are smarter than everyone, even the boss. They fail to follow through on big promises. They have a bad habit of stepping on the boss's toes. Avoid associating with know-it-alls on the job.

Schemer ~ Some people just can't get through a lunch break without trying to set up a sneaky deal. When someone tries to include you in their corrupt or suspect behavior, avoid them at all costs. Looking for accomplices is common for schemers. They need people to help conceal their lies. They also don't want to be the only one in trouble when they get caught.

Gossips ~ They may be an excellent worker, but gossipers can cause trouble for everyone. When a gossip tries to give you information, you can listen, but don't contribute an opinion. Never give a gossip personal information about yourself. If they'll gossip about someone else to you, they'll gossip about you to someone else.

Flirts ~ You can tell the difference between someone flirting and a professional flirt. A "flirt" flirts with anyone whose favor they might find beneficial. You don't need to avoid a flirt. Just remember, when they are flirting with you, they probably have an agenda.

Tattlers ~ Tattlers can be quiet, even charming. They are often very friendly. They gather information quietly and wait. When they feel the time is right, or if they are just angry, they will tell supervisors about bad behavior they have observed. Tattlers are usually very opinionated about people and behaviors that don't have a direct impact on their lives. The best way to deal with a tattler is to give them nothing to tattle about.

Blamer ~ It doesn't take long to spot a blamer. When things go wrong, they usually have a good excuse about someone else's failings. The problem with blamers is that they use scape-goats when no one is around to defend against accusations. The best way to protect yourself against a blamer is to document your work and your efforts in team work. Try to have physical evidence, like documents, to back up your work.


Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut until you have figured out if a coworker is a trouble maker. Always keep records and documents of your work. Keep work work and friends friends. Don't make a close personal friend at work until you know for sure they aren't a trouble maker.


NEVER confront a trouble maker. Avoid initiating a conversation about a trouble maker with your boss. This will make you look like the problem.