Everyone feels insecure sometimes. If someone is chronically insecure, though, it can be difficult to work with them. Someone who puts others down to feel better or struggles to complete tasks due to their low self-esteem may be tough to work alongside, but there are many ways you can approach the issue. Here are some tips on how to work with an insecure person in a respectful, compassionate way while keeping your own boundaries in mind.
They may be insecure because they’re shy or new to the team. If you have time, take a few minutes out of your day to ask this coworker how they’re doing. Take an interest in their hobbies outside of work, what is currently going on in their life, and what they enjoy about the job. If they see you as an ally, it may help diffuse their insecurity.
This can really help boost their self-esteem.
Make your compliments genuine and specific to this coworker’s talents. If this person puts themselves down and you disagree with their criticism, encourage them to see their own skills. If you’re a supervisor, make sure you give positive feedback to this employee whenever you can to up their confidence and help them continue to improve
Offer to help your coworker if they’re struggling
Do so in a respectful, casual way so that they don’t feel like you’re being condescending or pointing out their flaws. Conversely, boost their faith in their own talents by asking for their help with something.
They may be unsure of how to complete certain tasks. If you are a manager, give detailed and specific instructions on what is expected of them. Offer to answer any of their questions, and be willing to put in some extra time explaining things to them. If you’re a colleague and working on a project together, be open to answering any questions they may have and delegate tasks among the two of you so that both of you know exactly what you need to accomplish.