Being in the same team with a Mr. Know-it-all can be quite a frustrating experience. Generally, they have this sense of entitlement which often stems from their ego that when coupled with a healthy volume of choleric temperament, what you have is a Mr. Know-it-all. He usually comes with his own idea and belief of how he thinks everything must be done in order to get the right results. It almost doesn’t matter how much you try to make him see reasons with you. Unfortunately, arguing with a Mr. Know-it-all at work is like trying to outswim a dolphin, your effort would be mediocrity at best.
I have explained below a few tips that can be employed in handling Mr. know it all.
1. Under no circumstance should you ever bother arguing. Mr. Know-it-all is a skilled pocket lawyer and would hardly shift ground under any circumstance. Being that providence has brought him your way and he is not going away anytime soon, it will be to your interest not to always pick quarrels or argument with this guy. You can’t get any far with it. So talk to him gently, try a little gentle coercion via humor but for argument, it’s no no, well except of course you are the boss.
2. Try being a friend. The hardest of people including the most hardened of criminals tend to soften up when they perceive that you truly are a friend. When talking to Mr. Know-it-all, approach him as a friend, show him some appreciation, acknowledge his opinion then gently slide in yours as candid suggestions that appeal to commonsense; chances are that he’ll see reasons with you.
3. Talk to him about their behavior. When you have the chance of talking to him in a place and time that feels right, feel free to gently open up to them about their behavior and how it affect productivity. Be really gentle here. If he revolts, make sure you never revisit this conversation.
4. Know when to fight and when not to. A man wiser than me once submitted that it is not everything you see that you get concerned about. Wisdom is needed in dealing with this guy: you must know when to let go and when to confront him. If you keep picking on him each and every time your paths cross, he’ll likely begin to perceive you as an enemy and begin looking for ways to make things that would have otherwise been easier for you worse, especially when you both work in the same team, on the same projects thereby making a role to play in your success. So know when to let go and when to engage battle.
5. Get your facts handy ahead of any confrontation. Many times, the first two tips fail. When it becomes imperative that you’ll have to confront Mr. Know-it-all, don’t do that without being ready. Many times, other coworkers may not really know what is going on, never engage battle without being ready. Normally, he wouldn’t give you the luxury of thinking on your feet, his persona can often be intimidating and his voice strong; he can give you 100 reasons why he did this that way or that without breathing in-between or letting you speak.
6. Ask him strategic questions. Don’t go about exchanging words in argument without strategy. While working really hard to make his see reason with you, you must try to keep your voice calm. Ask him questions like, ”if the strategy you employed in project XYZ is the best for it as you said, why did the client come back with complains? And you still want to tow the same path in this new project’’ Be specific and downright logical.5 Tips for Handling a Know-It-All Co-Worker by ngcareers