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Tips For Dealing With A Know-It-All Coworker

Do you have a coworker that thinks they know everything? As Certified Nursing Assistants working in the medical field most of us have encounter a know-it-all in our place of employment. Whether it be our fellow CNAs or the Nurses on our shift.  These types of co workers, unfortunately isn’t always the easiest people to work with. 

A know-it-all  will often insist that they are the only go-to person, or the chosen with unique connections and influence.  They sometimes portray that they have been everywhere and have experienced everything.   A know-it-all attitude among healthcare workers almost immediately sabotages trust, mutual respect and the willingness to effectively communicate. This not only harms professional relationships, it can also create unsafe situations for patients.

There are several changes can come about on any day in the life of a Certified Nursing Assistant. Being the quick-witted types of people that CNAs usually are often leads to finding alternative ways of providing care.  As professional caregivers we learn from each of our patients, we learn from each other.

Tips when you encounter a know-it-all at work?

Be kindhearted
Although these types of coworkers can strike a nerve with you, chances are that the know-it-all attitude is stemming from a self-confidence issue.

Those who deal with a know-it-all know how exhausting it can be.  They tend to dominate conversations, dismiss any input from others and make decisions without first considering all the facts. The care and the wellbeing of the patients/residents come first no matter what.  You may want to pick your battles by deflecting their demands with a simple, Thanks for that suggestion.

Know the Facts
Be able to verify your information.   The more armed you are with knowledge with the situation, the less of a chance the know-it-all has to interject.  Never do anything that is out of your scope of practice.  Asking specific questions on details can teach a know-it-all over time that they need to have their facts in order before speaking out.

Offer constructive feedback on their behavior
Know-it-all can be completely clueless about the impact of their behavior on others. They may not realize that they tend to speak more than they listen. Consider gently pointing this out during a private discussion.  You need to speak out immediately if you feel that they are putting a resident/patient in harms way.

Having this type of know-it-all attitude can be intimidating to all members of the healthcare unit. No one coworker can possibly know everything about everything. Although it can be enticing to use sarcasm with a know-it-all, this will without doubt backfire. Instead, laugh it off and remind yourself that often their behavior is harmless and they usually don’t in actuality mean anything by it.