In a work-related conversation where we discuss our previous job experience, there is always a dilemma when discussing the people we had worked with before. We want to talk about how much fun we had working together, but we don’t want to come across as being too informal. On the flip side, we do not want to sound like we’re trying to impress someone else. So what exactly is the best way to describe the people we used to work with?
While the phrases ‘former coworker’ and ‘ex-coworker’ both are correct to use, professionally, ‘former coworker’ is preferred over ‘ex-coworkers’, which sounds more casual than ‘former coworker’. This is because ‘former coworker’ sounds more professional and less personal.
How do you know which phrase is correct: Former Coworker or Ex-Coworker?
There are many ways to refer to someone who left your office. You could say “former colleague,” “ex-colleague,” “former co-worker,” “ex-co-worker,” “former employee,” “ex-employee,” “former associate,” “ex-associate,” “former partner,” “ex-partner,” “former boss,” “ex-boss,” “former manager,” “ex-manager,” “former supervisor,” “ex-supervisor,” “former subordinate,” “ex-subordinate,” “former intern,” “ex-intern,” “former student,” “ex-student,” “former client,” “ex-client,” “former patient,” “ex-patient,” “former customer,” “ex-customer,” “former tenant,” “ex-tenant,” “former board member,” “ex-board member,” “former director,” “ex-director,” “former officer,” “ex-officer,” “former employee,” or “ex-employee.”
The problem is that some phrases seem to imply a closer connection than others. For example, it seems odd to call someone “an ex-colleague” when he or she was never actually your colleague. On the other hand, calling someone “a former employee” implies that you worked together at one time, even though you might now work in different departments.
You can use whichever term sounds best to you, but make sure you understand what each word really means. If you’re unsure about how to describe someone who used to work for you, ask yourself whether there was ever a close working relationship between you and him or her. If yes, use “former coworker”; if no, use “ex-coworker.”
What Is the Difference between Former And Ex?.
Former and ex are both used to describe something that no longer exists. However, there are subtle differences between the words. For example, you could say “The former president of the United States,” but it wouldn’t make sense to say “The ex-president of the United States.” You’d probably just say “President Trump.”
When to use Former?
Former vs. Ex- – What’s the Difference?
By this logic, a former colleague is more positive or formal than an ex-colleague.
However, we often hear ex- used informally, especially in the United States. For example, a person might refer to his/her ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. In contrast, the word former implies a break up or separation.
So, what’s the difference between former and ex-? Let us take a look at the differences between the two words.
1. When to Use Each Word
Let’s start with former. This word is usually used when referring to a person who is no longer employed by the same organization. For example, you could say, “My former boss.” Or, “I had a former friend who moved away.”
On the other hand, ex- is typically used when a person is no longer associated with a particular group or organization. For example, “My ex-boss,” or “My ex-girlfriend.”
Breaking it Further Down
The next Question is, does the person mention the fact that he/she no longer works with you?
This question is important because it gives us insight into what kind of relationship you had with him/her. For instance, if you were friends with the person, it might be better to use the word friend rather than colleague. This way, you don’t come across as too aggressive.
If you were colleagues, and the person mentioned that he/she no longers works with you, you can simply say, “My former co-worker.”
However, if you were just acquaintances, you can say, “I used to work with her,” or “She used to work with me.”
You can also add something like, “We didn’t see eye to eye,” or “We disagreed on some things.”
In addition, you can talk about his/her personality traits, such as, “He was very friendly, outgoing, and easygoing.”
Finally, you can talk about the person’s professional achievements, such as, “She was one of our best salespeople.”
Take Away From This Post
When I worked in marketing, we had a lot of conversations about how people use social media. We talked about what type of posts work best, and why some don’t. One thing we never discussed was whether or not people like being called ex-colleagues or ex-friends. But according to a recent study, it seems like most people do. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 73% of respondents preferred to be referred to as ex-coworker rather than current colleague. And while there might be some exceptions, it appears that people tend to prefer to be called ex-coworkers over ex-friends.
The study also revealed that people who are looking for new jobs want to be referred to as former colleagues. So if you’re trying to land a new gig, make sure to call yourself ex-coworker instead of current colleague.
4 Ways to Deal With a Toxic Coworker
Toxic coworkers aren’t just a nuisance. They’re a threat to productivity and morale.
The problem is, toxic people don’t always know how to behave themselves.
They often come off like jerks, but they’re actually suffering from something much worse: toxic personality disorders.
And while you might think that you’ve seen every type of coworker under the sun, chances are, you haven’t.
In fact, some types of toxic personalities are becoming increasingly common.
So what do you do when you find yourself dealing with one?
Here are four ways to deal with a toxic coworker.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to let someone walk all over you.
It doesn’t matter if your coworker is a jerk or a bully. If you allow them to treat you this way, you’ll end up feeling resentful and angry.
But if you stand up for yourself, you’ll feel empowered and strong. You’ll also have more control over your own life.
2. Give Them The Benefit Of Doubt
Sometimes, even though you know that a coworker isn’t treating you right, you still give them the benefit of doubt.
This is especially true if you’re afraid of losing their friendship.
But here’s the truth: If you’re going to keep working together, you need to stop giving them the benefit of doubt and start holding them accountable.
3. Talk About It
If you notice that a coworker is acting inappropriately, you should bring it up.
Don’t wait until the situation gets out of hand.
Instead, try talking about it before it becomes an issue.
For example, you could say, “Hey, I noticed that you seem really stressed lately. Is everything okay?”
Or, “I’m worried that you’re having trouble at home. Do you want me to ask around to see if anyone knows anything?”
4. Ask For Help
Finally, if you’re dealing with a toxic coworker, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help.
You don’t have to go through this alone.
You and Your Team Series
How to Deal With Toxic People – Part 2
The conflict resolution model I use with my clients is based on the premise that we don’t want to avoid conflict; we want to control it. We want to make sure we’re doing our best work while still being able to enjoy life. We want to know that we’ve done everything possible to resolve conflicts peacefully and effectively.
We all want to live in peace and harmony. And we all want to work together successfully. So why is it that there are people who seem to thrive on creating conflict? Why does one person become angry and another person gets upset? What causes someone to lash out? Why do some people seem to bring others down?
In this article, I’ll show you how to handle conflict with grace and dignity. You’ll learn how to manage difficult conversations without losing your cool. You’ll discover how to help your peers understand your perspective and find common ground.
And you’ll see how self-managed teams can resolve conflict.