How can I deal with the ‘brilliant jerk’ that’s ruining my team?

In her latest advice column for CR, Anna Higgs offers advice to a team member whose work life is being derailed by a rude and difficult colleague, and has a manager that doesn’t seem to care

Dear Anna,

I’m a staff member who works in a small team in a large creative company. Over the last year, it has become increasingly difficult to work with the lead creative, who has way too much sway in decisions being made that are beyond their remit. They are rude, confrontational, sneaky, and their behaviour is having a huge impact on how the team works together.

Our manager is non-confrontational, and afraid of upsetting this person as ‘the work is so good’, which only serves to feed the whole situation. It’s tricky, because taking it further and making it a matter for HR feels like a major escalation that our manager would not take kindly to. Other members of the team equally struggle with this person too, but feel they’re ‘untouchable’.

I’d prefer not to leave my job, as I enjoy it, but the thought of this person being there every day, and the fact that they’re not held accountable for their actions is a daily drain and is really sapping me of all my creative and professional strength!

Our manager suggests we ‘take it lightly’ and ‘shrug it off’. What would you suggest would be the best course of action?

Anon

DESIGNER

Worthing, West Sussex

INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER

Frome, Somerset

SENIOR DESIGNER

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire