Dealing with a know it all can be frustrating at the best of times, let alone having to come in contact with them constantly at work when you can't necessarily call time out and get away from them. In the workplace you have to learn how to cope with many different personality types, and the know it all is just one of them. Dealing with a co-worker who acts as if they always know far more than you, takes patience, understanding and above all, tolerance.
The average know it all is a person who, underneath a hard exterior, is afraid of not being good enough. They bolster their own ego by bamboozling others into having to hear them spout impressive facts, details and information as if they are the only one in the world who has such comprehensive knowledge.
A know it at work may well encroach on your time which can be annoying if you are working towards a deadline. They may insist upon telling you things you all ready know over and over again and treat you as-though you are inferior to them. This is how they get their emotional strokes. A know it all feels better when they heighten their skills and abilities above others.
Most know it alls want to be seen as being super intelligent and certainly don't wish to be thought of by other employees or their boss as being anything other than special. Therefore it would come as a shock to them to discover that others experience them as being annoying and frustrating to be around.
It would be unkind to spell this out to a know it all, especially as they have a fragile ego and may be behaving as they do because they really feel inferior anyway. However you can use this insight to your advantage at work. If a know it all won't leave you alone to get on with your work simply tell them that to achieve optimum performance you need to be left to work by yourself without interference. Thank them for trying to help but insist that this is just how you personally like to work.
It sounds simple doesn't it? Well it is! The main difficulty people have with communicating effectively with a know it all is in developing a conversation as a two way street, as know it alls tend to hold court during interaction. By taking the reigns a little more and speaking up in an intelligent fashion you can easily put a know it all off from bothering you.
Unlike people who are well balanced and secure a know it all with feel threatened by another person who could be as intelligent, or even more inteligent than them. They may like to be seen interacting with them a small amount, just for the sake of appearance, but they won't want to spend too much time with them for fear of being exposed as being less bright than they tell everyone they are.
A know it all will stick to bothering people who don't speak up much. They like an easy audience who will marvel at what they have to say, not someone who can speak for themselves and who refuses to become involved. By stopping a know it all in his or her tracks you can turn them off from wanting to engage you in conversation, or should I say a lecture from them.
The key to cutting a know it all short is to not take the bait. Don't try an argue a point or add information to what they are saying. Make it a personal work time rule not to interact with a know it all more than you have to. They will soon find attempting to engage you in their tactics frustrating and boring.
While it's not good to look down on anyone, in this case it can be useful to allow yourself to feel a little sorry for a know it all. After-all, they are poorly balanced emotionally and ill at ease with themselves. Once you let yourself see them in this way your frustration with them will lessen considerably, and their presence will evoke a touch of sympathy from you rather than anger.