You've probably come across a soapboxer—the kind of person who takes his spot on, say, a street corner, and yells about society's ills or holds up a (rhetorically) loud sign. But that sort of spotlight-chomping person can't always be walked right by, especially if you work with him.

An office soapboxer is the kind of colleague who simply knows that her opinions are correct, and is ready to unpleasantly and antagonistically defend them, to the detriment of the group. "Trying to work with one, especially during a group task, can be alienating and incredibly unproductive," writes Alicia Bassuk in Harvard Business Review. "A soapboxer can elevate tensions to [the] point of completely destroying the rapport of a well-functioning group."

How do you deal with someone who you think might be an office soapboxer—and what if you might be the problem? According to Bassuk, options include keeping the success of the group in the forefront, so soapboxers can't take over with their individual thoughts; remaining purpose-driven; and trying to be a model of etiquette that colleagues will follow, instead of being drawn into a soapboxer's self-serving traps.