Having to work with someone whom you don’t particularly like can be tough. Whether it is a peer, a member of your team or perhaps a client or supplier; interacting with individuals you don’t seem to have any particular liking towards is not always easy. Before you reach the boiling point and potentially do or say something which you might later regret, try implementing these useful strategies instead. You cannot change that person, but as a leader, it is down to you to find a productive and healthy way to work alongside them.
Talk to them
Perhaps I’ve started with the most challenging of all. However, speaking from experience, having a heart to heart with the individual in question could be a great way to get things out in the open. Try to find a common-ground and alignment in either team or personal goals. Learn their values and try to understand what is important to them, along with their interests or their perspective.
In some instances, it could simply be a clash of personalities or a mismatch of values; in both cases, there is no easy fix. If there has been a history of heated conversations over particular matters, then this can be easier to put right. Don’t do it in public, choose a quiet room, go for a coffee or take a walk. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can feel happy knowing you tried to put things right.
Bowl Them Over With Kindness
Another approach to try connecting with team members you don’t like is to ‘kill them with kindness’. Become the politest version of yourself you can be. While this might not be the easiest way to resolve the problem, taking the high-road will ensure you come across as utterly professional. Even passing simple pleasantries such as saying hello, asking them how they are, and even saying goodnight at the end of the working day can all help to change the negative energy that surrounds your relationship with that person.
Never Talk Bad About the Individual
Regardless of how you feel about the person in question, others around you might not feel the same way. Keep it professional at all times. If you are in a leadership position, then you need to make sure your body language and other communicative actions such as sighs or shrugs are kept in check.
It’s Not Personal
However it may feel, don’t take it personally. Whether a peer, an employee, team member, or anyone else for that matter, it is important to not let them impact your job and the great work you do. Perhaps they feel threatened by your presence; perhaps they are incompetent. Whatever their issues, it is exactly that, their issue. However, it is your responsibility to uphold your professional brand image at all times.
If you have exhausted all of the above tips for connecting with co-working you don’t’ like and are still finding the situation to be the same, focus on being good at your job and staying true to your values.
You can only completely control how you act, what you do, and how you respond. Focus on this. Always remember that you do not have to like everyone on your team that you work with, but you do have to remain professional at all times and lead by example.
If you need to vent, do it at home or with friends.