Working With People You Don't Like

Improving Bad Working Relationships

Don't get drawn into a game of cat and mouse with your team mates.

Don't get drawn into a game of cat and mouse with your team mates.

© iStockphoto/GlobalP

Your boss has just asked you to work on a new project. But there's a problem: she's paired you with Paula, someone you can't stand.

Paula has expertise that is vital to the project's goals. But she's also sarcastic, she makes negative comments in meetings, and she often doesn't respond to your emails. You find her behavior frustrating and inconsiderate, but you want to work on this project. So, how can you work effectively with her, when you dislike her so much?

In this article, we'll look at why it's important to be able to work with people you don't like. We'll also explore ways that you can overcome this dislike, and work professionally and productively with all members of your team.

The Importance of Overcoming Dislike

No matter who you are or where you work, there will be a time when you have to work with, or do business with, someone you don't like. This person may be a client, a consultant, a colleague, or your boss.

Negative relationships like this can take their toll. It's likely that you'll find it stressful working with these people; they may reduce your productivity by wasting your time and energy, or upset you with unhelpful comments. Working with them could leave you feeling emotionally drained or frustrated; and, longer term, they could even cause you to want to leave your job.

If you can learn how to work effectively with them, you'll reduce your own stress, and enjoy work far more. This ability can also open up projects and roles that you may not have considered before.

Strategies for Working With Someone You Dislike

You might feel guilty for not liking someone you work with. However, it's normal not to get along with everyone: we all have different workplace values and habits, and sometimes these can clash, especially when we spend a lot of our day working with someone.

Use the steps below to build a more productive relationship.

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