How to work with someone you don’t like – While you don’t necessarily have to be friends with your colleagues at work, it can be challenging working with someone you don’t like. The work environment can be quite draining. Unfortunately, we can’t choose the people we work with, thus learning how to work with people we don’t like is important.
Moreover, learning how to work and cooperate with people you don’t like will help you maintain a stress-free working environment. Although it can be difficult, you need to remain professional. In this article, we bring you tips on how to work with someone you don’t like. We would also discuss the importance of getting along with colleagues you don’t like. Let’s dive in.
How To Work With Someone You Don’t Like
One of the most challenging situations to be in at work is having to work with someone you don’t like. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to work with someone you don’t like.
- Identify the problem
- Embrace the circumstances
- Consider their situation
- Address them
- Avoid them
- Document their actions toward you
- Talk to your Manager
- Set clear boundaries
- Make efforts to get along with them
- Find out what they can offer
- Remain professional
1. Identify the problem
The first step towards working with someone you don’t like is to determine the source of the problem. Ask yourself why you dislike the colleague. Is it a past experience, personal bias, or an encounter that is influencing you? Or do they have a nasty attitude? When you figure out the problem, you can plan towards addressing it.
2. Embrace the circumstances
The next step is to accept the situation. For higher productivity and positive outcomes, you have to maintain a professional relationship with your colleagues — including those you don’t like. Therefore, you need to come to terms with the situation and learn how to work together collaboratively.
3. Consider their situation
Try learning more about them, so that you would understand their situations. Sometimes we judge people without knowing their perspectives. There are several possible reasons why they behave that way and you might never know them if you don’t take the initiative to find out. For instance, they might seem disorganized because they are multi-tasking and are exhausted.
When you consider things from their perspectives, you might find that you misunderstood and disliked them because you are both entirely different from one another. Moreover, when you find out about their situation, you might understand and tolerate them better.
4. Address them
After understanding their perspective, next, you should speak directly with them. Speaking with the person can be an effective way of resolving the issue. However, before speaking to them, it’s important to analyze the points or issues you wish to discuss. You might also want to prepare an effective approach for navigating any disagreement that might spur during the conversation.
Meanwhile, it is a good idea to address them alone. This is to avoid making them uncomfortable in the presence of other colleagues. You should try maintaining a professional and polite tone throughout the conversation. State your concerns and why you feel that way towards them. Also, you could explain how those issues can be resolved.
Furthermore, you should listen to what they have to say. You can both reach an agreement on how to compromise and create an effective work environment. You should remember to state your points neutrally and politely for a productive conversation.
5. Avoid them
If after analyzing the reasons why you dislike them, and those reasons are valid. Then it might be a good option to avoid them, especially if communication could not resolve the issue. This can be easy if you are not directly working with one another. When you avoid a particular colleague, you can lessen the chances of having conflicts with them. Meanwhile, if you have unexpected encounters with them, ensure to act as professional and neutral as possible.
6. Document their actions towards you
A good option for tackling a colleague that is rude to you or exhibits unfavorable behaviors that are against work ethics is to document their actions. Instead of retaliating to their actions or tantrums, you can document messages, actions, or emails they sent you that clearly depicts their negative attitude i.e. when they were rude or showed disrespect towards you. By keeping records of their behaviors, you can ascertain your observations. Furthermore, it would come in handy when you decide to speak to your employer regarding the issue.
7. Talk to your Manager
If the colleague you dislike continually displays unwanted behavior and communication couldn’t resolve the issues, then you might want to consider speaking with your manager. Especially if their behaviors are interfering with your work productivity. By speaking with your manager, they might take effective steps towards rectifying the problem. Meanwhile, in cases where the colleague has a different manager than yours, then you should report the situation to the human resources department.
8. Set clear boundaries
To work with someone you don’t like, it’s a good idea to set solid boundaries. This will prevent them from walking all over you. Also, it would guide your interactions and behavior around one another. Therefore, set clear boundaries and communicate them accordingly. For instance, if you dislike the way this particular colleague constantly calls you late at night or how they talk to you; You should confront them about the issue instead of letting your feelings pile up. Be clear that you don’t appreciate how they are behaving and you would like things to be strictly professional.
9. Make efforts to get along with them
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to be friends with your work colleagues to establish a healthy working relationship. You can improve how well you get along by adopting little efforts such as gifting or complementing them. These efforts are aim at improving how well you get along with one another. Moreover, thoughtful gestures help in changing people’s behavior and influence how they behave.
10. Find out what they can offer
Before deciding you can’t work with them entirely, find out what they have to offer. What are their skills and strength? They might have valuable strengths that when effectively utilized can result in positive outcomes. For instance, they might be creative or are good at literal thinking, or probably have excellent communication skills that can be used for closing deals with clients.
Don’t be unapproachable to others simply because they are different from you. You should respect, appreciate, and utilize these differences towards producing better results and solving problems. Be compassionate to everyone you come across. Therefore, to work with someone you don’t like, you should find out what they can offer. Listen attentively to their opinions and ideas, and find out your differences. After that, reflect on whether you can tolerate one another for the progress of the company.
11. Remain professional
It can be quite challenging to remain respectful and professional when dealing with a colleague you dislike, however, it’s a good idea to always remain professional. By remaining professional, you protect your name from being negatively affected by the situation and encourage a positive work environment. Moreover, by being respectful, you get to prove that you are a better person. This can go a long way in improving the situation.
Benefits of Knowing How To Work With People You Don’t Like
It is important to know to relate with a colleague you dislike. Below are some of the main benefits;
1. Creation of positive work relationships
When you can effectively handle working with people you don’t like, you increase the chances of building positive working relationships. Positive working relationships will help make your work much easier. Working together would help you figure out their situation and probably understand them. You could also encourage them to change their work habits to a more positive one.
2. Your work becomes more pleasant
By getting over your dislike towards a work colleague, you are more likely to have a pleasant time at work. This is because unresolved issues at work can result in a hostile work environment. Therefore by dealing with the issue, you get rid of any source of demotivation in the workplace.
3. Have a healthy work environment
A healthy work environment is one of the keys to positive outcomes at a workplace. When you can effectively deal with people you dislike while working, you contribute to the development of a healthier work environment.
4. Development of soft skills
In the process of learning how to work with people you don’t like, you get to develop vital soft skills. These skills can be valuable when added to your portfolio especially because they are transferable skills that can be utilized in different roles. Some of these skills include critical thinking skills, communication skills, conflict resolution, empathy, etc.
At some point, we all are required to work with people we don’t like. Therefore, learning how to work with people you don’t like is a good step towards ensuring your success and becoming more productive at work. Remember, not everyone has to be your friend, simply learn how to effectively work with colleagues you don’t like.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I work with someone who doesn't like me?
To work with someone who doesn’t like you, ensure to stay focused on your work goals and strive to be productive. Remember that not everyone will like the energy you bring to the table.
Do I have to be friends with my work colleagues?
No, you don’t have to be friends with your colleagues to effectively work together. Simply maintain a healthy working relationship to ensure your work objectives are achieved.
Is it normal to dislike a co-worker?
Yes, it is normal to dislike a work colleague.