It’s a fact of life that sometimes personalities clash at work.

Regardless of how easy to get along with you might be, you’ll occasionally run into a person that just rubs you the wrong way. Sometimes it’s because their values or beliefs are different to yours; sometimes it’s a behavioural style difference. Regardless of the reason, any anger, hurt or stress that results from the situation can impact on both your productivity and your wellbeing if you don’t find a way to handle it in positive ways.

Here are 5 ways to help you with this common workplace challenge…

1. Get to Know Them Better

As much as it may grate, make an effort to get to know the person a little better. Family problems, insecurity and other personal issues can manifest as arrogance, rudeness or indifference. If you understand why the person acts the way that s/he does, then maybe your dislike could transform into acceptance, or at least feeling more neutral about them.

2. Look for Redemption

Generally, you dislike somebody because of a specific trait and because of it, you don’t look for qualities that you may actually like. Instead of focusing on the traits that you can’t stand, look for redeeming qualities. Everyone has strengths and good qualities. Find the good in that person and focus on that instead of the aspects that drive you nuts.

3. Keep It Professional

One of the easiest ways to interact successfully with somebody that you don’t like is to limit your engagement with them and politely cut to the chase when you’re talking with them. Open the conversation by introducing the work topic that you need to discuss and move straight into the details. Instead of thinking about how much you dislike the person, focus on what will enable the two of you to work together in harmony.

4. Figure Out Why You Don’t Like Them

Sometimes looking inward is tough but the reasons for disliking somebody may be your problem instead of theirs. If you don’t like them because you’re jealous or you feel inferior to them, then you need to resolve these issues within your own mind in order to be able to move past it. If it’s because they don’t do things the same as you do, or value what you do, then it may be an opportunity for you to practice tolerance and acceptance.

5. Change Your Behaviour

You may not be able to do anything about how other people behave but you can certainly control how you react to them. Be positive and pleasant. Look for their strengths. Give a genuine smile at them when you pass them at work; you may get a smile back!

Action Steps

Try some of these positive ways to reduce the negative feelings you have when interacting with that person you don’t like. You just might feel better for doing so!

Which approach will you try first?


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