Find the Good in Co-Workers You Don't Like (For Your Own Sake)

Working with someone you don't like doesn't have to be a toxic situation. Try focusing on the person's positive aspects when trying to bridge gaps between you.

Liane Davey of the Irish Times has an interesting article up this morning about how a boss can develop strategies to help motivate employees he or she doesn't like. While writing from the perspective of a higher-up, Davey's advice is applicable for both management and the general workforce. It all starts with taking control of your reactions:


"Before you even try to motivate a person you don’t like, take ownership of your feelings and assumptions. If the phrase 'He makes me so angry' or 'She drives me nuts' ever plays in your head, you need to change your thinking. Recognise that anger, frustration, or mistrust is your reaction and that no one has the ability to make you feel something without your consent. Be curious about why you react the way you do and see if you can get to the root of the issue."

It's important to note that Davey isn't arguing that disliking someone else is your problem and not theirs, but rather making the point that your anger alone isn't going to change anybody. You can either bitterly stew in perpetuity or develop tactics to try and fix the issue. Each particular situation has its own potential solution, but everything requires a first step on your end.

For example, Davey recommends spending more time around a co-worker/employee who makes you feel uncomfortable, because perhaps they feel just as uncomfortable around you. Be the bigger person. Build the bridge. The same goes for addressing behavior you find disrespectful. Have a sit-down where you hash out what causes them to act in such a (usually) self-destructive way. Again, Davey writes from a management perspective, but you can certainly employ some well-meaning empathy even if you're the low head on the totem pole.

Taking time to empathize and understand your employees/co-workers can help you develop stronger work relationships, patch some minor office wounds, and grow as a positive member of society. Take a look at the whole article (linked below) and let us know what you think.

Read more at Irish Times

Photo credit: Pressmaster / Shutterstock

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