Tips for working with a colleague you don’t like

Dislike your work colleagues

It is a fact in life that you will encounter people who are just not ‘ your cup of tea;’ but what do you do when they are your co-worker and you have been put on a project with them and have to work closely with them every day?

Some people you click with, and other people you can take or leave and then there are a select few people you just can’t stand. We hope that you have not found yourself in this situation; however, like the old saying you can’t pick your family you also can not pick your work colleagues.

If you have found, that you don’t particularly like your work colleague we have come up with a few tips to help get you through

  1. If someone is rubbing you up the wrong way acknowledge how you feel about the person and manage your reaction when you deal with them. Try and ignore how they act and be mindful of your reaction when you are interacting with them. You can control your behaviour; but don’t forget, how you feel about this person; they also may feel the same about you.
  2. Don’t gossip about your colleague or try and find another co-worker to share your opinion on them. Not only can this backfire it can ruin your reputation and you will be labelled as unprofessional. If you need to vent do it outside the office.
  3. Identify what it is you don’t like about that person. Do they have a position in the company you want? Are they making more sales than you? Jealousy can make you scorn someone; knowing why you dislike someone will help identify your role in this. Do you happen to come across people regularly that you do not like? Maybe you are playing a bigger part in this than you are allowing yourself to believe.
  4. Try to get to know the person better. If you spent a little time with this person you may be able to understand where they are coming from, or you may find out why they act like they do; are they going through a difficult time at home? Are there outside problems that are making this person difficult to be around? There are many reasons why someone may act differently to what we expect at work. Be the adult and give them the benefit of the doubt before you write them off.
  5. Consider providing feedback. Be careful how you proceed here as you do not want to create further conflict, and not all feedback is welcomed. Depending on the situation it may be advisable to seek help from management.

Sometimes avoidance is the best policy. If you really can’t work with this person try and avoid being on a project with them. However, if you really want to challenge yourself and evolve you are best to try and find a way to work with them or hope they find a new job. But until that happens be the adult in the room and focus on your work and the positive things about your workday; the less time you spend thinking about them the happier you will be.