Workplace Health and Wellness – Learning to work together

No matter how much you like your job or where you are at in your career you will eventually end up working with someone that you do not like, whether it is a colleague, supporting team member or your boss.

Everything is great when you work with people you already respect, trust and know that you can work well with.  The true challenge is when you have to work on a project or task with someone that you do not like.  If it has not happened already, it will, and you will find yourself having to work with someone that you just don’t like.

Learning to collaborate successfully with people you dislike is a valuable skill because eventually you will need to use it.  I recommend that you take it slow and start working with your office nemesis on smaller projects, before you find yourself in the position of being forced to collaborate with them or another person on a larger project.

These are some helpful tips to help you through the process: 

First thing you need to do is understand why you dislike the person. Sometimes we form a dislike for people at work because they remind us of someone else or because of talk around the office about their work ethic and or personal life.  Understand why you do not like someone if it is because you have worked with them and they did not pull their weight then you need to deal with that.  If it is because someone else worked with them and has issues you should not automatically assume the same.  Give them the benefit of doubt and make your own judgement based off your own experience.

Second is to remember that you do not need to like a co-worker, and they do not need to be your friend.  What you need to do is to get along and work effectively with them, you need to remember this is not personal it is professional, and it needs to stay that way.

When dealing with someone who rubs you the wrong way always keep your emotions in check. Regardless of your colleague’s behavior, always take the high road.  This is business not personal so concentrate on the project not the person you are working with.

It is always good to communicate with a colleague when working together.  However, it is critical with people you dislike or that may dislike you.  That means having more dialogues both verbally and written through email.  It means listening more than you speak and spending more time understanding their point of view, you never know you might inspire your office nemesis.

Stay focused on your goal.  If you are unable to improve your work relation with the person you have been assigned to work with then learn to play or in this case work nice and on achieving the goals of the project. 

Working with a colleague you dislike is never fun, but using these tips you can remain professionalism and reach your project goals.

by Calli Gregg