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5 Tips for dealing with coworkers you can’t stand

Text: Nicola Davidson; Photography: Getty Images

November 7, 2017

5 Tips for dealing with coworkers you can't stand

It was bound to happen. You’ve just been asked to work on an exciting new project, one that could put you in line for a promotion. There’s just one tiny problem. The person you’re working on it with happens to be someone you actively dislike. Now what?

Unfortunately, with seven billion people in this world, the chances of us getting along with everyone we meet are unlikely. In life, we can avoid them. At work, not so much. Here’s how to handle the situation as professionally as possible:

Be polite

You may not like the person you have to work with, but nothing positive ever came from negative behaviour. Be courteous, respectful and open-minded in your dealings with them, and your project may run more smoothly than you think.

Have a chat

Obviously there’s friction between the two of you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to each other. Sit down and ask how they prefer working and find out what they need from you. Then make sure you communicate the same. Mutual understanding is always the best place to start.

Try to connect

Common ground is a great way to build any relationship, so see if the two of you share any interests. You don’t have to become best friends, but a civilised conversation can lay some valuable groundwork.

Focus on your work

What you focus on, you create, so rather than focusing on your feelings towards your colleague, focus on the job at hand. Instead of being distracted, you’ll be able to do your best, which your superiors will ultimately notice.

Dig a little deeper

Often the traits we dislike in others are the ones we dislike most in ourselves. If you’re able to accept these parts of you, and start to see the good in your colleague, your relationship with yourself and with them could benefit significantly.

Missed out on the promotion you had your eye on? Here are 4 reasons why it could be the best thing for your career.

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