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Working With People You Don’t Like

Below we’ll explore ways of getting along with people you don’t like in more depth, but one sure fire way is to spend time with the person in an informal way. Even though this might not sound like something you’d enjoy the best way to get to know someone is by sharing a meal or a team build. Intundla Conference Centre near Gauteng offers a variety of products and facilities that will help you solve problems at the workplace and overcome obstacles to make your team more productive.

Most people will at some point in their careers have to deal with the unpleasantness of working with someone they don’t get along with. This could be your boss, a fellow colleague, a client or a consultant. Situations like these can be very stressful and counterproductive, zapping you of energy and joy.

Let’s look at some strategies for overcoming a very difficult, sometimes delicate but very real issue in most work places.


“What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.”  – Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet), French Writer.

This is often the first step towards working with people we don’t like in a way that’s not only productive but might even open up doors to opportunities we would otherwise have missed. We are all different people with varied personalities and behaviours, an array of cultural backgrounds, etc. Try keeping an open mind when dealing with people and give them the same amount of respect that you would like to receive.

Find a confidant outside of work

The first thing we normally do when a colleague gets on our nerves is to find someone that will agree with our aggravations and help in slandering the person’s bad habits. Rather than gossiping about this person at work find someone outside of the workplace that you trust to discuss the situation with, someone that can be objective and give you sound advice.

Be in control of your emotions

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Empathy and walking in someone else’s shoes will make it easier to understand the other person, maybe they are having a hard time at home or struggling with health issues or have a worry or concern you’re not aware of. Studying people and getting insight into the games people play to get their own will also clarify why someone behaves the way they do. We all manipulate others to a certain degree at times; the secret is to know when you’re being manipulated and how to turn the tables for the good of both parties.

Other ways of staying in control is to practise deep breathing exercises when you know someone gets you hot under the collar. Meditation and exercise will also help you to be more in control of your emotions in general, which will assist in bad situations.

Connect and engage

As mentioned above one of the best ways to get along with people is to get to know them better. Find common ground, you might surprise yourself and begin to like the person. Celebrate each other’s differences and focus on things that you like or respect about the other person, e.g. they might be meticulous with time and be well disciplined, and they might have a great sense of humour or be very effective in time management. This could be hard at first but will be well worth it in the end. It could even become one of your greatest assets – the ability to always find the good in others!

Sit down and talk about it

Discussing it will be the most difficult of tactics and you have to be careful in your approach. Be aware of the dynamics between you and always be respectful in your attitude. Stay calm and tackle the problem systematically. Start by acknowledging the tension and be specific about behaviour that is causing it. Use examples of situations if possible and explain how this makes you feel. Be prepared to listen to the other person’s perspective without interrupting them and stay open minded to suggestions of how to resolve this. Offer your willingness and determination to build a better relationship.

No great relationship comes without hard work and will power and very few relationships will not thrive when giving it your positive attitude and kindness.

The highest result of education is tolerance. – Helen Keller

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