How To Work With Someone You Hate

Working with someone you absolutely can't stand can be emotionally draining and keep you from doing your job. If you're in this unfortunate situation, the Harvard Business Review offers some survival tactics, including one counterintuitive one: Spend more time with that person.

Photo by Katy Warner

Granted, the last thing you probably want to do is spend more time with the individual who is causing you all this grief at work, but HBR suggests you volunteer to work on a project together so you can understand him or her better:

You may discover there are reasons for his actions: stress at home, pressure from his boss, or maybe he's tried to do what you're asking for and failed. Spending more time with your foe will also grant you the opportunity to have more positive experiences.

The one exception to joining a project with someone you don't like is if the person "violates your sense of what's moral"; in which case, you should just stay away.

Aside from trying to develop empathy for the other person, your best recourse is to manage your own reaction, the article advises — because, after all, your reaction is the one thing you can control. As with dealing with life-wrecking, bad bosses, practising stress management and relaxation daily could help you turn the situation around for yourself.

The article offers several other strategies, such as considering what it is that you really dislike about your co-worker. How have you dealt with insufferable co-workers, from the plain annoying to the outright obnoxious?

How to Work with Someone You Hate [Harvard Business Review]


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