I’ve always said, “I don’t have to like you to work with you.” Over the years that evolved into, “I don’t have to like you to manage you.”
It’s not that I am antisocial. I’m just stating facts from experience.
Of course, it’s more pleasant and easier to manage people you like.
But some experts say that having a team in which everyone gets along extremely well also weakens it.
Reason: We gravitate toward people who are like us and have similar values. So there’s no one to challenge our thinking.
But not liking someone can lead to conflicts that often result in new insights and resolutions.
So what happens if you really dislike someone you manage, but they’re really good at their job?
Well, you could get another job, but a better option: Accept the fact you don’t have to like everyone you manage.
All it requires is that you respect them or something about them. Acknowledging that they’re good at their job is a sign of respect.
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Here are additional suggestions for managing people who rub you the wrong way:
1) Business, Not Pleasure
It’s called work for a reason. It’s great if you enjoy your job, but you’re not there for fun and games.
So leave your emotions at the door, and get your job done.
And remember, while it’s necessary to have “business relationships” with the people you work with, “friendships” are not a requirement.
2) Get Rid Of The Hate
It’s a harsh word, but when you’re constantly with someone who works on your last nerve, dislike can turn to hate.
But the only thing these feelings do is cause you added stress. And let’s face it, none of us need more stress.
Just realize that the person who’s annoying you endlessly is a product of her environment, as you are of yours.
Maybe she’s more outspoken than you’d like or too quiet, but as long as she gets her job done well and doesn’t hurt anyone, what’s the harm?
Release those feelings and move on.
3) Put On Your Poker Face
If there’s a person on your staff you don’t like, he shouldn’t have a clue as to your true feelings. If he does, he’ll think it’s due to his job performance.
As the boss, it’s up to you to remain fair and impartial and maintain a cordial, professional business relationship.
No matter how hard that may be.
4) Dissect The Issue
Why does this person bug you so much? Does he have an answer for everything? Does he remind you of someone from your past you don’t like?
Once you’ve figured out why this person grates on your nerves, maybe it’ll soften your reaction to him.
Remember, you can’t change someone’s personality, but you can change how you react to that person.
5) Look For The Silver Lining
If there’s someone on your staff who makes you want to cringe every time she walks into your office, think about what she does well.
Let’s face it, no one is 100% annoying. She has to have some good traits. Find one and then another.
Give her tasks that use these talents, and focus on them, instead of what drives you nuts.
Remind yourself of these traits every day, and soon you may see her in a different light.
6) Look Through Their Eyes
Ok, so you don’t like him, but is it all his fault or are you doing something that makes him react to you in a way that irritates you?
Try to look at the situation as if you were him, and be honest with yourself.
After all, no one’s perfect, not even you.
7) Be Honest With The Person
There’s nothing wrong with being honest with someone, as long as you do it in a nice, tactful way.
If the person barges into your office without knocking, kindly let her know when she does that it makes you feel like she doesn’t value your time or that it disrupts you when you’re in the middle of something.
Ask her to knock first and see if it’s a good time for you.
The person may have no idea she’s doing it.
She may be excited to tell you something and just comes running into your office. Bringing it to her attention may change your entire relationship for the better.
8) Find Common Ground
You may not want to and you may find it highly unpleasant at first, but try to find things you have in common with the person you dislike.
While getting coffee, find out if he’s read any good books lately or watched a favorite TV show of yours.
Does he have pets, if so what kind? Does he like to travel, if so where? Where did he grow up?
These things may seem unimportant to a working relationship, but the more you get to know a person and the more things you find you have in common, the more of a bond you’ll have.
This will help you see that person differently.
9) Observe Others
Watch the person you dislike interact with other people.
Do the people she gets along with have a different style of communication than you do?
Maybe it’s your style that’s making the relationship clash.
Are you a “tell it like it is” kind of person? Do you want the facts and only the facts?
Maybe she’s more of a storyteller or sharer. Give her the benefit of the doubt and adjust your communication style accordingly.
You may find out that once you do, she’s not so bad.
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