One the hardest lessons we have to learn in life, is that we will meet people who don’t like us.
Sometimes this will be for reasons that we understand. But sometimes it won’t! And, of course, sometimes we may find ourselves not liking someone and it may be very hard to know why.
How we respond depends very much on the circumstances.
If you find yourself, for example, sitting next to someone on a plane for a journey that lasts an hour, it make very little difference whether you like each other or not. But when the person you are having difficulties with is your new boss, a colleague or an employee, that does matters. It matters a lot!
First, if you are dealing with your own feelings of dislike, try to work out why you feel like that. What is it about this person that you find difficult? Take some time to think about the issue. Is it how they look? Is it something they have said or done? Sometimes, we dislike those who remind us of people or experiences in our own past. Take time to reflect and then be completely honest with yourself.
If you have a sense of mistrust, then try to work out why? Is there any evidence to support how you feel?
Be very honest about your own prejudices. If the way you feel is about their race, their age or their sexual persuasion, then you have some really hard work to do. This problem is yours to resolve, not theirs.
When you have feelings of dislike, work on valuing the individual and the contribution they make.
If the issue is to do with bad memories, seek the help of a coach or counsellor.
If it is about prejudice then again seek out support from a trainer or coach if you are serious about your career. Be honest and brave enough to seek help.
If someone dislikes you, then again, see if you can work out why and try to put things right. If the person is, for example, a new boss, then you may have to take your confidence in both hands and ask for an explanation. Try to make sure the boss really does understand how you are contributing to the work and be prepared to share your knowledge and, on occasion, your contacts. In other words turn yourself into an asset.
Above all keep the lines of communication open. Never fight with the boss! At the end of the day, it really is better to move on, if you can’t find the middle ground.
If the problem is with a colleague or an employee again work hard to find out why and then find the middle ground, while being scrupulously fair. At the end of the day, with a professional approach you should be able to find a way to work together even though you may not be best buddies.
You don’t owe those you work with undying affection, nor do they owe that to you. But you do owe them a fair chance to do their work well and a fair hearing if they have a problem. You should be able to expect the same in return.
Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at email@example.com, find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.
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