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Six tips for working with people you don’t like

(4) Be intolerant of aggression

If you are in a position of authority, make it completely apparent that there is no tolerance for aggression and be transparent about the consequences.

If you are experiencing an aggressive, abusive work colleague, be assertive in your responses but do not return the aggression. Be calm, clear and safe in you confrontations

Stick to what you know to be true and don’t let you emotions overcome you. Be prepared to walk away if things are getting too heated.

(5) Focus on solutions

Concentrate attention on what can be done to resolve the situation and don’t dwell on what has already happened and can’t be changed. Learn from mistakes and use that knowledge to improve in the future.

Also try to become a “can-do” person positive emotions are contagious!

(6) As a last resort, seek drastic solutions

If you feel there is no fixing the situation, simply avoid the person in question. Seek allies, particularly your boss, to help deal with difficult people.

Make extensive records of all and any instances of bullying (eg date, time, duration etc.), and raise formal complaints within the company.

You could also try to transfer to a different department if possible. And in the lastresort… you can always leave your job.

There is much that can be done when having to work alongside somebody you don’t like.

Develop self-awareness, be tolerant but clear when it comes to aggressive behaviour, develop a “can-do” solution-focused attitude, and finally, if all else fails, be prepared to admit defeat and accept that there are some people you are just never going to like.

As a manager, arranging open discussion, support or occassionally separating staff can all be considered. Being aware of your responsibilites to your staff is of course critical to prevent challenge. Clear documentation should always be kept of such meetings.

Joan Kingsley is an organisational psychotherapist and is the author of The Fear-Free Organization: Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform your Business Culture?( £29.99, Kogan Page).?


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