Since the time we were on the monkey-bars for recess, to soccer on the playing field, we have learned tricks and tips on how to work well with others. Years later and some of those theories still hold true in holding relationships with other working adults; although, trading candy in exchange for an apology may not be a highly functional solution anymore. The basic issue that we face even in an adult setting is this: how do we work with people we don’t like?

“Remind yourself: You won’t get along with everyone but there is potential value in every interaction with others.”

Harvard Business Review.

Struggling to collaborate with others gets even more complicated if you have personal differences – in other words, you just don’t get along. Unfortunately, the workplace has little room for drama, and being unable to work well with coworkers can mean losing vital footing in your position, or even the job, in the long run. More importantly, collaborating with others helps you grow both personally and professionally. We came across this article from the Harvard Business Review that details some steps to take when you aren’t getting along with a coworker.

Check out the article’s main points below:

  • Consider the source of your conflict

Dig deep – what is really causing the drama or dislike between you and your coworker? Is it a material assignment, or really, a way of thinking? Does it relate to the social interactions you’ve shared?

“Take an honest look at what is causing the tension and what role you play in creating it. It may be that your reaction to the situation is at the core of the problem (and you can’t control anything other than your reaction).”

Harvard Business Review.

  • Put yourself in their shoes

How would you react if you had been dealing with you? In other, less confusing words, imagine being in their shoes: do your best to understand their perspective and why they may be acting a certain way.

  • Ask yourself: How can I fix the problem, instead of contribute to it?

If we’re expelling energy into a conflict, we are exacerbating it. Work consciously to change your relationship, through collaboration and kindness, rather that with a competitive edge. Be upfront with the person about the issues and work together to find a beneficial solution for both parties.

  • Try to understand your “interpersonal style” as well as your coworker’s

This is the most challenging aspect of conflict management. Discovering the social patterns that can contribute to conflict require high-level analysis of personality traits and past actions. This is where Crosworks coaches can have a huge impact. Working with assistance from the Birkman assessment, we can pin down which managerial styles, conflict management styles, and overall collaborative behaviors will yield solutions. With this information, you can work on solving any work problems, as well as developing goals for future progress! Make an appointment or free consultation today.