You may have a colleague in the workplace with whom you don’t click and don’t like. Perhaps you feel that you will never click and that a conflict is brewing. You suspect that this person feels the same about you. This is a dilemma.
Such a situation is undesirable and negatively affects your performance and happiness in the workplace. You will have to handle the situation without delay while you are still objective and in control of your emotions.
Before you sidestep or write off this person, you should know that there is a potential advantage in every interaction with any person and that you can learn something from anybody. Give some thought to what could be causing the tension between the two of you. What role are you playing in causing the tension? Are you spiteful, sarcastic and uncooperative? How do you react to this person and what reaction do you elicit from this colleague?
Are you the only person who does not click or cannot cooperate with this colleague?
Have you ever experienced the same problem with other colleagues? Does the co-worker have the same bad habits as yours, such as criticising or making comments or wanting to prescribe what has to be done. If so, point out to the coworker that both of you have bad habits and make a joint effort to improve the work relationship.
Put yourself in the other person’ shoes and see the issue from his or her perspective. What are the colleague’s views on the matter, e.g. the project that you have to work on, and what motivates him or her? What does the colleague expect of you? What is the person’s career objectives?
Become a problem solver rather than a critic or competitor. Change your position from that of competitor to coworker. Make it clear to the colleague that you are not a competitor and ask for his or her inputs on how you could cooperate better on the project.
Be aware of and sensitive to your interpersonal management style and behaviour and identify the differences between you. Are you, for instance, an introvert or an extrovert? Opposite personalities can supplement and complement each other. What are your colleague’s strong points and how can your personalities be melded to ensure work satisfaction for both of you? In this way different views can be adjusted to complement each other.
If you are new to the firm and are experiencing a lack of click, ask other people or the colleague himself for advice and guidance. You could even ask “what do you wish somebody would have said to you about the project/work environment when you started here?”
Always be courteous and professional even if you feel like retaliating in kind.
Get help. You can have a private conversation with the team manager about the matter and ask that your work assignments be scheduled in such a way that you don’t need to have constant interaction.
Talk to friends outside the company about ways to handle the situation.
How to Collaborate with people you don’t like.
Levius, Mark. Dec 4, 2018 Harvard Business review.