How to Work With People You Don’t Like

I love to share great career advice! ===>>> Click here to join my mailing list<<===

We all have dealt with people on the job we do not like. Many of you are working with someone you may absolutely despise event right now. Yes, you know exactly who I’m speaking of:

The “know it all” – The one that let’s no subject pass without constantly interjecting how much they know about it. They are an expert in pretty much everything from the copy machine to analyzing and projecting the most complicated projects.

The “nice-nasty” – The one that is super nice to your face but during conversation takes jabs at you constantly with a smile; all while undermining your intelligence often in front of your superior.

The friendly worker – who does absolutely nothing all day. Yes, everyone loves “Susie” and/or “Johnny”. They are so nice! They always have great things to say, always planning a great lunch, decorating office cubicles for birthdays and doing absolutely no work during the 8 hours they are allotted. Meanwhile you’re tirelessly working and thinking, “I wish I could do that”.

back stabberThe back-stabber. The one that makes it seem to your face they support you 100% all while secretly soaking up your ideas to present to management as their own to support their personal career agenda.

The suck-up. Ah yes the suck-up, the schmoozer, the yes-man/woman. You know this one; the one who thinks compliments on physical attire and hair style is going to land them a promotion or make them best friends with senior management instantly (sometimes it works!).

The chatter-box a/k/a office gossiper – This worker likes to spend all day telling you about other people’s business all while continuing to gather information about everyone in the office until they become un-touchable, even by management. You see, this gossiper will – at any given moment, spill the beans and possibly cost you your job too.

But here’s the deal

We cannot control the actions, comments or opinion of others but what we can do is make the most of the situation while we are in it.

In fact, I am sitting right now next to an annoyance and surely, I could choose to possibly lose it…..but I won’t so I write instead.

Here’s how you handle working with people who get under your skin.

1. Eat the Meat, Spit out the Bone. Take it for what it’s worth; people will be who they are. They aren’t going to change just because you don’t like what they do or what they say. So even though they may offer very little value to your career or your life, sometimes we miss the smallest little nugget of valuable information they do give because we cannot get beyond the clutter surrounding it. Have patience and try to get the most out of your time spent. There’s always something to learn in every situation. Somewhere behind the mess in that message there is value. Find it and use it for the greater good.

2. Find the Good. When we don’t like someone, it seems like everything they do is annoying and can be often amplified depending on our tolerance level that day. One thing that is helpful to my clients is encouraging them to find a way to seek out the good in a person – even if it’s complimenting the smallest thing about them. Then build your relationship from that. You control the extent of the relationship you have with those you work with. It doesn’t have to be bad all the time. Often my clients find it easier to communicate with people they normally would not just because they were able to find a common element they like about one another and grow from there.

3. Make the Bad Work in Your Favor. Let’s take the chatter-box for example. Say you’re in a conversation you are dying to get out of and chatter-box is near, call him/her over and sit back and relax, eventually excuse yourself from the torture and move on. You see, there are advantages for every personality type; you just need to find them and make them work for you. Good leaders find the best qualities about people and work with them to enhance those qualities so everyone wins.

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is something valuable about everyone you work with. Leaders understand the only way to influence others is to have the ability to relate to them in some way. You build your relationship once you’ve found common ground. There’s a reason your co-worker was hired. It may be becuase of skill, education, or possibly because they knew someone. Whatever the reason is, there is something there that you can learn from.

We work with people from all walks of life and it’s important that we choose to get the most out of each relationship, even if it’s the hardest thing we have to do. You don’t know what the future holds so it’s best to make the best out of every situation.

Want more awesome tips like this??

 ===>>> Click here to join my mailing list<<===

*This post is also featured on LinkedInPulse Careers: The Next Level.  You can find it by clicking here.

If you enjoyed this article please like and share with your network.

Posted in:


  1. Hi Lee,

    I was not in the office. I have returned now and intend on deleting all your comments as you have requested. Unfortunately I was not readily available to do so when you asked due to the app crashing and not allowing me to delete. I can only delete from my desktop. I’m sorry you felt that it was intentional. It is completely outside of my character to put anyone’s position in jeopardy. I would never do such a thing so again it is unfortunate that you feel this way.

    I hope you have a productive week.

    Regards, Mary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *