Hiring Wisdom: 10 Ways to Get Along with Co-Workers You Don’t Like

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

You don’t have to like everyone you work with. And your co-workers don’t have to like you.

While it’s great to have friends on the job, this doesn’t always happen. In fact, it’s almost inevitable there will be some people you don’t like or find difficult to get along with and conflicts may arise.

Here are some pointers on how to deal with these situations effectively:

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  1. Always be polite and treat everyone with respect. (You can always disagree, but you needn’t be disagreeable.)
  2. If a conflict arises, focus on fixing the problem, not assigning blame.
  3. Restrict your comments to what is or is not being done.
  4. Think of possible solutions before discussing the problem.
  5. Resist name-calling and criticism.
  6. Focus on facts, not feelings.
  7. When it comes to customers, remember they may not always be right, but you must always do what’s right.
  8. No matter how inconsiderate a customer or fellow employee may be, do not talk about it with other employees or customers.
  9. Realize there may not be a solution; you may have to agree to disagree.
  10. Consider conflict as an opportunity to learn something about yourself. Someone else may push your buttons, but that person did not install them.

Excerpted from So, You Got the Job… Now What? by Mel Kleiman.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.


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