This week’s guest blogger is Spencer Westley, Humanergy’s former intern and current thriving young professional.

Let’s face it; sometimes you don’t get along with your coworkers. That’s fine, but you need to make sure that despite whatever you have against them, you’re acting in a cooperative, professional manner. I know, I know – that may be hard some days. How can you maintain a professional relationship with someone you don’t really like? Here are a few ways to do just that:

Offer a helping hand. You might know someone who dislikes a coworker and chooses to completely avoid them, even if they’re working on the same project. 1 – That’s not aiding in the betterment of your team and your company because you both have a specific skillset that, when you collaborate successfully, will result in the desired outcome. And 2 – Offering your help is only going to get YOU more recognition for the successful outcome.

Go beyond the surface. I don’t mean that you have to get super deep with them, but find out which sports they watch, their favorite food, the names of their kids, etc. It may be difficult at first, but in the long run, it will make your interactions much more genuine. That way, when you do engage in a work-related conversation, you’ve already built a more natural rapport that could help ease the tension.

Don’t exclude them. Oftentimes, it may be easy to sneak past their desk when you’re going to lunch with the rest of the team, forget to invite them to an after-hours gathering or skip their cubicle when you’re passing out a batch of home baked goodies. Maybe you have bottled-up, negative feelings about them but that doesn’t necessarily mean the feeling is mutual. Don’t give them a petty reason to hold a grudge against you.

Offer recognition. Offering recognition is simply stating a fact. If your coworker finishes a project and did well on it, take a few seconds to share that at the next team meeting. Or if you see them in the hallway, a simple “Hey, good job!” is not going to kill you. We all appreciate a pat on the back every now and then and showing that you’re willing to give credit where credit is due attests to your ability to be a team player.

Think of your coworkers like your little brother. You don’t have to like him, but you have to get along or else mom and dad will get upset. In this case, your “little brother” is your coworker, and “mom and dad” is an HR representative, so the stakes are a little higher, but you know what I mean!

How do you manage your relationships at work? Tell us about it below or send us a message.

(Please note that all thoughts and opinions are my own. In no way, shape, or form, do I speak for the Kellogg Company regarding their values, stances, etc.)


Photo from Adobe Stock