No matter if you’re about to start a new job, or you’ve been in your position 20+ years, we all run into co-workers (customers, bosses, committee members, the list goes on) with whom we struggle to work well.
While frustrating, this struggle is vital to personal growth, which will turn into professional success for you and your company. As you begin tackling the challenge of finding productive middle ground with this person, consider these four things:
- Recognize your own working style.
- Recognize their working style.
- What other stressors could be influencing either party in this situation?
- When is the conflict happening and is it consistent?
Now that you’ve narrowed down where the problem might stem from, try to notice when the mood shifts, and keep these tips in mind:
- Consider your timing in bringing up certain topics. If they only have two minutes to hear you out before running to an appointment, maybe hold onto the project until they have time to sit down and focus on what you need.
- Pay attention and note their tone and body language throughout a conversation or meeting.
- Learn how they process information and new ideas so you can clearly explain your intentions and expectations.
- If you think there is a problem you can address, speak directly to the person.
- If you think there is a problem that could be out of your control, or is beginning to affect others, consider talking to upper management.
How do you work well with others?