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Candidate Advice

How To Work With People You Dislike

Dealing With People You Dislike

Are there people at work you dislike? In a similar vein to the adage about not being able to choose your family, you generally arrive at a place of work having not chosen your colleagues.

Given the amount of time you spend at work, how do you deal with a situation where you dislike the people you have to spend much of your day with? Depending on how bad the situation is, there are a few things you can do to deal with it.

We outline some tips below:

  • Define your dislike – This might seem a little extreme but how about trying to define why you dislike this person so much? Make a list of the reasons why you dislike them, putting it all down on paper might help to break some barriers down, especially if the reasons are a little trivial. If there are good reasons, then work to separate the hard facts from your interpretation. From there, some of the following tips might be relevant.
  • Instigate communication – If the problem has been wholly engineered by a work situation, a direct conversation may provide the solution. There is a four point formula for this kind of interaction –
    • Begin by explaining what it is you think hasn’t worked and invite a reply.
    • Explain your take on the situation, accepting that you have only one side of the story
    • Try to offer some solutions if it is an on-going issue or ways that you can try and work better together in the future
    • Listen to the response and invite polite discussion.
  • Limit interaction – If none of this works then the next step is to try and limit the amount of interaction that needs to take place between you. This is obviously easier if it is someone who works in a different department or discipline. Although not the perfect scenario this does offer an opportunity for you to show your professionalism. The potential pit-falls however are many and you should certainly not descend into gossip or create an atmosphere which ultimately leaves you in complete silence for the duration of the day. These are situations that can easily escalate if not handled correctly.
  • Take action – If the situation continues to worsen, to the point where it begins to affect performance and productivity, both for yourself and your colleagues, then it’s possibly time to take it to your boss. It’s much better if you can present your problem professionally and especially if you can give positive examples of how you’ve tried to tackle the issue yourself.
  • Get a new job! – This may sound like a radical solution but maybe it’s the only step left open to you. See it as opportunity rather than a threat and a chance to explore some new options.



If you are an employer looking for staff or a candidate seeking job opportunities then Safehands Recruitment can help you. We specialise in supplying staff into Health and Social Care environments.

At Safehands Recruitment, candidates are our lifeblood and if you are looking for temporary or permanent work we would like to hear from you.

Our commitment is to provide you with the best employment opportunities we can. We understand how important it is to match the right job with the right candidate.

You can also follow Safehands Recruitment on:

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