At some stage of your career, you will more than likely run into a co-worker or manager that you will not exactly see eye-to-eye with. As frustrating as it may be, it is absolutely vital that you keep calm and relax about the overall situation. Nothing more can be done to exacerbate a tense relationship, but there are a few techniques you can utilize to help alleviate or diffuse difficult circumstances in the most amicable way possible.
To start, many tense situations arise because there is a miscommunication between you and the other person. I have seen these countless times where a coworker and I could not agree upon various decisions for a specific project. While personality does play a large role within these particular situations, it is imperative that you overcome your pride and ego and understand their perspective and mindset on the matter. In most cases, each person has a different understand at the overall steps for a particular goal. To alleviate this, start by proactively listening. Be sure to pay close attention to what the other person is saying and concentrate on points where there could have been a possible miscommunication. Once you have done that, begin by opening up a discussion on expectations. When any project is launched, there will always be a multitude of people and ideas involved. To help lessen any confusions of the matter, make sure you are able to discuss the various tasks and objectives everyone is going to do. This type of opened discussion can help clarify what you and your coworkers can do on a day-to-day basis. Last but not least, be sure to take responsibility for any type of miscommunication that was your own fault. Especially within the business sector, we are quick to point fingers at others to help sustain our professional reputation. If you know that it was your own mishap, own up to it! I guarantee you that that type of gesture will help calm any tension between you and your unfriendly coworker.
If you find that the animosity is not based on miscommunication, but personality, then it may be your best bet to try and avoid that person within your day-to-day. Now I know what many of you are thinking: ‘We work on a team’ or ‘I HAVE to work with this person directly.’ As difficult as it may seem, there is always ways in which you can easily avoid the situation such as planning your day around them. If you find this to be too taxing, you could possible bring your problem up to a manager or someone in human resources to help find you that much needed support. That way you will have an unbiased arbitrator who can help bridge a gap to your tense situation.
Now the last bit of advice I can give you is for you to change your personality. Unless you are completely aware of what you say and how you act everyday, you are more than likely overlook your own professional behavior. To help with this, start by treating people with respect. Even if your associate isn’t in the same field or job description as you, having that level of consciousness can earn you more admiration than stress.