We all know THAT Person at work—the one whose personality doesn't really click with yours. Or anyone else's, for that matter, which makes spending an entire work day, a portion of the day, or even the 20-minute morning brief with them ... difficult. Instead of suffering through another long day, here are six tips to help you survive working with THAT Person, to ensure you have a good day.
1. Keep your cool.
When it comes to conflict in the workplace, always try to keep your cool. This is typically easier said than done; however, by maintaining self-control and your composure, the less reactive you become—and the easier handling a day with someone you don't particularly care for becomes as well.
2. Pick your battles.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with keeping your cool. By upholding a calm composure, you allow yourself time to pick and choose what you decide to react to. Saving your time and energy for select issues means you'll avoid unnecessary problems and conflicts. Not every difficult co-worker or other person you deal with requires direct confrontation, so save your breath and the headache.
3. Don't take it personally.
When it comes to working with individuals who aren't always your cup of tea—or coffee, because let's be serious, tea just doesn't cut it in the office sometimes—it's crucial that you don't let that person get under your skin. As the old saying goes, "like water off a duck's back." Let bad attitudes and negative energy roll off your back, like water does off the slick feathers of a duck.
4. Communicate and compromise.
As a professional, you can't always ignore and avoid issues. Sometimes, you'll have to step up and communicate with your co-workers and contacts in a respectful and positive way, to come to compromises that will benefit both or all parties involved. Be mindful, tolerant and civil. Learning to work well with everyone, even the people you don't like, makes you a stronger asset within your work world.
5. Know your limits.
While communicating and compromising are both great, it's imperative that you set limits on what you will tolerate and what crosses the line. Once you've set those limits, lay them out on the table for everyone to understanding, to avoid any miscommunications and potential conflicts.
6. Laugh a little.
At the end of it all, you've got to let yourself laugh, breathe and enjoy the work you do and the people you do it with. There won't be a time where you won't work with different personalities. And although it isn't always easy, it's always necessary.
Remember: You can't control everyone's behavior. But with these tips, you can control how your workday affects your personal attitude.
Written by April Simone Stevens. This article was previously published in the Mid-Winter 2017 issue of the National Association for Career Travel Agent's publication, Agent Life.