How to be nice to the office jerk.

During a career day Q&A, I was asked what the hardest part of my job was. My response was managing the personalities. It was then that I realized how important a good team really is. Getting along with others can be very challenging and some days are much harder than others.  Regardless of what is going on for your at home or how quickly the other person can hit your triggers, if we fail to communicate, it’s very hard to accomplish anything else. It’s also important to realize that once you’ve damaged a relationship, its very difficult to repair it. Reflect back on what your kindergarten teacher taught us, we need to play nice with others.



There are a few things that help me I keep in mind when you are striving to get along with others.

  1. Be responsible for the energy you bring. You can’t control others, but you can control how I respond.  Stay above the fray.
  2. Know your trigger, what will set you off, notice when it’s happening and take action in yourself to not make that situation worse. Stating – “Let’s talk about if offline”, can help pause the conversation until you regain your composure.
  3. It’s me not you; ask yourself if you were out of line, how did you contribute to the negative situation. Apologize where you were at fault.

I also really appreciate this list from the linked time article:

8 Ways to Deal With Someone You Just Can’t Stand   

  1. Accept that you don’t need to be friends with all of your employees. …
  2. Figure out why they bother you. …
  3. Remain positive with them. …
  4. Focus on how they benefit your team. …
  5. Don’t let emotions hinder your leadership. …
  6. Be upfront. …
  7. Work closely with them. …
  8. Observe how others handle them …

Number 2 really resonates with me, you can’t change an employee’s personality, but you can change the way you deal with that personality.

What actions do you take when you’re struggling to get along with the office jerk? 

Here are other references on the topic:

Dealing with People You Can’t Stand”. @DrKND


How to manage someone you don’t like (HBR)

7 Ways to Play Nice With Others





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