How to Make Every Coworker Like You
Jay Cataldo | Excelle
Like most of us, I’m sure you’re grateful for your peaceful work environment and go to great lengths to maintain it. You’re nice to everyone, you avoid gossiping at the water cooler and you always show up with a big box of donuts on Fridays. But in spite of all this, you somehow managed to tick off the chair of the office party planning committee who’s now out to make your life a living hell. And to make matters worse… she doesn’t like donuts. Talk about a broken relationship.
It’s almost impossible to please everyone. No matter how nice of a person you are, there’ll always be somebody who dislikes you, either because they feel you wronged them in some way, or because their insecurities have clouded their judgment. But since even the lowest employee on the totem pole could potentially create serious problems for you, it’s wise to have a strategy in place for handling anyone who tries to come between you and your paycheck.
The typical ways of handling office disputes never seem to resolve them; burying your head in the sand won’t make the harassment stop and running to human resources for a “sit-down” usually creates even more drama. And while spiking your antagonist’s lattes with Turbo-Lax (a la Dumb and Dumber) may make you feel better initially, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll come across some retaliatory anthrax in your non-dairy creamer.
Here’s what to do instead:
Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to neutralize someone’s negativity towards you is to let the person know that you (gasp) like and respect them. Can you remember ever seriously hating someone who truly liked you? Probably not, since the principle of reciprocal affection makes this rather difficult. It states that we tend to like and admire someone once we realize that they feel the same way about us.
Of course, fixing a work relationship isn’t as simple as walking up to your office enemy and saying, “Your hair looks nice today. Wanna grab some lunch?”