How to work with someone you can’t stand

You can pick your friends, but you can’t usually pick your coworkers. Chances are you’ll work with someone you don’t like during your career, and there may even be someone on your team right now that you can’t stand.

While working remotely limits the amount of interactions you have to have with the person, it can also limit information and make the situation worse, says Carlos Valdes-Dapena, author of Virtual Teams: Holding the Center When You Can’t Meet Face-to-Face.

“When you’re collaborating virtually, you can always turn off your camera, so you don’t have to look at them,” he says. “But working remotely also takes arrows out of your quiver. You don’t pick up on body language or could miss subtle cues, such as facial expressions and intonation of voice. You may be more vulnerable to misunderstandings that can further your negative feelings.”

Like it or not, your job and reputation can rely on an ability to get along with others. Valdes-Dapena says there are steps you can take to make the situation more bearable.


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