It’s a given that you will encounter people you don’t like as you go about your everyday activities. It is an experience many people have. It may be comforting to you that you are not the only one experiencing this. But it can also be draining and feel like it’s intolerable. You may be able to avoid people you don’t like in other circumstances, but when it comes to your work life, it is inevitable.

So, you will have to find a way to work with difficult coworkers with whom you don’t like to turn in your deliverables. How can you create a working relationship with someone you can’t stand? You can use “Everything DiSC” to gain insight into the person’s personality style to understand why they behave the way they do. This information can help you have a productive relationship with your coworkers. Here are a few tips on how to get started:

Difficult Coworkers: Determining the cause of your feelings

Has the person recently been promoted or given more responsibilities than you, and you believe you are more qualified and should be treated the same?

If your situation is somewhat along those lines, it could be that you are jealous. It is natural for us to feel that we are better or can do better than another individual. In this case, try to consider your colleague’s skils and contributions objectively. Ask your manager what you need to do to be considered for a promotion, then focus on developing those skills and abilities. This will help you tackle the issue from the root cause, rather than focus on your dislike for someone.

But there are times when someone acts differently from the way we do, and those differences can set us off. But instead of nursing feelings of dislike, take note of how you and your coworker differ in your behavioral style and how you can meet them halfway. For example, does your colleague prefer to take risks, and whereas you are risk averse? Is working on their own their preferable style while your preferred style is collaborating with others?

Help Through DiSC Behavioral Style Assessment

The DiSC behavioral style assessment is a self-assessment tool that helps you gain insight into your own style and other people’s behavioral preferences. The different behavioral styles are categorized as Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness, and Steadiness, with each having its own weaknesses and strengths.

  • A person with a D personality style has weaknesses that include impatience, bluntness, and insensitivity. Their productive tendencies include being goal-oriented and straightforward.
  • The i personality weaknesses include being impulsive and overly-emotional. On the productive side, they are emphatic and are open to dialogue.
  • The S personality weaknesses include being passive, giving in to please others, avoiding tension, while on the positive side they are even-tempered and accommodating.
  • The C personality weaknesses include defensiveness and being overly critical, but on the positive side, they can be objective and make rational decisions.

Everyone has their own unique style or a blend of these behavioral styles.

Since each individual will differ in their preferred style, using the DiSC assessment report as a guide, you will be able to identify your preferred style and that of your colleague so you can tap into their strengths, and bridge your differences.

Separate The Person from The Behavior

While certain behaviors may annoy you, an individual may be acting a certain way because they are being triggered by a circumstance or situation. You can separate an individual from their behavior by linking what they did to the circumstances rather than to their person. For instance, in a Harvard Business Review case study, a team member who was the CFO of a post-merger integration committee was often frustrated by the way the team lead, a senior technology executive, drove performance.

Upon a closer look into the behavior of the team lead, the CFO was able to discover that the team lead adopted a destructive behavior because of the need to prove himself all over again. During a casual conversation with the CFO, the team lead revealed he was upset because in his past experience everyone knew and acknowledged his value, and now he found he had to be more aggressive to drive performance.

Being able to connect the team lead’s behavior to the situation allowed the CFO to see the senior executive in a different light, which resulted in a fluid relationship where they could work together to achieve their organizational goals.

Control your response (move from judging to valuing differences)

One important benefit that the DiSC assessment provides is that, in addition to providing insight into a person’s behavioural style, it helps you value your differences. In this way, you can keep from judging the person and relate with the individual based on their style.

In the case study cited above the CFO discovered that the senior executive was much more cooperative when his viewpoint was requested and his expertise commended. Previously, the senior executive often withheld critical information, but this new way of relating with the senior executive changed the dynamics of their working relationship.

Difficult Coworkers & Getting to know them better

Sometimes, the reason you may dislike someone is because they are very different from you. Since you will have to work together to achieve a common goal, consider going out of your comfort zone to get to know your coworker better. An easy way of getting to know the individual better is by using the DiSC assessment. Find more information about it here. To have deeper conversations, you can invite your colleague out to dinner or include spending time together outside of work or projects.

Whether you are a team leader, a team member, a boss or a subordinate, you will always have a situation where you work with someone you don’t like. These tips are a great way to start working towards having a productive working relationship with a coworker you dislike