How To Manage People You Don’t Like
He really gets under your skin, doesn’t he?
She drives you crazy–I can tell.
You’re not going to like everyone you meet, and the people you supervise are no exception.
But you spend most of your day with these people, so you are going to have to find a way to deal with it.
Some managers squeeze a stress ball.
A lot of them yell.
A few might even quit.
While these might feel like necessary coping mechanisms at the time, none of them are addressing the issue with a sustainable solution.
So, how do you manage someone that you don’t like?
1. Be a leader
It’s easy to point the finger and say he is this or she is that, but that’s neither objective nor productive. Personalities can get in the way of evaluating someone’s abilities.
Take a step back.
- Have I done all I can to set this person up for success?
- Have I articulated my expectations clearly?
- Have I provided consistent, constructive feedback?
Bosses demand results, leaders inspire performance.
2. Be honest
Why don’t you like Ed, your new employee?
Do you find his sense of humor less than endearing?
If his jokes aren’t necessarily rude or inappropriate, then you need to get over it. If they are, then you need to address it.
“Ed, your jokes are not suitable for the office. I need you to stop telling biased jokes here. Can you do that for me?” Now that you have stated your expectations, his preceding actions will provide qualitative data for his performance review without emotional bias.
3. Be articulate
Establish clear, concise outlines of your expectations and preferences.
Perhaps your favorite employees reign supreme because they know exactly how you like things done, but the new guys aren’t mind readers.
Communicate, even the littlest things, like how to format email subject lines, because no one is comfortable in a passive-aggressive environment.
4. Be objective
Make evaluations based on results.
Look at the numbers. It can help you take your personal bias out of the equation.
You don’t want to be a boss that plays favorites, so be the boss that fairly evaluates performance based on measurable factors like quality, creativity, responsiveness to feedback, and time management.
5. Be nice
If you can’t get over your negative predisposition toward chews-with-her-mouth-open Kim, then you just need to put on a brave face.
Ask how her weekend was.
Never let her know how you really feel, because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.
You don’t need to be best friends with her, but you do need to inspire her to do a good job, and that involves making her comfortable enough to perform her very best.
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