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Tips for Working with Difficult Peers

Let's be honest: Sometimes people just get under our skin! It happens to all of us. It's just a part of being human.

When at work, collaborating with peers can be difficult, especially if you don't get along well.

Here are some tips on how to help smooth the rough edges in a somewhat rocky working relationship:

Tip #1 - Listen and be open to their ideas

Even if you don't agree, it's important to listen to what your peers have to say. Try not to let disagreements get in the way of a productive conversation.

Tip #2 - Communicate clearly and frequently

Keep the lines of communication open in order to get on the same page regarding expectations or goals for a particular project or event. If there is a stark difference of opinion, try your best to talk it out and come to an agreement in a calm and supportive manner.

Tip #3 - Respect each other’s opinions

Respect is key in any collaboration, and it is especially so when working with difficult peers. Respect their opinions, even if they don’t match yours.

Tip #4 - Take responsibility for your actions

Yep, everyone needs to put on their big girl or big boy pants now and again! If something goes awry—whether it’s with an event, a project, or even a conversation—take full responsibility and ownership for your part in it and be willing to make changes where needed. A sincere apology also usually goes a long way at smoothing things over.

Tip #5 - Be flexible and patient

Working with difficult peers can be frustrating at times, so it's important to keep in mind that these types of relationships can take time to build. But with flexibility and patience, it creates a space for things to have a chance to gel together.

Bonus tip:

You might not be the easiest person to get along with sometimes either. 😊 So be sure to remain open to someone else who is putting forth the effort to help you both set off for smoother sailing!

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