The workplace is filled with diverse personalities, which is the reason why happy hour will never be extinct (well, that and the fact that nothing beats $3 drinks and 25 cent wings).
But what happens when YOU are the person people don’t like? And they bond over venting sessions about you after round two of drinks?
That’s never a good thing.
You certainly don’t have to be best friends with everyone. In fact, some people may not like you for superficial or baseless reasons. But if more than a few people consistently have a problem with you, then the problem is you.
Unless you truly work independently, your relationship with your colleagues can influence work evaluations, promotions, or projects—whether positively or negatively.
So how do you get noticed for the right reasons?
Here are three ways you can make your personal brand stand the (sometimes) challenge of being a team player.
1. Take a Good Look in the Mirror
There’s nothing like a good ‘ole dose of reality staring back at you. It’s easy to say that everyone is crazy and they can all kick rocks for not liking you. But after job number three, or entire department number two, it’s time to dig deeper.
Are you the Negative Nancy of the group? Do you think you’re the ultimate expert? Or is your personality as smooth as a porcupine’s back?
Make sure that people’s opinions of you are not a reaction to your own behavior. Be aware of your actions and the words you speak.
For example, if you work in an open office environment, your colleagues are not interested in hearing about how much you hate your job. The reason your coworkers don’t like you isn’t because they’re “haters,” it’s because you’re negative all the time.
Do a self-check and ask this question: Would I want to work with myself?
2. Collaborate with All Your Colleagues (even the ones you don’t like)
Team collaborations can be a positive thing if all your colleagues are great to work with. But it can be a nightmare if they’re unorganized, indecisive, and share the personality of a gorilla.
It’s easy to shut down when it comes to working with people you don’t like, but you still need to deliver results. This means you must find a way to work with difficult personalities, even if you’d rather have them quarantined to an island where they can fight amongst each other.
If you’re dealing with a challenging personality, find out what’s in it for this person and use it to your advantage. A lot of times conflicts come from the fact that people have insecurities or don’t have realistic expectations (or they could just be jerks).
Regardless, find a middle ground and try to take the higher road along the way. You never know who’s watching you and observing how you manage challenging situations.
Don’t be an idiot whisperer!
Chances are the people that matter knows exactly the type of personality you’re dealing with. Use this as an opportunity to show you’re not fazed and will deliver results no matter what obstacles are thrown your way.
3. Be Your Own Public Relations Manager
If you realize you may be guilty of not being a team player sometimes, don’t worry. There are changes you can make that can help reshape your brand.
Your reputation won’t change overnight, but you can create a better image with consistent and positive behavior over time. Here are two examples:
- If you’re the Negative Nancy, start by changing your approach during meetings or in emails. Try to find alternative solutions or back up your logic with facts and not emotions. Instead of saying, “You’re only giving me two days to create the presentation, it’s completely unrealistic!”try this instead: “Ideally, I need more time to create a presentation. I will try my best to gather the requested information, but having at least four days’ notice will allow me to provide you with the best quality work.”
- If you’re a little bit of a know-it-all, share. Offer to do train-the-trainer sessions or lunch and learns to help spread the knowledge around. You don’t have to give it all away, but try to show that you’re invested in helping others succeed too.
Whatever the issue may be, it’s important to acknowledge the part you play in shaping other’s perception of your brand. By taking accountability for your actions and making a few tweaks, you, too, can be a part of the team.
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