Working with people who can’t stand to be in the same room as each other isn’t easy. You might feel like you’re caught in the middle. Or, that your team just isn’t as productive as it could be. Either way, it’s not a fun situation. If your co-workers dislike each other, should you step in? Is it really problematic for the workplace? Here’s why it could be, and what you can do to bring some harmony to the situation.
Do Co-Workers Need to Like Each Other?
I once worked in a place where there was drama every day between my co-workers. One day, people would get along fine. The next day, they’d blame each other left and right. It was not only ridiculous, but it was incredible disastrous to the overall morale of our team. I kept myself out of the line of fire as much as possible, but it always seemed to make its way to me somehow.
Not everyone is going to love each other. That’s totally okay. In fact, differences are what make us interesting. It would be a boring place to work if everyone was the same, right?
But, personal differences need to be set aside for a functional workplace. When drama enters, productivity flies out the window. It’s incredibly important to find a balance between personal feelings and co-working relationships to get your team on the right track.
How to Help Them Move from Dysfunctional to Harmonious
In my dysfunctional place of employment, I found that the biggest culprit to workplace dysfunction was co-workers refusing to forget a time when they were hurt or offended by another co-worker. Even if they temporarily decided to get along, the past would always come back up to bite everyone’s behinds eventually.
Mature people can move past whatever happened and focus on the future. Immature people don’t let things go that easily. You might need to be the mediator if that’s the case. Remind your fellow co-workers that they’re there to do a job; it’s as simple as that. There’s no reason to hold grudges. If a person did something horrendous to them, such as lie to the boss to snag a promotion, then that’s going to be tough to move past. But the only way to survive on the job and do it successfully is to find a way to put the past in the past.
If your workplace dysfunction is simply too much to bear, you’ll probably benefit from going to the boss. He or she can schedule a meeting or some team building activities to boost morale. Be the leader and show enthusiasm for whatever your boss suggests to convince others that this can be a good thing for everyone. When you all have your eye on the bigger picture – as in, having a healthy professional team working toward one big goal – you’ll find that everything else falls into place.