How to Manage Difficult Relationships at Work

Posted In: The Office
Posted On: 3/21/2017

Nat: If I have a challenging relationship with a superior in my workplace, is that something I should bring up in an appropriate context such as a performance review?

Jane: One of the most difficult aspects of the workplace is your relationship with other people, specifically your boss or your boss’ boss. In the best case situation you’ll work in an environment where you love the person you’re working for. But, frankly, it doesn’t happen that often. So if you don’t have a great personal relationship, my suggestion is to separate the work piece from the personal piece and focus on creating common ground. The more you’re focused on the business objectives and not the personal challenges, the easier it will be for you to be successful in your job.

Nat: So, it’s best to just stay focused on the work and the business objectives?

Jane: That’s exactly right. You don’t want to be in your review and say, “You know, I think I’ve done a great job here, but I don’t really get along with my boss or my boss’ boss.” That’s not really necessary. Now, eventually you’ll have to resolve whether having better rapport with your boss is important to you and whether that decision impacts your choice to stay with the company or not. But it’s not something to bring up to the boss or in your review.