The opportunity to work with great people is something most professionals encounter throughout your career. However, every once in a while you will run across people with whom you do not mesh. Face it, not everyone will like you or get along with you.  This could happen for a variety of reasons – all of which are irrelevant for our purposes. In these situations, accomplishing your goal will rely on remaining professional and not allowing your personal feelings to get in the way.

I am currently trying to work on a deal with a company I simply don’t enjoy conversing with. They are arrogant, brash, ignorant and sometimes just plain mean. (I am sure they would say the same about me.) However, they are not my client and my job is to make the best deal I can do for my company.  I remind myself each time I correspond with this group that I do not need to like them to get the deal done.  And I need to ensure that my personal feelings do not get in the way of my professional responsibility.

You will come across these situations at some point in your career. The advice I offer is advice I am following daily – be professional; be courteous; stay focused on your goal; and don’t let the business relationship get personal. You must invest yourself into your work, but that does not require you to personally like or even enjoy working with your counterpart.  Your personal feeling will only hinder achieving the goals before you.

We would be glad to read your comments with insight you have learned about staying professional in light of a personally challenging client or associate.

On a future post in this series, lets discuss how “getting personal” in a good way can help you down the road.