How Do You Work With Someone That You Don't Trust or Like?


Question:  How Do You Work With Someone That You Don’t Like or Trust?


I think that the first part of my answer would be to tell you that you should just do your job . . . and do it well . . . and focus on what you can do and not what you can’t do.


There is no doubt that all of us have had to work with people . . . or work for people . . . or have people report to us . . . that we did not like and even sometimes did not trust.


You can stay in that situation and do the best you can, or you can try to move to another position if this bothers you too much.


You can also go down the path of trying to better understand why you don’t like the person or why you don’t trust him or her and then think about whether you would be willing to sit down and discuss this with the person.  For some of you, if it is serious enough, you might want to have your Human Resources Manager get involved to try to sort out what the issue is.


Remember the old saying, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down”?  YOU just do the best you can.


There is another old saying, and that one is, “Don’t show your cards.”  This to me, in the area of relationships, is to keep a positive attitude and hopefully things will get better.  Actually the example you set could cause other people to get better as they learn.


Try as hard as you can to have a strong relationship with this person so that he or she will trust you.  Once you are sure that this person trusts you, then you may have an opportunity to reveal some of your concerns around his or her behavior and actions that cause you to not like or trust that person.


Most people would like to know the truth if they feel that it is for their own good.  It is hard to deliver this kind of message, I know.


I wish I had the perfect answer for this one, but I don’t.  You might put a copy of The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey on this person’s desk . This book deals a lot with the area of principles, values, and trust as does my book.


Readers of this book or those who listen to the book on tapes will have to question how well they are doing in the area of strong, trusting relationships, which at the end of the day are far more important than being smart or clever.  To be trusted one has to be trustworthy, which means that he or she has to be self-aware of this concept in the first place.


People with high opinions of themselves who are seeking to be served instead of serving are often not liked or trusted.  Many of these kinds of people worry all day about themselves instead of others. Being ambitious to a fault is a big problem that comes back to bite people in all areas of their lives.


Good luck on this one, and let me know if things get better and what happened to make them better!  I’d like to know.   . . . Lee


Great Leaders Look forthe Better Way Every Day!!!!!



  1. This really brings back memories for me. I had this very situation with a woman I went to school with and then later worked in the same medical care floor with for several years. After retirement we crossed paths one time and she remembered how we never saw eye to eye and often crossed swords, but always silently out of the watchful eye of our department head and the patients. She said how she now appreciates how we handled the situation by having enough respect for one another and the wholeness of the department NOT to air our issues openly. We handled it by offering the best of care while staying out of each others path whenever and however possible. It can be done and done well. It just takes a little creativity. Bravo Lee thanks for addresing this difficult topic and encouraging us to always do our best first.

  2. I understand perfectly what you mean, worse than a lazy worker is not to trust in them. If you care so much about this situations, you just loses your time and there is nothing you can do about it!
    In some ocations I just try to take a breath and move on with this type of people. I agree with your point of view and in my short experience what you said works just fine for me.

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