Merge's Blog

How to work with someone you don’t respect

When you have little professional respect for a client, a co-worker, an employee, or even your boss, it can be difficult to stay motivated and get things done.  But the unfortunate reality is that sooner or later, you will have to work with or for someone you don’t respect — people whom you may find difficult, distasteful or downright unbearable.  While it’s certainly easier to work alongside those you like, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can only do a good job if you respect your workmates. In fact, you can function effectively with (almost) anyone if you keep just a few things in mind.

It is possible!

How to work with someone you don’t respect is exactly the subject I address in my latest column in The Globe and Mail which published this morning.

How to work with almost everyone — even those you don’t respect

If you get the print version of The Globe, you would have seen it on page B9.

Note: if you are a subscriber to The Globe and Mail, you can also read the column directly at their website at this link:

The reality is that sometimes you’re just going to have to work with people you don’t like and respect – it’s all part of being an adult in the world of work.  You’ve read my suggestions.  What is your advice to handle these kinds of situations with poise and equanimity?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please share by adding your Comments below.


  • I really appreciated this article, Merge. The reality is that we don’t necessarily get to choose who we work with or for, and not everyone can be as perfect as ourselves! Your tips were clear, concise and incredibly practical. Related to your point about “widening your perspective”, I once had to do an exercise on forgiveness for an Educational Philosophy course and was amazed by the impact. Not only did my interactions with a specific person become much more harmonious, I also felt much lighter and had more energy.

    • Thank you Tony for your kind words. Very cool also to hear about how you widened your perspective by focusing on forgiveness. It was not something that immediately came to mind for me, so I greatly appreciate the insight.


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