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How to Win Over a Colleague Who Doesn't Like You

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Whether it's your manager, a subordinate or a random colleague, occasionally people just don't like you. Sometimes the reason isn't clear, but it's on you to change the relationship dynamic, says Dorie Clark of ForbesSo what can you do to disarm a cranky colleague, he asks? Two things:

Give Honest Compliments: It may not be easy, especially if the person has been distancing themselves from you for a while. But if you're objective, they probably have some qualities you admire. If you take a positive action and compliment them, it may well break the ice and make them re-evaluate their perceptions of you.

Ask for Their Advice: Cialdini notes this strategy—which involves asking for their professional advice, book suggestions, etc.—comes from Founding Father Ben Franklin, a master of politics and relationship building. "Now you've engaged the rule of commitment and consistency," says Cialdini, in which they look at their actions (giving you advice or a book) and draw a conclusion from it (they must actually like you), a surprisingly common phenomenon in psychology. "And suddenly," says Cialdini, "you have the basis of an interaction, because now when you return it, you can return it with a book you think he or she might like."

You can read more of Clark's advice at Forbes

How have you won over someone who didn't like you? 

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(Image via EDHAR/Shutterstock.com)

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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