When You Don’t Like People in the Office

You don’t like everyone you work with. Now what?

Relationships within organizations depend on your ability to tolerate weaknesses in others.


How many:

How many of the people in your office do things that rub you the wrong way? I think I know the answer. All of them!

You’re putting up with things about every person you work with. They don’t speak up when they should. Or, they speak up too much. They put things off. Or, they bowl you over in their rush to get things done.

I bet you’re putting up with almost everyone.

On second thought:

The more I think about how I tolerate others, the more I realized I judge people by myself.

When you behave the way I think you should behave, I think you’re awesome! Tolerance is irrelevant when you do the “right” thing. And, the “right” thing is the thing I would do. When you fall short, I tolerate you.

Those you don’t tolerate, you don’t like.


They tolerate you the same way you tolerate them.

This whole line of thought makes me uncomfortable. First, it makes me feel arrogant. Second, I’m trying to figure out when I should be intolerant.

Excellence includes intolerance.

Those who pursue excellence don’t tolerate mediocrity.

Don’t tolerate:

  1. Behaviors that clearly hinder team efficiency or effectiveness.
  2. Behaviors that conflict or contradict organizational values.
  3. Behaviors that are unethical or illegal.


  1. Weaknesses that correspond to strengths. People who are great with details don’t like to be rushed, for example.
  2. Different viewpoints.
  3. Decisions that aren’t perfect, but work.

Relationships end when you stop tolerating weaknesses. But, success requires intolerance. Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, comes to mind. Doug says,

“Be tender with people and tough with standards.”

Read Doug’s book: “Touch Points

How do you determine what or who to tolerate?

When is intolerance appropriate?