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Working Relationships

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Working Relationships

The Simple Truth About Getting Along with Friends and Foes at Work

Davies-Black Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

If your kindergarten teacher told your mom that you play well with others, you are already ahead of the game. If not, read on.

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Well Structured
  • For Beginners


If you’ve been at loggerheads with a co-worker, calm down and read this. Bob Wall takes a close look at why the ubiquitous "personality problem" persists at work. His conclusions boil down to basics: Co-workers mix professional and personal relationships, confuse organizational roles and expectations, and simply clash due to dislike or incompatibility. He offers a number of familiar solutions to workplace conflict, advising you to pick your battles, agree to disagree and consider the possibility that you might be at fault. Not exactly rocket science, but Wall’s book is fresh, easy-to-read and reader-friendly. getAbstract recommends this book primarily to supervisors, who will find the dissection of professional relationships useful in managing your sometimes-hard-to-understand employees.


Play Nice

Being able to work with others is a key skill to being successful on the job. Technical mastery and talent are not enough to ensure your advancement. A failure to work with others effectively may prevent you from gaining that coveted promotion. Managers who succeed generally demonstrate good interpersonal skills.

Getting along with others also contributes to job satisfaction. Comfortable office or work relationships are one of the most important factors determining how well people enjoy their jobs. As an exercise, think through your relationships with two colleagues with whom you’d like to develop a better relationship. Also, consider two or three colleagues who make your work better.

If you have problems at work, you may tend to blame others rather than yourself. As an exercise, think about two recent events that upset you in some way, and notice how you might have affected these results. Then think about what you might do in the future to avoid a similar result.

Another key to resolving problems is simply talking to your colleagues. People often are afraid to discuss conflicts and disagreements. However, it’s better to open up the conflict and...

About the Author

Bob Wall is an organizational-development and training consultant. For more than 20 years, he has worked with multinational corporations, small- to mid-sized companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. He is the co-author of The Mission-Driven Organization. His upcoming book is The Handbook for Interpersonal Skills Training.

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