You can’t like all your employees–heck, most of us don’t like everyone in our extended families–and yet, you still need to manage those you’re not particularly fond of.
More importantly, you need to manage the “unliked” in a way that facilitates their happiness at work, because as has been well established by now, unhappy employees have a way of disengaging, which in turn, negatively impacts your success.
According to Amy Gallo: “Itʼs neither possible — nor even ideal — to build a team comprised entirely of people youʼd invite to a backyard barbecue. But there are real pitfalls to disliking an employee. Consciously or unconsciously, you might mismanage him or treat him unfairly and fail to see the real benefit he can deliver to your team.”
The most effective antidote to personal dislike of someone? See the best in them! Focus on what the employee brings to your team that is of most benefit to its overall success. Pay attention to the ways in which the employee contributes, and emphasize those.
It doesn’t have to be something big: perhaps an employee you’re not particularly fond of is always on time, or shows enthusiasm for projects, or has good cost-cutting ideas.
What matters is that you switch your focus from your personal dislike of the employee to your professional appreciation for your employee’s value.