What underlying characteristics can you spot in any successful person you admire? Have you ever really thought about it?

Perhaps they are socially adept, great communicators, charismatic, have a strong work ethic, have a high degree of emotional intelligence, or are politically savvy.

Do you look behind the success to see what made them that way?

What about someone you don’t particularly like?

Do you default to writing off their great qualities because they are overshadowed by the reasons you dislike them?

Have you ever gone out of your way to build a relationship with someone like this?

It’s a great challenge. You will be amazed at what you might learn.

  • Focus on what you do like about the person.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt; look past what irks you.
  • Listen to them, try and work out what shapes and motivates them.
  • Talk about what they want to talk about (unselfish, and a great way to learn more).
  • Ask questions to probe into their style, seek to understand what elements you dislike, perhaps you were oversensitive, is one of you a poor communicator?
  • After the conversation/s, has your opinion changed? Is it worth pursuing a relationship with that person?
  • Have your efforts made a difference to your overall interactions? Have they improved on what you disliked previously?

Too often we discount people or write people off.

Building relationships with people you don’t particularly like is crucial, particularly if you are an aspiring leader.