“I can’t work with that person!”
“Why would you want anything to do with them?”
“There’s no way I am going to be involved in this project if they are part of the team.”
I’m sure at one point or another you have heard these statements/questions or variations on their theme.
People have a way of getting on people’s nerves and often it causes us to make business decisions based on personality.
One of the software companies I worked for once signed a deal with an American distributor for well over $100,000 (big for us). They were blunt with their assessment –
“It wasn’t that you had the best or most functional product,” they explained. “It was your people. You have amazing people.”
That is the kind of environment you want to foster because like it or not major, far-reaching decisions are often made on the basis of a personality.
Now here’s the thing. That may work out for you if you have amazing people but when you’re the one making the decision in the other direction why in the world would you limit yourself on the basis of someone else’s personality.
Repeat after me – “I do not have to like a person to work with them.”
Sure it makes life a LOT easier if you do but when you start making critical decisions on the basis of not wanting to work with so-and-so because they are a jerk, well, at the end of the day you are only hurting yourself and your organization.
Heck some of the best partnerships are made between people and organizations that despise each other. What do they have in common? Business acumen. They can look past personalities to the profit margins.
Hollywood is a great place to see this live and in action. Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, Abbott and Costello, David Duchuvny and Gillian Anderson etc. None of them liked each other but they made it work for the bottom line. Professionals.
When a personality legitimately impacts the team then sure, you gather your evidence and make your case – but if it’s just two people who rub each other the wrong way, or even two businesses that cannot stand each other – do not let petty judgement and bickering get in the way of what makes sense.
Make it work.