How to Reach Your Enemy

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Having enemies in the workplace is often destructive. Ideally you should try to work with your rival instead of against him. But if your collaborative efforts fail, try one of these strategies instead:

  • Find a common ally. Seek a third party whom your enemy trusts. A common ally may convince him of the benefits of working with you.
  • Wait for the right time. Sometimes people need time and space before they can see your side. Put off communication until the right opportunity presents itself.
  • Recognize when to go elsewhere. The effort of converting a rival is sometimes so great that you’re better off focusing your energy on another relationship.

Adapted from “Make Your Enemies Your Allies” by Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap.