By: Forest RunnerCC BY 2.0

I pride myself on being able to find common ground with most people. To find the shared value and work with them to achieve it.

The joy of working with people who truly value you and are open to ideas is unsurpassed. Exploring the challenges whilst still respecting each other, disagreeing whilst still collaborating deeply – these are all hallmarks of passionate working relationships. This is what I now unreservedly seek.

I’ve spent years gaining and honing skills and techniques to build rapport, to understand people and their needs and to build bridges between my world view and theirs. It has been enormously insightful and satisfying.

But all that experience has also taught me a ton of stuff and helped me come to the conclusion that there are certain behaviours that I do not want to work with it. Ever again.

8 Behaviours I Don’t Want to Work With

 It isn’t about people as much as it is about behaviours that people, in certain situations, exhibit. Here are the top showstoppers for me:

  1. Having and operating an agenda that is about controlling others.
  2. Withholding material information from me about what and, more importantly, why  we are doing what we are doing.
  3. Demonstrating a lack of openness to ideas.
  4. Reluctance, even when supported, to express how you feel and what you need.
  5. Being dismissive of attempts to create more openness between you, me and others.
  6. Applying the ‘power’ you have in an organisation in a coercive and authoritarian way.
  7. Treating people like resources and using that word easily and happily.
  8. Undervaluing human connectedness and ‘soft’ skills like empathy, trust and respect

Life is too short

There are a few simple reasons I have reached this place, but the most important for me – I think – is that life is too short.

Life is too short to waste it with people who take joyfully but give reluctantly.  It is too short to struggle on an on  against mindsets that are in constant conflict on the most fundamental of values.

Life is too short to spend even a moment on work that is entirely unfulfilling – where you are neither contributing nor benefiting.  It is too short to spend it playing the political games that burn time with little real value.

Yet life is too short not to work with behaviours that joyfully embrace diversity of approach, thought and experience. It is not long enough to really explore the unexplored awesomeness of passionate people. Life is too short not to seek value in joy or to separate ‘life’ from ‘work’. And that is what I want to work with now – for the rest of my life. 

What behaviours would prevent you from working deeply and unreservedly with someone else? I’d love to hear from you via comments or @mhsutton on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Why I might not want to work with you”
    1. Bob, you always add a new and interesting perspective. Love the thinking to accentuate the positive.


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