Office politics are tricky to navigate. You must always keep attention away from yourself, and act only in a defensive manner. It may be relatively easy to know when someone doesn’t like you if they don’t mind making that fact known. In a professional environment however, people are much more subdued in their expression of negative opinions about others. The danger in that fact for you is that you may not know exactly who does not like you at work. These people can cause damage to your reputation behind your back and any good work that you do for your employer.
It is critical to know when people don’t like you early on in the development of negative feelings towards you. Apart from them telling other people and the word traveling to you, you can use the following methods to diagnose just how much someone likes you – on a personal level – at work.
Both of these theories depend on what happens to a trigger which you are responsible in providing. The trigger is often making an innocent mistake at work, and seeing the way different people around you react to that mistake. When everything is going well with you doing everything that is asked of you, the people who don’t like you do not have an excuse to express their dislike towards you.
Once you give them a reason to express their dislike towards you, you will begin to know who is on your side and who is against you at work.
Small Mistakes, Big Reactions
People who don’t like you are more likely to overreact to the mistakes that you make. An easy way to test whether or not someone personally likes you is to make an innocent and easily fixable mistake in something that your subject cares about. If the mistake does not warrant the reaction that you receive from them, then you must be careful in making other mistakes around them. Overreactions can stem from premature escalation of issues to your direct managers to a lack of forgiveness through the communication going back and forth between the two of you.
If you apologize for your mistakes and fix them quickly, people will recognize your effort and remorse. If your effort in fixing your mistakes goes unrecognized and significant effort is made to get you in trouble, then you must be weary of the people responsible.
Not Letting You Save Face
This somewhat has to do with the point above. If you make a mistake at work which is only known to you and the person of interest, you need to gauge if they’re willing to let you save face. If they are understanding and like you, they will let you know of issues before letting anyone else at work know. People who communicate your mistakes quicker than needed likely do not like you and don’t want to let you save face.
People who like you at work will give you every opportunity to avoid getting in trouble. The people who do the opposite are dangerous and do not personally care for you. You should keep note of these people and render them powerless before they use their power to get you in trouble at work.
These methods are not fool-proof, and sometimes your mistakes will warrant big reactions which need quick action to mitigate. However, if only specific people are reacting in a big way to your mistakes, then you need to analyze further to see if those people have something against you.