Having great colleagues can keep you in a bad job longer than you should be, while working with awful people can make you a decent position with prospects – that’s how important your working relationships are.
However, if a working relationship goes wrong, from bullying to bitchiness to simply falling out, especially with superior, you may need to tread carefully to resolve it to avoid any lasting damage to your career.
Most companies have formal personnel dispute procedures but I think it is worth trying to clear up any discord yourself first. Examine the situation from all angles, including the other person’s, and make sure you understand how it came about and why.
Be honest with yourself about any culpability. Seek a private and quiet opportunity to talk to the person in question, placing the emphasis of the conversation on your hope to resolve the dispute, clear up any misunderstanding and find a way to continue working together productively and harmoniously.
Don’t talk to other workmates about the situation. If your personal approach doesn’t work, then seek advice from a senior member of staff or the human resources department. If it is a superior who is the problem, be aware that personnel’s loyalties may be primarily with the company and the bosses, so keep ‘asking advice’ not ‘seeking retribution’ as your official motivation in the first instance.