It’s very typical in a team for people to find some colleagues they like and colleagues they don’t (for one reason or other). But it’s very important to make the same distinction that we must make in all our dealings with other people in life: nobody is all good or all bad.

For example, when someone moves to a new team, they may be impressed with a colleague’s superior technical skills and subconsciously also accept that individual’s views on how the business is ran, or on other colleagues as well. Similarly, a colleague that makes a bad impression on a personal level might cause the individual to be more unaccepting to any technical suggestions. However, someone may very well be capable technically but cynical when it comes to how the business is run, likable but not very capable technically, efficient but ignorant about business and industry issues, etc.

This may seem self-evident, but it’s interesting how often we find people around us or ourselves in fault of this. A team member that makes a suggestion for a new tool or methodology is more often shot down if they have issues with others in the team than if they’re someone everyone likes. A new (usually young and impressionable) member of a team will tend to follow and identify with a senior member, subconsciously idolising them and accepting all their views on technical, business and other issues.

Just as a smart person is not necessarily likable, a likable person is not necessarily capable, a capable person is not necessarily eager and so on, we should apply the same priciples and common sense in our work environment.