This blogpost and podcast is for our colleagues in higher educations, professors, the world over.

Creating Positive Collegial Relationships

Designing Your Work World

Excerpts from the podcast via iTunes or StitcherSmartRadio

David and Daniel’s Disclaimer: Everything we are discussing here is from our distant–distant past. Our examples are not about our current colleagues.

If I had known then what I know now!

We have choices to either design our work world or let it happen to us.

The nature of our work environment and relationships:

  • Interpersonal relationships can dominate our daily thoughts and energies if we allow them to.
  • I have to get along with everybody. No, you don’t.
  • Any work environment is going to have a mix of people who get along well and those who don’t.
  • People will not take a liking to you, through no fault of your own. This is human nature.

You’ll want to deal professionally with those individuals that you can’t get along with and foster the relationships with those who you do.

How do you deal with the person who really doesn’t like you very much?

  • Civility. For this to exist each person needs to desire it.
  • You want to avoid a, “The gloves are off” point of view.
  • When conflict can’t be avoided, you can a least, “Agree to disagree.”
  • When this does exist, you can design your work world so you are not concentrating on the conflictual relationship.
  • Avoidance. If they have issues with you, that is their doing.
  • When a personal conflict is dominating your every thought and there is no resolution in sight, perhaps it is time for you to move on.

Dr. de Roulet: In order to be happy, you need to have a general larger work world and a smaller work world which you design. Having this smaller core work world is extremely important because it allows you to weather the rest of the universe. Environments at a university are not exactly stable. People come and go all the time, budgets and administration can change overnight.


Design your smaller work world with relationships that you can foster.

  • Find some trusted colleagues that you enjoy spending time with.
  • Find colleagues who you share research or teaching resources with.

Prof. David Pecoraro: One way that you select your colleagues, to a degree, is where you apply to work. Be wise and make decisions based upon what you know about the institution.

Dr. de Roulet: You can either design your work world, or you can allow the university to design it for you. You don’t need to get along with the whole university.


We welcome your feedback to our work.

Email:  General Information   |   Dr. Daniel de Roulet   |   Prof. David C. Pecoraro

Thank you!

Daniel & David


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 Designing Your Work World

SC 104  #3. Designing Your Work World