Several years ago, I landed a job supervising a small group of copywriters at an advertising firm. One of the workers instantly seemed to dislike me and acted out in ways that made it clear she was determined to undermine my authority.

Her behavior puzzled me because I tried my best to be fair and supportive of every employee in my department. After my many attempts to win her over failed, I stepped back to reflect and reevaluate the situation.

Eventually, through conversations with a few coworkers, I learned that this woman felt that she had been passed over when I was hired for the position. That’s when I decided to stop overcompensating for her reaction to me. I realized that she would always consider me her rival.

Finally, she left the company for another job. I wished her well and was very satisfied that I’d been able to handle the problem with patience and grace.