Everyone has to work with people that they hate, but winners go about it totally differently from other people.

It's tempting to complain or gripe about co-workers you hate, gossip about them behind their backs, and even try to put their incompetence on display. You might even think that that's how you win--by putting them down in front of their boss and getting them fired.

It turns out that winners never do that. In fact, they do the opposite. It's counterintuitive, but winners actually "lean in" to the people they hate. They get to know them even better than they would if they liked the person. As famous winner Niccolo Machiavelli said, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."

Here's how you do it.

1. Know Yourself and What Sets You Off

What we hate in others is what we're often insecure about in ourselves.

That's why if you're a winner, feeling hatred towards a co-worker will make you look inward first. Winners are always looking to know themselves better and understand their weaknesses and insecurities.

If you know what triggers that negative response, you can either avoid it or use a bit of judo to turn it into an advantage.

2. Meditate

Hate and love activate the same parts of our brains. The catch is that when we love, the judgment part of our brain turns off. When we love someone, we don't see their faults.

It's the opposite for the people we hate--the judgment part of our brain keeps firing and blinds us to what's good about them.

That's why meditation is so important to winners and why you always hear that successful people meditate. Meditation grounds us and lets us think in a more rational and detached way about the people we dislike. And that's the first step towards seeing the good in those you hate.

3. Grab Coffee for Them

It's weird, but you can actually trick yourself into liking someone by grabbing them coffee. It's something called the Ben Franklin effect: when you do a favor for someone, you're more likely to do another favor for that person.

The kicker is that you're more likely to do a favor for someone after having done a favor for them than if they had done a favor for you. It's like forcing yourself to smile when you feel pissed off--it shouldn't work, but it does actually make you feel happier.

So try being nice for a change. Gradually, your mind will become accustomed to the idea that you actually like this person. Fake it till 'ya make it.

4. Share an Insecurity from Your Childhood

When you hate someone, you often get into a cycle of negative behavior. You do something bad to that person, they do something worse to you, and every iteration makes it harder to break. That only ends in mutually assured destruction.

At a gathering of business executives at a billion-dollar company, they were asked a simple question: "If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?"

Something surprising happened as people started to share their responses--big shot executives started crying, laughing, and hugging.

When you open up to someone you hate, you do something totally at odds with your hatred--you make yourself vulnerable and show your trust in them. You break the cycle of negativity and that gives you the power to turn an enemy into a friend.

5. Avoid Spending Energy on Them

If all else fails, minimize the amount of energy you spend on the person you hate.

The #1 resource you have at work is your energy. If you spend it hating someone, it's wasted. You end up putting yourself through the emotional wringer and that has a hugely negative effect on your productivity.

Winners relentlessly work on maximizing productivity. At the end of the day, it's simply a waste of time and energy to hate someone.

Published on: Jul 31, 2016
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