We've all been there. Faced with that difficult colleague, it sometimes seems easier to duck into the bathroom or bury your head in that pile of long-forgotten papers than strike up a conversation.
But embracing those awkward encounters could be the first step to advancing your career, according to behaviour specialist Mattersight.
We're not talking about sucking up to your boss, either. It's about learning to build relationships with all colleagues.
"If you want to be a leader, you have to be able to communicate with everybody," Melissa Moore, Mattersight's senior vice president and chief people officer told CNBC Make It.
"In our social lives we don't become friends with people we roll our eyes at. But in leadership you don't get the choice," she said.