You know what it is like to work with someone you do not enjoy. Someone who is mean and a bully or someone who is too friendly and annoying, working with either one can take a toll on your work life. Generally speaking, the ideal coworker is someone who you can see yourself hanging out with outside of work – someone you can watch a ball game with or grab a beer with. This may not always be the case but it is a good starting point: you want someone you can talk with, someone who challenges you and someone who knows the boundaries. You know what type of person is good for you, but have you ever considered how you can be a better coworker for others? Everyone you work with wants the same thing, to work with a team that is enjoyable and makes work more exciting.
Here are 9 tips to become a better coworker for others.
Small talk will be different with each of your fellow coworkers. Do not just assume everyone has the same interests as you do. Some of your coworkers may be into sports, cars, technology or current events. Learn what they are interested and do your best to ask them questions about those topics.
Gossip is almost never good. If there are rumors spreading around the workplace about a fellow coworker, steer clear of them. You would not want others to spread rumors about you or perhaps your family. So be mindful that others would expect likewise. Do your best to steer clear of the rumours or stop your coworkers who are spreading gossip around.
Maybe during the course of your conversations with other your discover that you have some opposing viewpoints. Rather than becoming angry or ignoring the other person, show them respect. There are opposing viewpoints to many things regarding work but also news or sports more generally. In order to foster an enjoyable workplace do not allow the opposing viewpoints to create tension within your team.
SET SOME BOUNDARIES
It is a smart idea to set some boundaries for topics surrounding your personal life and some topics with other people. This coincides with showing respect as well. If you know that a coworker has recently gone through a breakup or experienced the loss of a loved family member, be sensitive about bringing up those topics. Additionally set some parameters for what information you tell other people. There are two important rules you may want to keep in mind: be careful who you tell your greatest triumphs to and be careful who you share your worst defeats with. Respect your coworkers that set similar boundaries.
SHOW SOME LOVE
If a coworker does something important at work or perhaps in their personal life, show them some love by congratulating them. Let them know that you appreciate the work that they do and the standards they set. Alternatively, if something goes wrong at work do not be quick to call someone out. Mistakes happen; stick by your coworkers side and try to solve the new problems together. Calling out your coworkers is sure to create a divide within your team.
Work can be tough at times, but it is important to always work as hard as you can. You know what it is like to work in a team with a slacker, someone who does none of the work but will take all the credit. Do not be that guy. Instead, be humble and work hard. Others will appreciate the example you set and strive to do the same.
ASK FOR INPUT FROM OTHERS
When working on a group project it is crucial to ask for everyone’s opinions. Do not just assume that you or a small subgroup has the entire problem figured out. Ask everyone in your team what they think; they may have a differing perspective that sheds more light on the best solution. Even if they do not have any additional input, simply asking them for their opinion creates a more enjoyable, open workplace.
FOLLOW THE RULES
Show up on time; wear proper safety equipment; report any problems. These are examples of some rules that your workplace most likely has. Do not be the guy or girl who is too cool for the rules. Setting a prime example by working hard involves working smart as well. Do not put yourself or others at jeopardy of injury or loss of a job because you do not want to follow the rules. Your coworkers will pick up on someone who abandons the rules and will not want to work them regardless of the quality of work.
BECOME A TEACHER
This is especially important when working with newer, younger coworkers. Show them how things are done or how they can improve some of their skills. Do not be shy to show older leaders how they can improve their skills as well. A general rule for work and life: always assume the person you are working with or talking with knows something that you do not. Know that you can be both the teacher and the student from time to time and keep your mind open about finding new ways to solve problems.
At the end of the day, you should strive to become the coworker you would want to work with. Do not be hateful or condescending; set the bar high for your fellow coworkers with the way you work and they way you interact with everyone on the team. Doing so will improve the quality of your work life and that of your teammates.