7 Ways To Build & Maintain Good Working Relations With Your Co-Workers
When you work in an office you are spending around eight hours a day and at least 40 hours a week with your co-workers. It’s really important that you are able to build and maintain good working relations with the people in your office not only for your own happiness but because most companies are looking for ‘team players’ who work well with others.
If you want to succeed in the world of business, you will need to learn how to get on with a lot of different people. If you need a bit of help getting started then read on!
1. Be Friendly To Build Good Working Relations
It sounds obvious, but it’s quite hard to make people like you when you’re not making an effort to be friendly!
When you make eye contact with someone, smile at them. If someone chats to you (and it is an appropriate time), chat back to them. You can’t be too personal in an office, but you can take an interest in who your colleagues are and make an effort to bond.
2. Remember Where You Are
The workplace is not the pub, and there are obviously certain topics that are out of bounds. 9 AM in the office is not the place to start lecturing everyone on your political or religious views.
Swearing, x-rated jokes and anything that could be deemed offensive is also not appropriate for the workplace. Keep to safe topics, don’t get into heated debates, and for goodness sake don’t insult anyone. Don’t make things awkward and you’ll go far.
3. Don’t Try To Sabotage Your Co-Workers
It’s fine to be ambitious, but trying to sabotage your way to the top isn’t going to work. I have seen employees try to get ahead by refusing to co-operate with their co-workers, not doing their share of the work, and then proceeding to bad mouth these co-workers to management and ask for a promotion. Needless to say it did not end well for them.
If you want a promotion, show that you deserve it because you’re good at your job. Trying to make others look bad to make yourself look good isn’t a sign of strength: it’s a sign of weakness.
4. Pull Your Own Weight
Everyone has off days and mistakes are going to happen once in a while, but if you are sharing a workload with other people then you need to do your fair share of the work.
Don’t say you’re making a coffee and come back an hour later with a doughnut. Don’t spend half an hour chatting away on the phone whilst everyone else is swamped. No one is asking you to do everything, but don’t expect your colleagues to do your work as well as their own. Pull your own weight.
5. Be Helpful, But Don’t Be Patronising
It’s a good idea to be helpful and if someone wants your help and you are able to assist them then you should. It’s also a good idea to say yes if a manager asks for your help with a task or project that might not be in your job description.
However, there is a difference between being helpful and being patronising. Don’t force your help on other people, don’t make it seem like you think your co-workers are incompetent, and don’t take on more than you can realistically handle.
6. Don’t Blame Others For Your Mistakes
You’re human and you are bound to make the odd mistake now and again. When you make a mistake you should try to fix it and, if you can’t, explain what happened to your manager and ask them what you should do. What you should never do is blame someone else for your own mistakes.
Not only is it a really nasty thing to do (how would you feel if someone did that to you?) but it also shows that you are not trustworthy or honest. You can’t expect your colleagues to have your back if you don’t have there’s, and no one is going to care about you if you clearly only care about yourself.
You might think that owning up to your oversights and mistakes is career suicide, but many employees will actually appreciate your honesty and like you better for it.
7. Use Your Common Sense
Getting along with your co-workers isn’t that different to getting along with everyone else. When you’re at work you need to be mindful of where you are, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn into an unfriendly robot.
You spend the majority of your working week at work, and you don’t want to spend that time in a negative environment. Be respectful, be friendly, and show that you are a decent human being. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make. Start today and build good working relations with your Co-workers.