Helping your colleagues work with you in harmony is no small task, but it is urgent, considering how much time we all spend working together—both in person and remotely. Depending upon our relationship with coworkers, life can be a constant pleasure—or a continuous pain. Here are tips for working amicably with every colleague.
There’s no need to be best friends with every colleague, but you must respect each of them. Be courteous to all. Don’t badmouth people behind their backs, take credit for another person’s success, or talk loudly around those who are hard at work—you get the picture. Also, listen carefully to what your colleagues have to say without jumping in to make your own point or points.
Avoid hot-button topics
Discussing politics, religion, sex, or other uncomfortable personal topics can lead to rancor, embarrassment, and arguments, all of which can ruin relationships. When you’re aware that a particular colleague is opposed to your views on an issue, simply avoid bringing it up. You’ll be surprised how well you can get along with coworkers when controversial issues are off-limits.
Strong relationships help colleagues work together harmoniously. Building these bonds is easy when you are friendly, smile, and ask about your coworkers’ likes and dislikes, both on and off the job. Get to know which movies, sports, books, hobbies and more your coworkers like. When your interest is genuine, they’ll respond to you in kind.
Deal with difficult people
Annoying people—gossips, complainers, and backstabbers—can bring anyone down. Don’t let them. Don’t take their complaints personally, keep your feelings about them to yourself, and treat them politely, no matter how difficult this may be.
Ask for advice
People are flattered when asked for their opinion and will go out of their way to be helpful. You might ask someone: “Do you think there’s a better way to approach this task?” Or “Who is the best person to arrange Tuesday’s meeting?” Remember to always thank the person for their input.
If a colleague needs assistance and you’re free, pitch right in. And of course, thank them for any help they give you. These actions always engender good feelings.
Get your work done on time, don’t grouse about deadlines, respond to emails as soon as possible, give credit to anyone who has made a project easier … all of these actions help to build connection—and harmony.