Unless you have a business you run all by yourself, your co-workers are a very real part of your life. You see them every day, spend a lot of time with them and perhaps even more than you spend with everyone else. While you can choose to have whatever relationship you feel like with anyone else in your life, it’s different with your co-worker because you need each other to survive in the work environment, so you must have a good working relationship with them, as that may be the difference between your stay and exit from any organisation.
Now, let’s talk about how to make things work for you two.
SHOW RESPECT FOR YOUR CO-WORKERS
For any relationship to succeed, the individuals who are part of it must show respect for each other.
One way to demonstrate respect is by avoiding doing things others might find offensive. For example, don’t leave your mess behind and don’t steal credit for someone else’s work.
Everyone has bad days. Show your co-workers some kindness when they seem to be struggling. You don’t have to do anything extravagant. Offering to stay late to help him/her work on a big project with a looming deadline or bringing them coffee and a cookie on a stressful day can light up their face. It won’t make your colleague’s problems disappear, but it could help make them feel better.
AVOID GOSSIP, ESPECIALLY MALICIOUS ONES
Gossip can get you into trouble. Resist the urge to share juicy bits of news about anyone with whom you work. When you do, it sends a bad impression to your colleagues, and they will wonder if they will be your next subject.
Know that while you should refrain from gossiping, you should know how to make the grapevine work for you. Listen to all the news that come your way, filter out what is false and ignore anything that isn’t helpful.
GET ALONG WITH EVERYONE
The truth about the work environment is that you are unlikely to have any control over who your co-workers are and what they are like – a few may have some annoying qualities. Whether you work with a chatterbox, a gossip, a delegator, a complainer or a credit grabber, your life will be much easier if you find a way to get along with them.
UPHOLD GOOD WORK ETIQUETTE
Good manners are as important on the job as they are anywhere else. This is an important point to remember whenever you are around your co-workers. Make sure to make phone calls in a way that doesn’t distract anyone who is trying to work. Keep your voice down and, if possible, have private conversations away from others.
Take care when writing or replying to email. Always say “please” when making a request and don’t drive your co-workers crazy by hitting “reply all” in a group email when only the sender needs to see your response.
Be mindful of proper table manners when eating lunch with your co-workers. For example, avoid tending to matters of personal hygiene at the table, put your cell phone away and be polite to waitstaff. Just avoid stepping on a toe.