Let’s cut to the chase– work can suck sometimes. While we’ve all heard of the “work hard, play hard” mentality, the “work hard, play very occasionally and with strict parameters” might be a more accurate phrase for the reality that we live in. So, when the going gets tough at your office, are you part of the tough who get going or are you making other colleagues’ situations worse? Hopefully not. At least, not intentionally.
Don’t panic. I doubt you went out of your way to ruin someone’s day at the office. But, maybe there have been times you could have handled a situation differently or owned more responsibility. Breathe. It will be okay. First, acknowledge where you went wrong. Next, come up with a solution that will benefit not only your co-workers, but will help your professional development as well. While every situation is unique to the industry, company and individual, there are four general tips on how to be a better co-worker that can be tailored for any situation.
Whether you work independently or with a team, it’s important to be adaptable to all kinds of work styles. Because, honestly, who wants to be known as the person in the office who produces great work, but is impossible to work with? As you build professional relationships, whether it be with clients or colleagues, you’ll run into different communication and work styles. Instead of complaining, look for a solution you can control by working with others. Remember ladies: work smarter, not harder.
Be an effective communicator
Unfortunately, we were not born with the ability to read minds, so how can you expect your co-workers to know how you’re feeling, what your workload looks like or your status on a current project? Being an effective communicator can help prevent any miscommunication from becoming bigger issues in the workplace.
Being comfortable in your workplace is great and all, but you know what’s better? Being empathetic to how you make others feel in the workplace. This can be as simple as being aware of how loud your music blares through your headphones or refraining from making an inappropriate joke. However, being mindful of others’ political views, personal beliefs and culture is a drastically important part of this equation. Your passions and opinions might be polar opposite of those around you, so be sure to tread these waters carefully.
In my opinion this skill is the most important, but not always easy to achieve. What do all the “best places to work” have in common? A high level of employee engagement. The reason their employees love working there is the commonality of having a positive culture. Be the change you want to see in your workplace and bring the positive vibes. Foster workplace friendships by asking a co-worker out for lunch or coffee, celebrate milestones in meaningful ways or be an advocate for employee recognition. There are millions of ways to bring positive energy to your workplace, you just have to take the time to showcase it.
What are some ways you have been a good co-worker? Share your best tips and tricks below!