5 Ways to Be a Better Coworker

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This year, you’ll most likely spend more time with your coworkers than your family. Therefore, the more you like your coworkers, the more you like your job. Working in a positive environment and being surrounded by people you enjoy – and who feel the same about you – lends itself to success and creates a general good vibe around the office.

However, it is easy to slip into bad workplace habits, especially during times of high stress. To help combat these moments of office weakness, we have identified five easy actions to implement in your daily routine to be a better co-worker, according to Reader’s Digest: 

Share a cheerful “Hello!” in the morning. Do you trudge into the office, eyes down, shoulders slumped, and immediately start work? If so, you’re likely to find that co-workers may ignore you or avoid you. Get into the habit of smiling and greeting everyone as you arrive in the morning or begin your shift. It’s amazing how fast this little courtesy can thaw chilly workplace relations.

Learn the art of small talk. Ask your co-workers about their interests – their favorite music, films, books, hobbies. Showing a genuine interest in them will make them feel comfortable around you. Talk about your life outside the office when it’s appropriate. This will remind the people you work with that you’re a person first, not just an employee or employer.

Ask what they think. People love to share their opinion, so go out of your way to ask, “What do you think is missing from this report?” or “How do you think I should handle this situation with X?” Then give the advice-giver a sincere thank you, even if the ideas are less than helpful.

Avoid gossip. You wouldn’t want anyone talking about you behind your back, so return the favor. When a coworker sidles up to you bearing some gossip about someone else in the office, respond with, “Really?” Then change the subject or get back to work. If you don’t respond, the gossiper will move on – and you’ll retain the trust and respect of your co-workers.

When dealing with a difficult co-worker, pretend your children are watching. This simple visualization technique will help you to keep a cool head. After all, you’ve taught your children to have good manners. With them “watching,” it will be difficult to stoop to the level of your infuriating co-worker.

Make building positive relationships with the people you work with a priority. There’s a lot you can learn from your coworkers, and it all starts with finding a productive way to coexist and collaborate. For more tips on how to foster better workplace relationships, click here.