5 Steps to Get Along Better with People at Work
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5 Steps to Get Along Better with People at Work

Chances are, you have had at least one person in your life that you just cannot get along with.  Navigating such a situation at work can be tricky even for the most socially skilled.

Having had the pleasure of dealing with difficult colleagues in both the military and the corporate world, I have found that certain steps can be taken to make everyone's life a little bit easier.  Try these 5 steps to get along better with people at work:

1.  LISTEN:  Have you ever noticed that it is usually very easy to tell when someone is not really listening to you?  Take, for example, the person who continues to type an email while they have a conversation with you or the person that doesn't put down the newspaper while you are speaking with them.  It can be especially frustrating if you are the one not being listened to; not to mention it’s just rude.

Showing someone that you are actively listening to them can go a long way towards building a trusting relationship - even if you don't particularly like the person!  Put anything else you are working on aside, make eye contact with them as they are speaking (be careful not to obsessively stare) and ask questions to confirm your interest.

2.  NO GOSSIP:  I know, you are probably thinking that this is impossible.  I can assure you that it is not, and it can build some pretty strong relationships for you at work.  This doesn't mean that you can’t engage in some harmless break-room banter about last weekend's football game or your bad date.  It does mean that you should absolutely avoid cutting down a colleague over a bag of cheetos and a cup of coffee with Bob from accounting.  If you have a problem with a colleague or their work, your time will be better spent by figuring out how to approach them about it in an honest, non-confrontational and forthright manner.

3.  PRAISE & CONGRATULATE:  It's natural to feel some sense of competition with your colleagues, but don't let it stop you from being a good sport.  If you see someone do a good job, let them know.  When the time comes for you to give that same colleague some less than positive feedback or approach them about a problem, they will likely be much more receptive to you.

4.  AID & ASSIST:  If you are particularly good at something, then take the time to help a colleague if they need it.  See it as a chance to help the team, no just someone you may not get along with.  Don't be pushy about offering to help; make the offer once or twice and let it be if they still decline your offer.  It's one thing to say that you are a team player, but another to show it with your actions.

5.  RESPECT EVERYONE'S TIME:  I'm sure you have had those days when you had to turn someone away because you were just too busy.  Everyone has those days and it is important to remember that.  Your time is no more precious than anyone else's.  Try to avoid those last minute requests that cause someone to stay late at the office or miss their next meeting.  Such behavior will not help you build good working relationships.  There will be times when it is unavoidable, but keep those times to a minimum.  Call ahead and make sure that your colleague is free and has the time to help.  And, most importantly, let your colleague know that you appreciate their time by telling them exactly that!

Following the steps above won't necessarily get you into the corner office, but it should help you build stronger relationships at work and elsewhere.

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Comments (1)
EDUCARE HUB (Distance Education)

Thank you for this wonderful article...keep posting.

Distance Learning Education