The workplace can sometimes be a jungle. When you bring together a group of people who have different personalities, different values and beliefs, and different ways of working, it can be a recipe for disaster. This should come as no surprise, but many workers are not productive and are not a team player.
There are workers who are not really sure of their role, as they were not provided with the proper incorporation or were too afraid to ask for help; workers who do not have the skills or knowledge of the job, as they may have assumed the role or given the “correct” answers in the interview; workers who resent others who have more recognition or (perceived) success than they. The list can go on and on.
But fitting in and getting along with your coworkers is a critical component of job satisfaction. It is also a factor of performance and commitment. You may love the work you do, but if the environment is not conducive, the opposite will happen: dissatisfaction, anxiety, and disengagement. But hope is not lost, as there are ways to create enthusiastic fans and not adversaries with coworkers.
Taking responsibility for your actions is the first step, which means you are aware of your actions and behaviors throughout your workday. It is also a check and balance of how you can see with others, as we often wear a veil of denial over our own behaviors. What we think is not always how others perceive it.
Here are some practical tips for being a good worker:
- Be a team player – Recognize that your job influences the tasks and roles of all other co-workers, so keep the big picture in mind. As the saying goes, ‘there is no me on the team’, so start thinking about how your actions and performance affect your co-workers and the organization itself; this will give you purpose for your work to motivate you to give more
- Be a resource – Offer to help co-workers, which can be done by giving a different idea or perspective, sharing some knowledge, or helping with a task. This is again a team player; your co-workers will see you as someone who creates harmonious relationships and a more functioning group
- build bonds – since relationships are everything, get to know your coworkers. People want to know that you care about them: your child making the soccer team, the recipe for the cookies they brought, their ideas / opinions / values, etc. This forges deeper bonds and people accept you more, especially if a conflict arises.
- Complement and Acknowledge – Don’t be stingy when it comes to acknowledging your peers’ achievements, or thanking them or a compliment Do it for the little things, not just the big ones, as this makes it more memorable for them and builds trust and acceptance.
- Communicate well – Make sure your messages are fully heard by thinking about what and how you will convey your message and reflect on what you have heard. Tell people the benefit of what you are asking and then truly listen, without thinking about your answer, your idea / opinion, etc. Resolve any conflict in a mutually negotiated manner, forging whatever defensiveness you may feel.
- whistle while you work – make sure you have a good attitude every day; stop complaining – yours, theirs. People want to be around other positive and attractive people, so decide each morning that you will love your job; You will catch up and bring followers with you.
By taking the following steps, you will also improve relationships with your boss, your co-workers, and your clients. You can survive the ‘jungle’ by standing out and being a positive force.