Ask Away Blog: How To Get Along With Your Coworkers

How To Get Along With Your Coworkers

Monday, March 2, 2020



You can choose your friends, but you can’t always choose your coworkers. I’ve worked in an office environment for almost 14 years now and I’ll be the first to admit it can be stressful dealing with so many different personalities on a daily basis. Often times, you’ll be partnered up with a colleague to complete a work assignment and depending on your personality and theirs, it can be tough. But there are some tips to getting along with coworkers when you work in close quarters like an office environment or a small business.

Stay Neutral

There will ALWAYS be drama and disagreements at work, it’s just inevitable. The key is to keep yourself OUT of them. It serves you no real purpose to get involved and pick a side. If someone is venting to you about someone else, BE CAREFUL what you say in response. Rather than agreeing and adding in your 2 cents about a person, just acknowledge how the person venting to you feels. This makes it so that they can never say “Well, did you hear what Ellen said about you? She agreed that you can’t do your work assignments on time.” If someone’s venting is just too much for you, do NOT be afraid to remind them that you are just planning to get along with everyone. Turn it around and put it on yourself with something like “I just try to be kind to everyone when I’m here because it makes my day less stressful and I have enough going on in my life.”

Be Kind…(even if you don’t want to)

There is literally no good reason to be mean or rude to anyone, even if they treat you that way first. Two wrongs really don’t make a right so although I’m not ALWAYS a fan of the phrase ‘kill them with kindness’ it really is important when it comes to your work environment. Even if I know someone has said something about me or done something wrong to someone else, I remain kind and courteous. Sure, I may not act like the person’s best friend, but I’m not going to go out of my way to be a jerk either. This also helps you get a good reputation in your office and that can last you a very long time. If people associate your name with positive traits or recommendations others have mentioned, it can help you grow in your career.

Look for the Good

Of course we will never resonate with every single human being we have to be around, and the same goes for your workmates. They will likely have different political and sports opinions and they may have personality traits that don’t vibe with you. The key is to just find the good in every person so that inside of you, you can tolerate them. If you sit there and stew on the things you can’t stand in others, it will literally ruin your mood and you’ll become really negative. So if there’s someone you really can’t stand, try this….try to think of one thing that you appreciate or admire about them. Maybe it’s the way they dress, the way they always take charge in meetings so others don’t have to, or maybe it’s just that they bring an awesome casserole to the holiday potluck every year.

Don’t Gossip

This goes along with being kind, but seriously… DO NOT GOSSIP. Gossiping in the office is so bad! You can’t trust everyone, you really can’t. So something you say in confidence to another may mean little to them and they can turn around and tell others what you said, which can earn you a nasty reputation. Now of course, there are people at work that become lifelong friends because they have the same morals and values as us and we completely just click. If you have one of those friends, and you know you can trust them, it’s okay to chat with them but even then, be mindful of what you say. Gossiping is literally just bitching about someone or spreading stories. Most of what people gossip about isn’t even their story to tell. If you hear gossip going around, let it end at you.

Treat Everyone with Respect

So here’s the thing…. Even the lowest paid person in your office is important to your organization. Treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO because no one is truly better than any other. You all are a vital part of a huge team. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen in my years of working just ignore the maintenance staff or custodial staff when they pass them in the hall. It will NOT kill you to just say hi. Acknowledge people at the holidays. Bake cookies for security guards, custodial staff, administrative staff, and your office as a whole. The irony is that you never know who you may be working for someday. The people that you consider “under” you in their positions could certainly begin moving up and one day you may just find yourself across the interview table from your future supervisor who also just happens to have been your mail clerk many years ago.

If you take these tips seriously, they can really help you have a good work environment for yourself. Remember, you’re there to work not to always be making friends. So focus on work, stop dwelling on people you don’t get along with, and don’t see work as a giant social gathering for you to gossip and bitch about others.

What are your tips for a great work environment?

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