How to Be an Excellent Co-Worker
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Nearly everyone prefers working with pleasant, upbeat and friendly co-workers. Being an excellent coworker can help you develop healthy working relationships, demonstrates motivation and lets your employer know that you're invested in your job. Positive co-worker relationships can increase overall job satisfaction, according to a study published in 2010 in the "Journal of Vocational Behavior." Becoming an excellent coworker involves cultivating a positive attitude, developing effective communication skills, respecting others, and cooperating and helping out when needed.
Develop a Positive Attitude
Some workers spend all their time complaining about the job and griping about others. It is difficult to enjoy working with this type of person, and most of us would probably prefer to avoid co-workers who have negative, defeatist attitudes. It's much easier to get along with co-workers who display positive attitudes and avoid negativity. To become an excellent co-worker, concentrate on the things you enjoy about your job. Focus on the qualities you like in your co-workers and disregard the things you don't like, as much as you can. Avoid gossiping about others. Gossip contributes to a negative, insecure work environment and leads to feelings of distrust and suspicion.
Learn to Communicate
Excellent co-workers know how to communicate effectively with others. If you don't communicate your opinions, preferences and desires to your co-workers, they won't know how you feel. Communication isn't just about assertiveness and effectively expressing your beliefs and viewpoints. It also involves being a good listener, sharing information about yourself and asking questions about others, when appropriate. Excellent co-workers display interest in others. They inquire about their co-workers' lives outside of the office while maintaining professional boundaries and courtesy. Asking people about their interests helps them feel comfortable in your presence, according to psychologist Larina Kase in an interview with "Reader's Digest."
Occasional differences of opinion are inevitable. When differences arise, excellent co-workers stay calm and respect the viewpoints of others. They appreciate diversity and are able to work well with people from different cultural, social and religious backgrounds. They don't try to undermine authority or their co-workers. Excellent co-workers commend others for a job well done and don't try to take undeserved credit for projects or accomplishments.
Become a Team Player
Excellent co-workers are team players. They know that the success of a company, project or any other type of business undertaking requires the cooperation and support of others. Being a team player means that you pitch in and help out when needed. You don't grumble about having to take on a bit of extra work, especially if it means that the rest of the team benefits from your contributions.
- Journal of Vocational Behavior: In Good Company? A Multi-Study, Multi-Level Investigation of the Effects of Coworker Relationships on Employee Well-Being
- Aurora Employee Assistance Program: Principles of Positive Co-Worker Relationships
- Reader's Digest: Develop Good Coworker Relations
- Oprah.com: Scary Work Scenario: And I Have to Spend All Day With These People?
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.