Career Advice,  ChampLeaders Boot Camp,  Leadership

How To Be The Best Co-Worker

Updated Content

First Published : March 14, 2020

Oh co-workers, can’t live with them and can’t live without them.

If you are employed like millions of people around the world, having co-workers is the norm. They are our daily interactions in this wonderful world.

Sometimes it’s wonderful. But sometimes, it can be a tad bit too much.

Co-workers are critical in your career and they can either help you further your aspirations or sometimes, may be the reason why your future on the team or company will never go anywhere. 

So, how do you manage this?

You see them every day or maybe virtually "see" them. You will at one point, have to talk to them. You will have to interact with them.

It’s non-negotiable.

Might as well make the most of your co-workers and start to have a pleasant relationship with them. After all, who wants to go to work pissed off all the time, right?

Let’s face it. You need them.

Here are a few tips on how to manage your relationship with your co-workers before it’s too late.

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1. Make a genuine effort to connect.

Believe it or not, having a good relationship with your co-workers starts with you.

Yup, you are the center of that relationship.

Your effort will spell out your co-worker’s interaction with you. If you are friendly, they will at least try to be friendly back.

If you are responsive, then the likelihood of your emails getting ignored is going to be slim.

This may seem straightforward but sometimes, this very simple career tip is neglected that it becomes a “who makes the first move” stupid thing that should never be the case anyway.

If you are waiting for your co-workers to make the first move and make the effort, then that may be the reason why your co-workers are not warm to you.

Make the effort. Do it today.


2. Be responsive.

Nobody likes being ignored. This is especially true if you send out an email and you get days of crickets in return.

As a rule, answer emails sooner than later.

If it requires a little bit more time to get the answer to your co-worker, reply and let the person know that it will take time and that you’ll reply by “X”, or to expect a delayed response.

Don’t keep people hanging. Don’t make them wonder and feel unimportant.

I tell my team this, and it has worked for me in setting expectations and standards. I tell them that if I followed up on a response, that means they are already late.

Be the co-worker that responds quickly and values efficiency. Don’t waste your co-worker’s time.

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3. Volunteer to help.

There’s nothing wrong if you volunteer to help a co-worker on a task or deliverable. This is more often appreciated especially for complex deliverable.

Volunteering to help takes time and effort. Do it because you want to help. Any other reason will not be genuine and may be misunderstood.

Make your purpose known and genuinely give a hand.

This will go a long way especially in times that you may be needing help. Your co-workers are not obligated to help you in the future but generally, people do try to reciprocate the gesture.

If you are volunteering to help, try to talk to your colleague in person or give them a call if they are not in the office. This gesture makes communication much easier and have less chances of being misunderstood. Refrain from doing it through email.

This goodwill gesture not only brings out your maturity, but it also strengthens your leadership skills and team work.

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4. Join Team Engagement activities.

Nothing like being the supportive co-worker who joins events and company activities.

Not only does this bring out teamwork but also respect for your company’s efforts to bring in a better culture. Believe me it’s better to be the supportive one who shows up in Team Engagement activities vs. the co-worker who doesn’t show up and thinks it’s a waste of time.

These engagement activities show the leaders in the company who are genuinely there to support the team and go over and beyond just doing the job expectations.

Plus, you get to build relationships in these activities especially if your company works in silos and these events become the only time for all the departments to see and get together.

If you’d like to be part of the committee in building a reliable Team Engagement activity then check out this guide that will show you the step-by-step process and improve employee engagement in 90 days or less.

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5. Be nice.

Remember that golden rule? Yup, still true in the workplace.

This is by no means being a pushover. This just means be respectful of your co-workers and be nice in your words and behavior.

If you are disappointed with the work of your co-worker and feel the need to criticize, give it some time to think through the message and the approach.

Sometimes, it’s the way you say the message that makes the difference. Be nice in giving feedback. Use the S-B-I Method.

And if you’re in the other end of that feedback, then graciously accept it.Don’t be sour when you are given negative feedback by your co-workers.

Own the opportunity and then, act. This will make a difference and will be important as you build relationships in the workplace.

Moreover, your boss will also observe your behavior and manage his/her perception of you. Being nice means that you respect the relationship over the issues or problems.

Remember that the workplace has plenty of ups and downs, make sure that through it all, you value the relationship with your co-workers.

Being a great co-worker happens if you take the ownership to build a great relationship. It will take some work but the benefits are worth it. Here are some benefits

  • Makes the office more enjoyable.
  • With the relationships that you built, you get to have a meaningful time at work.
  • You are more productive when you have a good relationship with your co-workers vs. stressing out about issues and losing precious time in doing work
  • Your mental health will improve.

There you have it. I hope that these ideas help you become a better co-worker and help you have a better work experience.

Remember that being a great co-worker STARTS WITH YOU. Make the effort and genuinely build relationships today.

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About Daisy Casio

Daisy is the creator of ChampLeaders. She has a husband, a toddler, a passion for travel and love for learning something new everyday. She writes about leadership, motivation, career tips and many more. Daisy hopes to share her mantra on being positive and living your best self now.

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