5 Ways To Keep A Good Relationship With Your Colleagues

A day at work can be a nightmare if you do not have a good relationship with your colleagues and it is very common for employees to just hate each other and make things uncomfortable for each and that is just wrong and can even kill productivity in the company.

Here are a few tips you can use to make sure that your relationship with your colleagues is always warm.

1. Practice Common Courtesy

Β This one should be self-explanatory, but I live in New England, which can be known for standoffish attitudes. Look, there’s nothing creepier than walking down the hall at work and greeting a coworker with a friendly “Hello” only to receive a stony stare in response (or no acknowledgment at all). I’m not saying you should throw confetti and hand out balloons, but a simple exchange of smiles and a “Hi” is the first step in forming a constructive workplace. Make eye contact and refer to people by name. This is the oil that keeps the engine of cooperation running smoothly. It doesn’t mean you have to chat over coffee for an hour and it certainly doesn’t mean you have to kiss anyone.

Furthermore, keep in mind office life is much like having roommates. Don’t be the guy (or girl) who left the fish sandwich in the fridge for two weeks, or finished the last Keurig cup without opening another box. If your feet noticeably sweat, sandals at work may be a bad idea. And so forth.

2. Respect Other People’s Time

Every job is a service job. Whether you work in IT, HR, Marketing, or Administration, you have something other people need. It could be know-how in your job role or the capability to perform certain business functions, like signing purchase orders.

Unless it’s a genuine emergency, don’t hover outside someone’s cube/office while they’re busy with someone else, to “wait for them to get off the phone,” or finish an existing conversation; just come back later. They will see you and feel pressured to get rid of the existing visitor or end the phone call. Similarly, don’t hand off work requests in the hall, kitchen, bathroom, or outside the office. (On one occasion, I bumped into someone at the grocery store on Saturday who asked me to get a new computer for her at the office and wanted an ETA on the spot!) The line between work and personal lives should be respected.

3. Help Yourself

If you need assistance from someone else at work or have a question, see if you can look up the information/try the task before seeking help. Even if you can do this only partially, it will help – and it will earn respect. For instance, if you need to submit a request to your network group to open ports in the firewall, research the ports and the IP addresses of the hosts involved instead of just emailing them to ask “Can you allow remote desktop access from outside the company?” Β People will know you’ve done the legwork and will appreciate that.

Some things are best left to the professionals, of course. If the other guy on your IT team is responsible for making DNS changes you could easily perform yourself, you shouldn’t proceed on his turf unless he’s given you permission to do so and is aware of your action.

4. Stay On The Level

Treat everyone the same. Office politics can be deadly and sometimes even unavoidable, but reduce your involvement in them wherever possible. Don’t gossip or get involved in it when others do. I’ve seen instances where bad blood developed among employees who kept “whispering” rude things about people they didn’t like through instant messaging services. Guess what happened when one of them left their computer unattended? Everyone got a free trip to see the VP of HR and all of them were gone within a few months β€” except the target of their discussions!

The person you hired might wind up being your boss one day, and your manager might get transferred elsewhere then transferred back to become the one in charge again. I have seen both instances happen in real life, proving that staying on a friendly (or at the very least neutral) basis with everyone possible is always the best policy.

5. Proceed With Caution On Social Media

A plethora of social media vehicles come and go; Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn β€” anyone remember MySpace? However, there’s really nothing different about interacting with coworkers on social media as compared to the standard rules of real life that have been around for decades. (Of course, you should review your company’s social media policy to be aware of the requirements.)

If you do connect with coworkers through social media, don’t engage in inappropriate relationships and don’t present an unprofessional side of yourself. We’ve all heard that it’s dumb to post drunken Facebook photos, but a better rule would be to keep any controversial interests or hobbies separate from your coworkers. Don’t share confidential information about the company or other workers. Pretend the company president (or board of directors) is personally following your every move on social media and act accordingly. Your job and maintaining the operations and integrity of the company is the priority. A better option might be to restrict work connections to LinkedIn and leave Facebook for “real-life friends,” family, neighbors, and so forth

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