Of course, it’s not always easy to be a great team member. But being a good coworker is absolutely essential if you want to have a successful career. Here are 5 ways to be a better coworker day in and day out:
1. Don’t take things too personally. Everyone has an opinion, which means at some point we are bound to disagree with one another. Disagreeing on how to go about a project might seem like a big point of contention, but it doesn’t have to be.
If your coworker shuts down your idea, don’t take it too personally. Rather than seeing it as a personal jab, think about it from an objective standpoint. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make my solution better?” Doing so can change the dynamic of the conversation and actually help you both figure out a better approach to tackling a problem.
2. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Likewise, try to give your coworkers the benefit of the doubt when they do shut you down or in situations where they lash out. They may just be having a bad day, or maybe they’re having trouble understanding your perspective. Always take the high road and try to see the positives in a situation.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you have a problem: speak up! Nothing is worse than letting the tension build up between you and a coworker for no other reason than being afraid of dealing with the consequences. By dealing with your problems from the start, you can save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.
4. Lend a hand. If you see a coworker struggling, do your best to help them as much as you can. Whether it is taking some of the workload off their shoulders or showing them a more efficient way of tackling a problem, anything you do can be a huge help and says that you are there for them.
That being said, don’t act like you are there to save the day. No one wants to be a victim or feel like they are incompetent. Be aware of how you approach them and only help if they really want you to.
5. Stay positive. Nothing is worse than a negative Nancy—but we’ve all been there. Avoid bringing drama to the workplace by sticking to a positive attitude. Sure, it is okay to vent every once in a while, but try to leave the venting at home. That kind of attitude can be infectious, and again, you’ll never lose by always taking the high road.