Figuring out how to get along with coworkers can be hard. You don’t need to be best friends with the people you work with, but you do need to find ways to develop a productive working relationship with the people on your team. Here are eight tips that will help you foster strong relationships with your coworkers.
1. Avoid Too Much Personal Information
One of the topics that can strain professional relationships is your personal life. Over time, you may develop a friendship with some of your coworkers that allows you to confide in them about your personal issues. But if you want to create a comfortable workplace, the best approach is to avoid talking about your personal life to the people you work with.
With that said, you also want to avoid coming across as cold. If you don’t share any personal information at all, you may be perceived as unfriendly or evasive. When it comes to how to get along with coworkers, there’s a fine line with regard to how much to share.
Sharing a few small details about your weekend plans makes for friendly chatter in the breakroom. However, sharing your political or religious beliefs can be a landmine at work. Avoid these topics, as well as discussion of anything else that could be construed as not safe for work.
2. Be a Good Listener
The stress at work can build up, and people often just need a way to vent. That’s where you can step in and become an attentive coworker. By allowing your teammates to say what’s on their minds, you can make them feel comfortable with you and establish a good working rapport.
Just remember, if your coworker shares something private, you should keep it confidential whenever possible. Be careful not to turn what you may learn into office gossip. This is a major no-no and will serve you well to remember when you are considering how to get along with coworkers.
3. Keep Your Hands to Yourself
As a general rule, people can get uncomfortable when they’re touched by someone that they don’t consider a personal friend. You definitely want to avoid the reputation for being the touchy-feely person at work because that can alienate you from the rest of your coworkers.
In business settings, some people hug and others shake hands. If you’re not sure which is appropriate, use this rule: If you are going to hug one person in the meeting, you should feel comfortable enough to hug every person. In all likelihood, you will not feel comfortable hugging everyone in attendance. Therefore, shaking hands is the professional way to go.
4. Always Be Positive
Sometimes the techniques that work well with customers also work with coworkers. Even if you aren’t feeling super happy on a given day, you can make your coworkers feel more at ease when you approach work with a smile on your face. If you smile a lot, then the people you work with will tend to give you a break on those days when you just cannot muster a smile.
If you are feeling down, come up with strategies to cope that won’t impact those around you. Take a walk. Write your thoughts down. Listen to music on your headphones. Do your best to avoid sinking into negativity.
5. Be Good at What You Do
Your interactions with other people in your office become much smoother when you have a reputation for being good at your job. When people know that they can rely on you to get things done and make them look good, then they tend to value your presence in the office.
But remember that being good isn’t just about one thing. In part, it’s about producing high-quality work. However, it’s also about being on time and respectful of the time of others. And when it comes to your work, take credit for your piece and give credit for the pieces other people have helped you with. This is a great strategy for how to get along with coworkers.
6. Avoid Office Drama
This can be hard at times. Every workplace has drama, but that doesn’t mean you have to be part of it. The moment you choose sides in any kind of office incident is the moment you lose your ability to get along with some portion of the people you work with. Stay out of office drama and run far away from office gossip.
7. Worry Only About Your Job
When you look across the hall and see one of your coworkers talking away on a personal phone call, just remember that it really doesn’t concern you. If your productivity is being affected by the way someone else executes their duties, then you may have to speak up. Usually, though, it’s a good idea to worry only about your own performance and to let management worry about what everyone else is doing. We’re all adults here, right? Let’s treat one another with respect.
8. Be Dependable
This is different than being good at your job because this deals with being on time in the morning and not taking breaks that are longer than allowed. If coworkers see you bending the rules, it will create resentment. If you’re wondering how to get along with your coworkers, then show up on time and keep to your scheduled breaks. This will let them know they can count on you and that you respect their time.
A Happy Office Is a Productive Office
You should do what you can to make sure that you create a comfortable and productive workplace. But if you can’t figure out how to get along with coworkers, it might be time to find a new job. The first step to finding a new job is having an updated resume. It’s what will land you the interview and, ultimately, the job. If you need to update yours, check out LiveCareer’s award-winning Resume Builder to help you find a job that’s right for you.