Why should you bother trying to be a great coworker every day? Well, because building great relationships at work is going to help you in your career both in the short and long run!First of all, your work day will be a lot more pleasant if you’re surrounded by people you mutually respect and enjoy working with. Second of all, your colleagues are the best people to write recommendations or spread the word about your awesomeness. They can vouch for you for the rest of your career. Likeability is one factor of your success—though it’s not the end-all be-all.
Of course, you might not love each and every one of your coworkers from the get-go, and that’s okay.
The good news? You can still build strong working relationships built on mutual respect. Start by being a great coworker everyday.
These are some surefire ways to spread a little sunshine to the people you work with!
1. Step Up to Help Out“If you notice someone in need of help, take the initiative without needing to be asked to lend a helping hand,” says Matt Zajechowski of Digital Third Coast. “Work as a team and realize we all succeed when everyone succeeds.”
2. Give Credit Generously
“One of the biggest office relationship issues I hear about is from employees who feel that their work or ideas are taken for granted or co-opted and stolen,” says April Masini, an advice columnist. It’s always better to give more credit than not enough.
In fact, in some ways it’s okay for your coworkers to steal credit. No one likes a credit hog!
3. Knock before Barging in
Warn a colleague before you interrupt their thought process, workflow and concentration.
“Use your judgment and determine whether they prefer a call or email ahead of time. If you still need to stop by, even with an urgent matter, knock and still wait for a response,” says Theresa O’Neal of Bee Season Consulting.
4. Don’t Go MIA
This is especially true during vacation season. “Sharing your schedule sometimes helps others plan theirs better,” O’Neal adds. “If you are planning on leaving early, but have not announced it to anyone, you may end up frustrating both your coworkers and yourself when you decide to walk out the door.”
Of course, it’s easy to cross the line into TMI territory. Just be thoughtful and logical about this.
5. Try Not to Sound So Stressed Out
Unless it’s a serious White House Down situation … there’s really no reason to be extremely stressed out and frantic. Take a breath. Channel empathy. Try and speak calmly as often as you can.
“Have a pleasant, verses stressed out, attitude,” says Kathi Elster, executive coach and the co-author of Working with You is Killing Me.
6. Don’t be Loud in an Open-Plan Office
“If you sit in an open space of even in an office, be aware of the volume level of your conversations,” O’Neal says.
Not everyone wants to hear you chatter on about your weekend. It’s especially annoying to those who have a ton of work to get done. People might start wondering if maybe you need more work.
7. Break up Your Clique“If you lunch with the same people daily, or have cocktails on Friday with the same people, you may become the object of jealousy and resentment of those not included,” Masini says. On a related note, try and avoid office gossip as well.
8. Avoid Office GossipUnless you really have to warn one of your colleagues about a serious situation, there’s really little to gain from involving yourself with office gossip. “Most people like gossip… but most people don’t like the people who gossip,” says Dharmesh Shah, founder and CTO at HubSpot on a recent LinkedIn article.
9. Smile, Say ‘Hello’ and Be Friendly!
A little small talk can go a long way in building relationships and rapport.
“Starting each day with a smile and a welcoming greeting can really help ease relations between yourself and other employees,” says Reuben Yonatan, CEO at GetVoIP.