We don’t always get to choose who we work with and as a result we might find ourselves sharing a workspace with colleagues whom we might not have much in common with or naturally get on with. However, although many people dream of having nicer colleagues, how do you fare up as a colleague yourself? If you would like a better relationship with your colleagues, it is important to look at your own behaviour first and see what you can bring to the table. Here are some ways that I have found to be a more thoughtful co-worker at work:
Encouraging your colleagues in their endeavors, rather than being in competition with them, is an inspiring way to be at work. We don’t have to be cut throat or out for ourselves to do well at work; encouraging and supporting your colleagues really does pay dividends and enhances your day to day experience of work to boot. Treat your colleagues as you would like to be treated.
True listening is a real skill and something most of us could do with developing to some degree, in and out of the workplace. Practice your listening skills with your co-workers and notice the presumptions that you make about your co-workers and about what they say and do. It is easy to fall into bad habits and feel like you know what they are going to say or how they are going to react. We all know how refreshing and empowering it is when someone really listens to us; be that for other people.
3. Be Self Aware
Being self aware helps you to be more conscious of your behaviors and reactions and theimpact that they have on those around you. Do you talk too much? Have a tendancy to interrupt others when they are speaking? Have angry outbursts when things are not going your own way? Avoid answering a question directly? Being self aware isn’t about punishing yourself or making yourself feel bad; it is about being aware of your strengths and weaknesses and being responsible for the impact you have on those around you. If you have a supportive manager or mentor you could use your appraisals as ways to work on being self aware at work and ask for useful feedback. It is easy to feel like your work place would be better if others changed, but what changes can you make? We really can only change ourselves.
4. Be Generous
Being generous helps to create an environment of kindness and trust around you. If this is missing in your workplace, where could you be more generous at work? Maybe you could cut your colleague some slack when they are stressed? Not take things as personally? Help a co-worker out with the project they are doing? Put past issues where they belong? Bring tasty snacks to share? There are many ways to be generous; see what you can do to bring more generosity into your workplace.
There are many ways that people can feel excluded at work, ranging from feeling out of the loop with management to feeling that they are not part of the team.
Where could you include your colleagues more at work? If you are a manager, keeping colleagues in the loop about issues that affect them is one way to do this. Arranging a social gathering for everyone in the team or asking all your colleagues to join in informal drinks after work is another way. Put yourself in your colleagues shoes and imagine ways that you could help them to feel more part of the team. This can be a challenging but useful practice if you yourself are feeling excluded. Focussing on how you can help others often helps you to reach out and be proactive in your work relationships.
How do you practice thoughtfulness in the workplace?
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach, Mentor & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.