There are numerous essential skills and habits you need in order to work well with others. Developing the proper habits, early on, helps put you on track to things like higher pay and leadership opportunities. Since more and more companies are making the decision to hire within, these things are more important than ever before. Many of these things will probably seem obvious to you. However, if they were obvious to everyone, they wouldn’t need to be listed. Please note, this isn’t a complete list of the skills and habits you need to succeed, but it definitely gives you a good place to start. As you can probably see, a lot of these suggestions don’t take much more effort than remembering them. There’s no reason to panic and think you have to change your entire way of life.
Although these things may seem insignificant when you look at them separately, failing to do several of them adds up to a bigger problem. It really can mean the difference between keeping a job or getting fired. This is especially true in today’s economy. With so many people actively looking for employment, employers generally find it very easy to fill their open positions.
#1 Take Responsibility – It’s always important to take responsibility for things that you do, especially when something goes wrong. No one is perfect. All but a few unrealistic employers realize that. If you make a mistake and claim that it wasn’t your fault, not only are you not telling the truth, you’re also giving the impression that you weren’t in control of the situation. By taking responsibility, you’ll probably notice two things. Firstly, your co-workers will likely be more willing to help you correct the problem and help you to succeed. Secondly, these same individuals will be more comfortable around you, knowing that you are honest and will never place the blame on someone else.
#2 Keep an Open Mind – Even in situations where you know you are 100 percent correct, it’s always advisable to keep an open mind. This is especially true when you happen to be in a managerial position. Why? If you’re never open to new or alternate ideas, you may come across as someone who knows it all. When this happens, people typically get defensive very quickly and it’s downhill from there. It’s much more productive to show a little bit of humility and concern about truly finding the right answer for every issue and situation. Because everyone has a different problem-solving process, teamwork really has the potential to resolve issues and come up with great ideas much faster.
#3 Honor Your Commitments – Always try to allow enough time to complete projects in a timely manner, even when something unexpected comes up. It’s much better to give yourself more time than necessary to finish whenever you’re working on, rather than to underestimate the time needed to complete the assignment. This way, you don’t have to worry about disappointing your employer or your colleagues. Go the extra mile. Always follow up on things, whenever possible. This accomplishes both strengthening workplace relationships and provides you with important feedback regarding your performance.
#4 Practice Proper Hygiene – Regardless of whether you’re working with the public or in a back office, practicing proper hygiene is essential when you work with others. No one wants to be around someone who smells bad or looks like they slept in their clothing. This doesn’t mean you have to dress like the rich and famous. It simply means to shower daily and come to work looking and smelling presentable. If you’re on a tight budget, consider purchasing clothing at local thrift stores. You can pick up great deals on clothing that’s perfectly suitable for work. These stores typically stock a wide variety of business attire at fantastic prices. You just have to be there at the right time, which is on the days that the store gets deliveries.
#5 Turn Off Your Phone – Almost everyone has a cell phone these days. If you work in a large office, constant ringing can be a major distraction. Unless you need your phone for work purposes, turn it off or put it away. Quickly reading a text message when someone is speaking to you is extremely rude. It gives the impression that your phone is more important than your job. Make a habit of checking your messages or making quick calls during your breaks or lunch period.
#6 Share Credit – When applicable, sharing credit with your co-workers is a sure sign that you work well with others. Not only will that person or individuals like you even more than they did before, you’ll probably gain a higher level of respect as well. On the other hand, if you don’t share credit when credit is due, you’ll gain a reputation as someone who is selfish and out to sabotage everyone else in attempt to get ahead. If you happen to get away with this without anyone complaining, don’t waste your time celebrating. In reality, the truth usually prevails and you won’t get ahead – you may just find yourself in the unemployment line instead.
#7 Smile – The act of smiling is often referred to as a person’s most powerful gesture. Science can back up the fact that individuals who smile often are not only happier, they’re more successful as well. Even better – smiling doesn’t cost you a penny. It’s free to smile and watch the world (or at least the people you work with) smile right back at you.
Your job might require you to share a space with your co-workers, whether it’s a cubicle, office, or vehicle. If you are near others while you work, make sure that you respect their boundaries and encourage them to respect yours in return. Try not to divulge too much about your personal life, because this may be too much information for some people. These boundaries will differ from person to person, so if you aren’t sure if you behavior is going to annoy your co-worker, it may be best to ask first.
If you’ve had a dispute with a co-worker, it can be difficult to get your relationship with them back to a state where you can work together effectively. If the dispute has been resolved, the best thing that you can do is move on to focus on work. Of course, your co-worker will have to focus on letting go too. If they still seem upset over the issue, see if they’re willing to talk about it. If they tell you why they’re still not satisfied after the dispute was settled, do what you can to make things right between the two of you. If problems persist between the two of you, it may be best to inform your boss or supervisor.
This information is just a small sample of things you can do to help ensure that you always work well with others, regardless of your job description or company position. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind. Better yet, write each of them on a Post-it note and stick them around your workstation. Remember, motivation is contagious. Why not help to spread around and make your work environment a friendlier and more productive place? Your co-workers will undoubtedly thank you for it!
“Always do your best. Don’t stop just because someone doesn’t give you credit.” ~ Mary Rosen
“Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results.” ~ James Allen