Are YOU a Good Co-worker?
I’m sure you’ve been warned about what can happen to your food if you are rude to wait staff. Your entrée may just take a trip to the kitchen floor – or worse – if you behave badly. If you are a polite customer, you do not have to worry about what happens to your entrée before it reaches your table. As a customer you have a responsibility to be a good customer. At work you have a responsibility to be a good employee and a good co-worker.
After all when we work together we are providing services to one another. If you are a good co-worker, you are likely to receive better services from your colleagues than others. Here are some tips to help make you a better customer to your colleagues.
- Be polite. When you see your co-workers in the morning greet them by name and exchange a quick friendly greeting. On your way out say goodbye. I do not mean you have to stop by everyone’s desk twice a day. But if someone is on your path, look them in the eye and acknowledge them.
- Be considerate. Before you barge into your co-workers work space and make a request at least say “Hello”. Ask, “Is now a good time?” If the answer is no, ask when you can come back. If you believe that what you need to discuss with them is a top priority explain why. If you really do have a compelling reason for needing their time and attention right now, MOST people will understand and comply.
- Be appreciative. Remember to say please and thank you. Sure people are doing their jobs but that doesn’t mean you cannot appreciate them. Don’t you like to be appreciated too?
- Be positive. Nobody likes a whiner. If you want to discourage people from talking to you, go ahead and complain about everything. However, assuming that you want to be a good co-worker, remember to smile. When you smile you look better to other people. I do not mean better as-in landing a date for Saturday night; I mean more inviting as a person. MOST people will respond to your smile. Your smile can also be heard in your voice (which is why you often read or hear advice about smiling when you pick up the phone or during an online meeting). Smiling also releases endorphins which makes YOU feel better too.
- Be accommodating. Whenever possible work toward your colleague’s preferences. If you know your colleague has a preference for receiving information a certain way or prefers meetings to be at specific times of day, see if you can accommodate them. This is a quick and effective relationship builder.
- Be open. Share information and expectations. Tell people about the work they are helping you with. If you know you will need their time give them advance notice.
It really comes down to good manners. You may call this common courtesy and yet you may notice that with some of your colleagues, it is not as common as you would like. That is OK, you can set the trend. When you treat people well they will often respond in kind. It’s called reciprocity and in this case it is a good thing.
Posted: July 2nd, 2012 under Job Performance, Leadership, Professional development.
Tags: characteristics of a good employee, how to be a good co-worker, qualities of a good employee, traits of a good co-worker
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