How to Get Along with Coworkers: Fall in Love with Your Job Part 2 of 3

by | Sep 26, 2016

If you can’t get along with coworkers you won’t love your job.

Recently we discussed David Allan’s first tip for falling in love with your job—hack it. This is part 2 of 3 in the How to Fall in Love with Your Job series.

Allan’s second tip has to do with how to get along with coworkers.

We all know that coworkers mostly fall into the “things about my job that I don’t have control over” category. We don’t get to pick who we work with. But the fact is, how we get along with coworkers (our relationships with them) has a direct impact on our daily lives. It can impact how we feel about ourselves and our work. And we do have control over how we choose to interact with people placed into our lives.

Three tips for how to get along with coworkers.

  1. Get to know them. It’s so easy to dislike Nick for always having something negative to say about your work. To you, it’s obvious he’s on some kind of power trip. But that may not be the case. Look at things from his point of view. Maybe you don’t know that Nick volunteers as a successful competitive softball coach outside of work. Even his daughters complain that he’s a stickler on the diamond too—but it gets results. After all, his teams have won the state tournament 3 years in a row. When you do know this you might see a more rounded picture of Nick. His criticism may not be about you after all. You might even begin to like him…sometimes. On the flip side, if you take more interest in Nick’s passion outside of work, perhaps he will get to know you a little better. And experiences like those also have a tendency to melt away negative feelings.
  2. Try to enjoy yourself. Another way to get along with coworkers is to be someone who lightens the mood around the office. Think back on one of those meetings that no one wanted to be at. Or an office lunch that awkwardly forced multiple departments together. Did someone on the team try to make those situations a little more pleasant? A little more fun? Be that person. Get the ball rolling when it seems like people are struggling to connect. Find a way to be enthusiastic. Happiness is contagious. Embrace it just a little and you’ll find it’s not that hard to have a good time.
  3. Lend a helping hand. Just as you want to make progress in your life, so do your coworkers. Learn about where they want to go. Help them get there. When you help others achieve a goal, even small goals, you create a bond. We all want to feel connected with the work we do. Helping each other reach our goals is the best way to connect and engage with our work every day.

When you get along with coworkers it makes your days better. Sometimes they’re the ones who get you through a tough day. When your best efforts to stay positive, engaged and hardworking don’t seem to be doing the trick, at least you’re grinding away with some friends.

What leaders can do to help

As leaders, we guide our team. Often the pressure to get things out the door or resolve an emergency issue distracts us. Sometimes we ignore when teammates are having issues. We push and pull instead of fueling up and steering.

Leaders have to set the example for how to get along with coworkers. It’s important to remember each person you lead is also your coworker. Focus on the three steps for improving relationships with coworkers. If you do you will find you don’t have to do quite as much “leading” as before. Instead of relying on position and authority to get things done you will rely more and more on your relationships. Your team will feel valued. And work will be a lot more enjoyable for the whole team.

Do you have any other tips for how to get along with coworkers? Ever seen any of these three tips work in your experience? Have you seen negative relationships because coworkers have ignored these three steps? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned next week for the final installment of our How to Love Your Job series.