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Get Along Better with Coworkers

Get Along Better with Coworkers
You probably spend a lot of your waking hours working, either through your job or volunteer work. The people you interact with as you work might be friends, or they might be difficult people who rub you the wrong way. No matter where you work or who you work with, however, you can find effective ways to communicate. That will help you enjoy all the time you spend working and be successful at getting the job done well - together.

Here are some ways you can build better relationships with coworkers:

  • Take time to try to understand others. Study them and talk with them to discover what’s most important to them, and why. Your coworkers may be from a different generation or cultural background; think about how you can get to know them better.

  • Strive to be dependable and honest whenever you interact with your coworkers.

  • Make it a habit to encourage people however you can – in ways such as complimenting them on their work, cheering them on when they take risks, and listening well to them.

  • When you’re mistreated by someone who is struggling with a personality disorder – such as being narcissistic, overly dramatic, or paranoid – don’t take it personally. Set appropriate boundaries when dealing with difficult people. Respond positively to their positive behavior and don’t give much attention to their negative behavior so you don’t reinforce it.

  • Keep your coworkers informed about how your projects are proceeding and ask them how their work is going.

  • Consider the different learning styles your coworkers have – visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Also consider whether they are extroverts (who are energized by being around people) or introverts (who are energized by spending time alone). Then consider the nuances of your coworkers’ individual personalities. Think about how you can use that information to best work together as a team.

  • Remember that men and women communicate differently. Men generally communicate to exchange information and try to resolve issues, whereas women usually communicate to express themselves and try to build relationships.

Adapted from Communication at Work: How to Get Along with Anyone in the Workplace and at Church, copyright 2001 by H. Norman Wright. Published by Regal Books, a division of Gospel Light, Ventura, Ca.,, 1-800-4-GOSPEL.

H. Norman Wright serves on the faculty of Talbot School of Theology at Biola University and is former director of their Graduate Department of Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. He is the best-selling author of more than 65 books. He and his wife, Joyce, have been married more than 40 years and live in Southern California.

How do you currently get along with your coworkers through your job and volunteer work at church? What challenges and rewards do you experience in your relationships with them? Visit the Books Forum to discuss this topic. Just click on the link below.