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Co-worker Relations: Be the type of co-worker you would want to work with!

As if our jobs were not demanding and stressful enough, performing our jobs to the best of our abilities is what we set out to do each day, right? After all, we want not only our bosses’ approval for a job well done, but also our clients. More importantly, we value our co-workers respect for us because our work affects everyone on our team. When the demands of our job become intense and overwhelming, we can all get uptight, stressed, and easily annoyed with each other!  It happens in every office, so consider the behaviors you’re projecting and how that affects your mood and those around you. 

Here are a few ways to keep the work flow moving and avoid unnecessary confrontation:

Team Projects:

The old saying of “there is no “I” in team” should never be underestimated. Do not make yourself the focal point and take 100 percent credit when your boss recognizes you on a team project. If your  co-worker presents a great idea that helps make the project successful, give credit where it’s due. On the flip side, learn to take the fall when the mistake is yours. Embracing your mistakes and taking responsibility shows your co-workers that you are not there to pass the blame, but that you acknowledge the issue and are ready to fix it.

Embrace Personalities:

We are all different and our personalities don’t always have an affinity for each other. If you recognize each other’s traits and strengths, you can be more successful when working together on projects. Utilize your differences and play up their strengths to offset your weaknesses.

Be Respectful:

Do not talk down to your co-workers. We all learn and think differently. When a co-worker handles a situation differently than how you might have handled it, or comes up with a solution that you may not agree with, don’t criticize. Use it as a learning opportunity and take the time to understand how they came up with a solution or why they changed the process. You may learn something different that could save you time in the long run. Negative attitudes make others feel resentful towards you.  Instead, be helpful and talk through the situation for the best possible outcome. Your co-workers will appreciate your willingness to help.

Company Time:

Do your best to keep personal issues to a minimum. During working hours, we can all expect a personal call from a family member, doctor’s office, or friend every so often and it is acceptable. However, when it happens frequently or even daily, it takes away from the team’s productivity expectations and your peers might feel like you are not pulling your weight.  Drama – not everyone thrives on it! Many of us find it exhausting. It deflates our energy and focus. Be thoughtful and keep in mind that we don’t always want to know everything about you. Keep your personal issues on the down low and private. It’s not that your coworkers don’t care; it’s that they have work to do and deadlines to meet. Unlike Facebook, we can’t hide you from our days’ timeline or mute your conversation.  Be respectful of people’s time, goals, and deadlines.     

No Joke:

It’s good to have a laugh with your team members – after all we need something to chuckle about! However, jokes about your co-workers behind their backs are unprofessional and inappropriate. Jokes that you think your co-workers want to hear are not always appreciated, so keep offensive, dirty, and off color jokes outside of the office.  You never know who you will offend or who is listening. You don’t want the joke to be the reason a legal issue arises. Keep it light and office appropriate.

Stay Home:

Yes we need you, but not your ailments! While it is noble that you make the effort to come to work and push through, we prefer you rest up at home to feel better. Your team will cover for you and handle things while you are gone. Be assured they don’t want the illness you are suffering from!     

Angie Smathers

Angie Smathers began her career in 1998 in the staffing industry. During her time with Celebrity Staff, she has established long-term partnerships with companies of various industries that include medical offices, revenue cycle management, HR, legal, advertising agencies, call center, banking, and financial investment firms.  Angie has placed countless individuals who are starting out in their career path or assisted them in their career transition. She has successfully forged positive, lasting career paths by identifying high-caliber candidates with top employers.


She is a member of the Lincoln Human Resources Management Association (LHRMA) and the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce.  In 2013, Angie attained C&A Industries’ company honor of achieving President’s Club for a fourth time. In her free time, Angie enjoys spending time with family, walking, traveling, and reading.    

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