March 12, 2009
Getting along with your co-workers is critical to your
spending more time with your co-workers than with your
just a small cog in a big wheel. Without the assistance of
co-workers, you will find your assignments much more
The first step toward getting the assistance of your
co-workers is to accept others uniqueness and
idiosyncrasies. People come from many different national
origins, races, genders, and ages. Corporate America calls
You may think an individual with a different race or
national origin is peculiar or has strange habits. I find
that all people, regardless of race, national origin,
gender, or age, want the same things. All people want a
safe place to live and employment that gives them the
ability to provide for themselves and their family. What
a boring world this would be if we all dressed the same,
acted the same, and had the same ideas.
If you have an attitude of discrimination against a
co-worker because of their national origin, race, gender,
or age, I'm not going to try to change your mind. I WILL
advise you that if you want to succeed at work, you better
at least act like you are on the diversity bandwagon.
The real difficulty in relating to fellow employees comes
from differences in emotional maturity, intelligence, and
level of dedication to the job. Emotionally immature people
may not want to cooperate with you because they feel
threatened. They feel that if they help you or reveal any
aspect of their job function they may lose job security.
Other symptoms of emotional immaturity are the inability
to accept criticism, feeling that the company should do
things the way that makes THEIR job the easiest, and just
plain bossiness. Other people's emotional maturity is one
of the most difficult things to deal with on the job.
It's also difficult to deal with co-workers who don't have,
or don't want to have, the intelligence required to do the
job. Sometimes people fain ignorance in order to avoid work
or responsibility. Sometimes an individual is in a job
position that they are not suited for.
Your job may provide your life with meaning and purpose.
Professionalism and pride in your work may be important to
you. But don't expect everyone to have those same values.
Some people are more focused on friends, family, or other
preoccupations outside of work. They come to work only for
the paycheck. They want to make the least amount of effort
required to get the paycheck.
Your happiness and success at work requires you to accept
and embrace the uniqueness of other individuals. You need
to form good relationships with any co-worker whose
cooperation you need in order to perform your tasks. The
best way to do that is to care about them. Engage in small
talk and learn what their interests are and what motivates
them. Approach them with an optimistic attitude, praise,
and compliments. People gravitate towards other people who
make them feel good.
You must impress upon them that you are not a threat. You
will not criticize them, nor threaten their job security.
Help them understand that cooperation would be mutually
advantageous. Let others in the company compete and vie
against one another, while you team up with your co-workers
for your mutual success at work.
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