Guest Author | Wendy Burleigh
Colleagues are like family. We are thrown in with them, but we have no say in who they are. If you’re lucky, you’ll like your family, but what family doesn’t have that one uncle you just can’t abide or that sister who borrows your clothes and never returns them? The same issues crop up in an office environment. However, if you lose the plot with colleagues, you could end up losing your job or facing disciplinary action, so it’s best to find ways of getting along with them. Here are a few suggestions.
Say Hello and Act Interested
It won’t kill you to say a cheery ‘hello’ to your colleagues when you come in each morning. People like to be acknowledged. Plus, if you’re consistently in a foul mood when you come in, people will come to dislike you and you’ll get a reputation for being cranky. If you can manage it, ask people how they are. Most people’s responses to this question are limited to two or three words, so don’t feel you’re locking yourself into too much social interaction for your taste by asking the question.
Don’t Forget Your Manners
Nothing’s more annoying than someone who asks if they can borrow something and then never gives it back. If you are this someone, don’t be surprised if people start telling you that actually, no they don’t have a spare pen, sorry, or that they’re just about to use their stapler, so they can’t give it to you. Remember to return what you borrow if you want to be trusted with other people’s things in the future.
Avoid Un-PC Topics
How well do you know your colleagues? For all you know, Caroline from Accounting may be a diehard Republican or Jeff from Research and Development could be married to his male high school sweetheart. As you need to work with and see your colleagues every day, it’s best to avoid controversial or un-PC topics when chatting with people, however well you seem to be getting along. Topics such as politics, religion, race and sexual orientation can be sensitive and there is great variation in the range of opinions out there, so don’t assume your colleagues will see things the same way you do.
Whatever you may think of your colleagues, they are the people you work with and for your work relationships to stay intact, you need to respect them and stay on good terms with them. If you don’t, they could make your job more difficult than it needs to be.
This article was written by Wendy Burleigh, an office administrator who buys office supplies online for her workplace.