How to be a Good Colleague

It’s crazy to think how much of our lives we spend at work. But, let’s face it, we’re there more than we’re not. That means that the people that we work with are the ones we are around the majority of our waking hours.

Because so much of my time is spent at work, it is very important to me that the people I surround myself with people that I like being with. I don’t want to spend all day, Monday through Friday, feeling miserable, because I know that would just translate into my personal life as well.

Everyone works in stressful situations – no matter what industry you work in – and it can be tough to constantly feel supported, understood, and all around happy in your job. With that, it is also very important to me that I am a good colleague to the people that I work with and contribute to a positive work environment for them. Here are my favorite ways to be a good colleague:

-Encourage personal development – one of the things that I like about my job now is that at the beginning of the year, when my team was setting our goals, we all talked about what things we want to work on outside of work so that we could encourage each other to do so. Having even a small stake in your colleague’s personal lives and showing that you care about them outside of work can have a huge effect.

-Recognition – in order to have a strong relationship with the people you work with, I think that it is important to give them recognition for a myriad of things. Whether you are recognizing the fact that they did a good job, acknowledging a birthday or special event, or simply thanking them for continued hard work – it always make people feel good to know that their efforts are appreciated and recognized.

-Offer to (and be willing to) help – when you’re part of a team, it’s important to be willing to hep wherever you can. Before I leave work every day, I make sure to ask my teammates if there is anything I can help with. Working with people and being supportive and helpful means not minding do things that might not be part of your ‘job description’ but might be helpful to someone who needs it. And, sometimes – just offering to help means the most to someone who has had a long day.

-Be positive! – simply being a smiling face and having a positive outlook and attitude can make a world of difference at work for yourself and those around you. There is nothing that I find more draining than being around people all day that seem perpetually stressed out and negative. Even when work gets stressful, I strive to be personal and optimistic in order to keep the energy around me positive. I find that doing that allows me to have better interactions and be all-around happier at work.

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