In most workplaces, you’ll find yourself working with both internal and external stakeholders. Even if you run your own business, you will need to work with others at times in order to achieve certain outcomes. Thus, it is inevitable you will come into contact with others at work.
Learning to work well with others, is quite a skill in itself. If you consider our primal instincts of survival, we are in built with the need to self-preserve. Should you ever find yourself in a life-threatening situation, your natural, sub-conscious reaction will be to save yourself first and foremost.
Therefore, when we are not in a life-threatening situation, it is important that we learn to think of and include others, rather than just focus on our own needs. This can take practice, awareness and patience, as we are all unique individuals with varying needs. Here are some concepts to consider when working with your peers:
Be an active listener: as the famous saying goes, “we only have one mouth but two ears, therefore we should listen more than we speak”. Keep this in mind when working with others. Actively listen rather than be thinking of your next question, why you don’t like their idea or what you’re going to have for lunch.
Consider the other person’s point of view: it is always good practice to listen to what someone else has to say, then put yourself in their shoes in order to better appreciate where they are coming from.
Encourage others: as humans, we thrive on positive praise and encouragement. When you support and recognise one another’s ideas, efforts etc. then you will very likely feel this recognition in return. When everyone is feeling satisfied and uplifted, a more productive and creative environment results.
Speak your truth: honesty is a must, especially in the workplace. The more transparent you can be, the better others will be able to understand where you are coming from. By being fair and honest, you will also inspire others to do the same and you will be amazed at how this ensures a more conducive workplace.
Reinforce equality: we are all equal, therefore this needs to be kept in mind when coming together to work with one another. No one person is better than any other person, so consider this when delegating tasks. Chances are that if you really don’t want to do something, then others might not want to either. In this instance discuss each other’s likes and dislikes and see if you can come to a compromise.