How to Avoid Problems With Co-workers

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Foster teamwork in the office.
Foster teamwork in the office. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Take a page from Switzerland who manages to survive and grow despite the wars fought around it. Switzerland avoids the problems with other nations, much like you would like to avoid the problems with your co-worker, so follow its lead. It doesn’t matter what type of a problem you may encounter, there are methods to handle the situation and keep it from escalating into a confrontation that can effect your work reputation and personal well-being.

Smile at everyone when entering the office. A short, polite, “Hello,” as you walk to your desk can go far in creating a pleasant work environment. When you get to your desk, start work immediately to prevent long conversations from other co-workers.

Complete all aspects of an assignment to the best of your ability. Finish the assignment on time and deliver it for the next step in the process in a prompt manner. This ensures the next co-worker completes their portion of the assignment timely and prevents potential problems with them.

Stop a potential problem before it occurs. The first time a co-worker's behavior causes you to pause or effects you or your job duty, say something. Stop in the middle of the situation as the behavior is occurring and discuss the behavior right then. Politely ask the co-worker if he is having a bad day based on his behavior and should you two discuss the matter at a different time. This puts the co-worker on notice that you will not participate in or accept the behavior.

Remain neutral when other co-workers become agitated with each other and start petty squabbles. If the problem does not concern you personally, walk away. Do not become involved. Allow the co-workers to resolve their own disputes.

Refuse to be drawn into disputes. If one of the co-workers comes to your desk and begins discussing the dispute, inform the co-worker that you do not want to be involved and have to return back to getting your work done. Pick up an item and begin working to cut the conversation short. Be polite.

Tips & Warnings

  • Advocate teamwork in the workplace.
  • Be polite in all work exchanges.

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