Skip to content

    Health & Balance

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Work it Out: Getting Along with Co-Workers

    Not hitting it off with your co-workers? You might need to take a step back.
    By Sonya Collins
    WebMD Magazine - Feature

    Whether it's a co-worker who bulldozes us during staff meetings and shoots down every new idea, or several colleagues who make up a clique outsiders just can't break into, we've all had to work with people we simply don't like. They can turn a job you otherwise enjoy into your own daily personal hell.

    Some perspective is in order. While your co-worker's behavior may feel like a personal affront you did nothing to deserve, he or she may feel affronted, too, says Andy Selig, ScD, a management and organizational psychologist who often mediates tense workplace relations. "Most of the time, all the protagonists involved feel like victims," he says.

    Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

    General Information About Spirituality

    Religious and spiritual values are important to patients coping with cancer. Studies have shown that religious and spiritual values are important to Americans. Most American adults say that they believe in God and that their religious beliefs affect how they live their lives. However, people have different ideas about life after death, belief in miracles, and other religious beliefs. Such beliefs may be based on gender, education, and ethnic background. Many patients with cancer rely on spiritual...

    Read the General Information About Spirituality article > >

    So before moving forward, take a step back. "First look at yourself. Then look at others," Selig says. "We can't usually change other people, but we can change ourselves."

    Ask yourself some questions -- they might reveal behaviors you can change to ease the tension. First, did you move too fast? This applies especially if you're new to a job. Maybe you're a real go-getter, and you wanted to hit the ground running -- not always the best strategy. "Coming into a new organization is like a step-parent coming into a family. Come in slow. Don't start parenting right away. We have to earn trust so people value what we have to say," Selig says.

    Give Credit Where Credit is Due

    Also consider whether your ideas sound like criticism. Your job may, in fact, be to innovate, but new approaches must follow ample recognition of the work your colleagues have already done. "One of my clients had great ideas but didn't give any recognition that there was a lot of good stuff going on there before she came in. Her co-workers felt criticized and undervalued, and they reacted to it," Selig says.

    Do you and your co-workers see your role the same way? While you're just doing your job, if others don't know what that job is, they may feel you're stepping on their toes. "A lot of times these conflicts are a result of role clashes more than interpersonal differences," Selig says.

    Today on WebMD

    woman in yoga class
    6 health benefits of yoga.
    beautiful girl lying down of grass
    10 relaxation techniques to try.
     
    mature woman with glass of water
    Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
    coffee beans in shape of mug
    Get the facts.
     
    Take your medication
    Slideshow
    Hand appearing to hold the sun
    Article
     
    Hungover man
    Slideshow
    Welcome mat and wellington boots
    Slideshow
     
    Woman worn out on couch
    Article
    Happy and sad faces
    Quiz
     
    Fingertip with string tied in a bow
    Article
    laughing family
    Quiz