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Do You Know the People You Work With?

A workplace with a high level of morale is more productive than a workplace with low morale. Staff who take an interest and care about each other collaborate effectively towards a goal. Communication flows more freely, according to David Parnell, a communications consultant interviewed by Forbes.

Sandra Haurant of The Guardian explains that knowing your workmates can help you to avoid significant conflict and misunderstandings. An appreciation for a colleague’s work style or personality can provide an accurate perspective of an individual’s motives. An action that might seem malicious may simply be an oversight. You cannot choose your work colleagues, but you should appreciate the diversity that each person can contribute.

3 Tips on Getting to Know Your
Coworkers to Improve Workplace Productivity

  • Be interested in other people. Find out what they do in their spare time and what their backgrounds are. Take coworkers to lunch and learn about their hobbies and interests. People are never what they seem when you first meet them, and getting to know a person reveals ways in which you can connect and earn their trust.
  • When working with others, identify their preferred work and communication styles. Do they like to communicate by phone, email, or text? Would they rather work independently and meet periodically to review a project, or would they prefer to work alongside someone? Ask for the input of colleagues; everybody can offer different expertise and insight.
  • Encourage open communication. If tasked with a team project, first identify the goals, individual roles and responsibilities, and the communication methods. Ensure everyone is comfortable with the decisions. Knowing your colleagues is vital to understanding what will work and what will not for the individuals in the team. When conflict arises, discuss it openly to find a solution. Only seek third party help as a last resort because this can jeopardize established trust.

There is no requirement that you must make your work colleagues your best friends, but understanding their fundamental values can make your life much easier and the workplace more productive.

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