Everyone has had to deal with less-than-ideal co-workers from time to time. While no person is perfect, certain actions and attitudes are practically guaranteed to ruffles some feathers along the way. Instead of accidentally succumbing to these inclinations, use the information to help you become one of the company’s favorite employees instead of the one everyone tries to avoid.
Here are some tips on how to not be “that guy (or girl)” at the office.
Never Assume that You Know Best
Regardless of your prior education or experience, it is important to never assume that you know best when it comes to completing tasks at a new job. Instead, consider this an opportunity to continue learning. Just because a technique is different than what you knew previously does not mean that it is not ideal for the circumstances.
Always Listen First
Active listening is a skill. Instead of focusing on what you will say next in the conversation, take the time to really listen to what is being said. Not only will you be more likely to catch important information, you are also less likely to incidentally interrupt someone at the first sign of a lull in the conversation.
Even if you seem to be hitting it off with new co-workers, you need to make sure that your social dealings do not negatively affect anyone working in the area. For example, if you stop by a co-worker’s cubicle on break to have a chat, be respectful of anyone else who may be working in the area, such as someone on the other side of a cubicle wall.
Whenever possible, take casual conversations to an appropriate place, such as a break room.
Speak (Reasonably) Softly
Just as you should make sure any socializing does not impact those working nearby, you should make sure that your work does not prevent others from working to the best of their ability. While this does not mean you are expected to sit silently all day, do be aware of your speaking volume whether you are working with someone in-person or over-the-phone.
If you are on the phone with someone, avoid speakerphone at all costs if you are not in a space with a door you can close. Not only can using speakerphone affect your co-workers, it may also be inappropriate depending on the nature of the conversation you are having regarding your work. If information that is intended to be kept private is blasted through a speaker, you may incidentally expose someone’s problem to those who did not need to know.
Use Email Appropriately
Everyone knows that their work emails should remain professional in nature, but they should also be shining examples of brevity. Do not make your co-workers dig through multiple paragraphs to find the one piece of information they require. Instead, keep email conversations to the point.
Additionally, avoid the infamous “Reply All” option whenever possible. Granted, group email conversation will sometimes occur, but if a general announcement is sent out to the entire department, and you have a question just for the original sender, do not inundate everyone’s email boxes with information they do not need.