5 ways to get along with your co-workers

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Doug Ricks comes from a long legacy of service in southeast Idaho and will appear on the ballot May 15 as a candidate for the Idaho House in District 34 Seat A. Doug believes in supporting education, strengthening our local economy and bringing local representation back to Madison and Bonneville County voters. You can learn more at dougricks.com.

Getting along with co-workers is just one of the many challenges of succeeding at your job. This task is especially difficult if you have a co-worker who gets under your skin and makes every day a challenge to endure. Fortunately, there are a few techniques you can use to improve the social mood at the office, including avoiding hot-button topics. Although you may not end up making every co-worker your best friend, you might at least make your office a pleasant place to be.

Find common ground

Searching for common ground with your co-workers is a good way to start building a professional relationship. When you’re starting a new job, you might find it difficult to find things in common with your co-workers. Talking about the job and the office is a good place to start. Once you’re more comfortable with your surroundings and co-workers, you’ll be able to branch out and find more things in common, such as hobbies.

Avoid controversial topics

Some topics of conversation are best avoided until you have a strong friendship with someone. Religion and politics are two of the biggest topics that can quickly sour a new relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to talking about bland topics, such as the weather. Instead, talk about benign topics that can appeal to anyone, from the latest book you’ve read to local events in your city.

Don’t engage in office gossip

Office gossip can have devastating results on office morale and can quickly ruin any relationships you’ve built. If someone wants to gossip with you, change topics to avoid spreading the gossip further. Your co-worker will likely catch the hint that you don’t want to talk about your colleagues behind their backs. If you want to avoid being the target of gossip, don’t share too many details about your home life and try to always be professional when you’re at work.

Use good office etiquette

Poor office habits, including leaving a mess in the break room and talking too loudly on the phone, can quickly give your co-workers a negative impression of you. Following a few basic and respectful protocols can help you get along with your co-workers. For example, cleaning up after yourself in the break room and keeping a tidy workspace will make the people around you happier.

Listen more, speak less

If you’re the type of person who tends to dominate the conversation, try to dial back and spend more time listening to your co-workers. Giving people a chance to talk lets them know that you want to learn more about them. Listening more can help you find common ground, potentially improving your relationships drastically.

Getting along with your co-workers isn’t always easy, especially if your personality types just don’t match. However, even just a few simple changes, like avoiding gossip and following good etiquette, can improve your professional relationships.

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