Being a good colleague: definitive decalogue

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Louise Hay

Being a good colleague: definitive decalogue

Being a good co-worker helps make every task more enjoyable. We spend a large part of our life working, so it is essential to be able to count on constructive people around us. We too, of course, could help create a more pleasant environment by acting as good colleagues to others.

Last update: 24 March, 2022

Being a good co-worker is perhaps one of the best gifts we could give and / or receive. Think about all the time you spend in the office. If you have someone by your side you can count on and able to make your daily life more enjoyable, everything will be easier and more enjoyable. Of course, there are other variables, but this is certainly a big burden.

We would all like to have the ideal co-worker. The question is whether we, too, are able to show this virtue and be those extraordinary colleagues that everyone wants by their side. Social exchange works thanks to reciprocity, therefore the treatment we will reserve for others will condition, and not a little, what we will receive in return.

On the other hand, the dictionary says that a colleague is anyone who is willing to "accompany" the other person. And to accompany means to be present, attentive and willing to exert a positive influence. We've named some of the effects of being a good colleague, but what are the characteristics that make it so? To define them we think the following decalogue.

Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.

-Michael Jordan-

The Ten Commandments to Be a Good Work Colleague

1. Respect is the basis

A good co-worker is one who knows how to respect others. This means knowing how to appreciate others as they are, accepting differences naturally and without the desire to annihilate them. He must also know how to address others with the consideration and kindness that anyone would wish to receive.

2. Knowing how to share available resources

It is not uncommon for different types of resources to be shared in the workplace. This is one of the most frequent sources of conflict in the office. The ideal is to create certain mechanisms so that everyone can exploit these resources, but also to know how to give in at a certain point while showing ourselves assertive to protect our right to use them.

3. Being a good colleague means offering advice when asked

We all happen to ask others for help, to complete a task or to solve a problem for example. Being a good colleague means offering advice when asked. It is not a question of carrying out tasks that would be up to the other person, but of integrating those elements, tools or concepts that the other does not possess.

4. Give your support when needed

Nobody is able to get rid of a bad day or a bad time on their own. In these moments, the support of a colleague is a real blessing.

This does not mean turning into the other person's psychotherapist, but rather understand and remain silent if upset or offer a word of comfort if down in the dumps. These small details can make a big difference.

5. Accept the mistakes of others with maturity

Obviously we all make mistakes, not once, but many times, both in private life and at work. A bad co-worker will take advantage of mistakes to make fun of others or to point to them whenever mistakes are pointed out.

In reverse, a good colleague will understand that mistakes are normal and will offer their cooperation to remedy the mistakes. 

6. Knowing how to listen is essential to be a good colleague

Knowing how to listen is an active task, which requires us to pay attention to what we are told. At a later time, we will have to process the information received, combining it with those already in our possession. This amounts to paying close attention to the other person's world, trying to understand it according to his criteria and evaluating what he says in a fair measure. Knowing how to listen is a sign of openness and strengthens good communication in general.

7. Resort to dialogue

Dialogue is the way to resolve any conflict that may arise. This is a very constructive skill when it comes to teamwork.

It is not good to shut up if something is bothering us, but it is also not good to turn it into a problem of large proportions. Expressing oneself serenely and directly in the face of a problem is an indispensable characteristic for being a good work colleague.

8. Learn from those who know best

PFor many people it is annoying to find that a colleague knows more than they do. This attitude is not intelligent.

The most reasonable thing is to open your mind to learn from those who know more than us. Listen to what he has to say and take advantage of the good fortune of having at your side a person who has a lot to offer.

9. Cooperating, instead of competing, means being a good colleague

Cooperating means teamwork, on equal terms. Contribute with the best of their knowledge to achieve a common goal. In summary, it is doing your duty and doing it best.

Competing, on the other hand, means focusing on individual goals in order to be above others. An old proverb says that alone we arrive first, but together we go further.

10. Recognize the successes of others

A person who is insecure or with low self-esteem will have a hard time recognizing the successes and achievements of a peer. A good work colleague is also one who is able to value the achievements of others and give them due recognition. This generates and maintains a good working environment.

The decalogue of a good work colleague is not a test to evaluate others. Rather, it is an inventory of concepts that could be interesting to take as a reference point for becoming colleagues worthy of esteem.

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