We all have to work with other people to do our jobs though we don't always interact face-to-face — particularly now, with the pandemic far from over. Whether communication happens in person or via e-mail, zoom meetings, and other digital modes, bringing any project to a successful close depends on individuals working as part of a team, enabling each team member to contribute their best.
If only every individual on every team understood this and worked in concert. Workplace reality, of course, is different, requiring us to deal with difficult people sometimes and get our work done nonetheless. Most workplaces have some unpleasant coworkers who introduce negativity into the work environment.
There is the hyper-competitive, over-ambitious type who is averse to co-operating with colleagues, will try and take credit for someone else's work, and may even try to put others down. Another problem coworker is the slacker who habitually shirks work and tries to pass it on to others. Other disagreeable behaviours that one might face at work are bullying, gossip, and bragging.
You can't change these people, but you can work out the best response as you go along. As the Stoic philosopher Epictetus is believed to have said, 'Some things are within our power, while others are not.' It is within our power to stay focused and deter such coworkers from coming in the way of progress.
It makes sense to try to become an ideal coworker. In so doing, you will not only help improve your team's and your own performance, you might also set an example for the negative employees around you.
While it's important to ensure you are advancing your career, you don't want to aggressively pursue personal goals at the cost of others. It's in your best interest to remember that you're part of a team within an organization, and the team is working toward a common objective.
To be effective as a team, members need to collaborate with and support each other. Team players understand that in enabling their team's success they're also furthering their own advancement. A good team player respects everyone on the team, listens to them, pitches in to help when challenges arise, and does his best to enhance whatever the team is working on.
Here are five traits that can help any IT worker develop the ability to collaborate effectively and become more supportive of his or her coworkers. and in so doing become a better coworker and a valued team member.
Empathy goes a long way toward strengthening any relationship: personal, professional, business, or social. Being empathetic enables you to put yourself in the other person's position and try to see things from their perspective. This helps us collaborate better, work amicably toward problem resolution, and ease tension in the workplace.
None of us are at our best every day at work. It's important not to snap at somebody who is experiencing an occasional bout of inattentiveness. That can happen to anyone for any number of reasons.
Being patient and understanding with colleagues at such times helps them feel better. You might find them reverting to normal performance earlier than expected. True leaders are empathetic. Though easier said than done, it's worthwhile working on developing empathy toward those we work with. It will stand you in good stead over the course of your career.
Be dependable and reliable
Don't we all like working with people who keep commitments, deliver what they're expected to and on time, take responsibility for outcomes, rectify their own errors, and do their best toward achieving optimum results?
To be able to deliver positive results on deadline, you need to prioritize your work and be organized. Maintain a calendar and keep it up to date, so that you don't miss project deadlines or meetings. It's also important to organize necessary documents and keep them safe. Dependability or reliability is one of the most highly valued traits of a coworker. Such employees are assets on any team.
Respect for everyone you interact with, no matter who he is in the organization or outside — the CEO, your boss, the tech support professional, a customer, supplier, or consultant, has a positive effect on people and encourages them to reciprocate and be productive.
You will always have colleagues or business associates with different opinions and ideas, but where the objective is to work together toward a common goal, and not against each other, it's necessary to avoid conflict and focus on constructive discussion instead. Rather than approaching differing viewpoints from a judgmental perspective, trying to be understanding and open-minded helps in fruitful decision making.
Everyone works better in a harmonious workplace. Hence, it's always important to try to cultivate team spirit and create an atmosphere of camaraderie.
Being adaptable and willing to learn new technologies, as well as getting up to speed with recently implemented systems and processes, is particularly important for tech professionals. With technology making rapid advances, employees who are familiar with the latest trends and technological developments in their area of work are a valued resource.
Learning continuously not only helps you further your career, it also keeps you engaged. Work becomes more interesting when you try out a new application or technique. Quick learners tend to be more enthusiastic at work. Successful IT professionals don't stop learning.
Discretion and maturity
No one feels comfortable with an irresponsible or tactless member on the team who makes imprudent remarks and offends or disturbs others. Such people bring negativity to the workplace and can be an unnecessary distraction.
Practice discretion and moderation in your interactions with coworkers. You will not only win their confidence, but the boss and senior team members will also count on you as someone who can be trusted to keep certain things to yourself.
It's helpful to have someone you can confide in at work. Your coworkers will be grateful that they can discuss matters that concern them or the project without worrying about you telling the boss or others on the team.
Being able to keep calm in the face of different challenges is a valuable trait. Every team can do with a few cool-headed members. Other positive attributes are humility, dedication, and conscientiousness.