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The key to promoting positive relationships is to respect each other’s work styles and priorities. When employees work closely together, they are wise to learn one another’s unique approaches to problem solving and productivity.
■ If you’re working on a mutual project, make sure you have a schedule you can both live with. If you’re working with a co-worker who isn’t keeping up, avoid being critical and insensitive. Instead, talk about how the two of you can coordinate your activities to work together more effectively.
■ Support each other’s ideas. Everyone’s ideas are important whether they’re implemented or not. If you see a problem, offer a solution to it. It might not be the one you eventually go with but it will have been approached thoughtfully and other workers might come up with the answer that is needed.
■ Listen to what your colleagues have to say. Find out what others want and look for ways to help them get it. Work with them to achieve your common goals. Let people know you’re willing to listen to them and consider their point of view. If someone has an idea or comment, listen without interruption. This may mean extra effort but if you take the time to listen to your fellow employees when they need it, chances are they’ll listen to you later on.
■ Everybody can feel overwhelmed at times. If you get to a point where you are becoming overly distracted due to interruptions, let your fellow employees know. In a professional manner, explain that you can’t drop everything to listen to them or fill a request. Also, let them know you want to work with them at an appropriate time and place. This lets your colleagues know you are concerned about them but don’t always have time to respond right away.
■ When you make a mistake, admit it but do it on a “need to know” basis. Just keep your supervisor informed and tell only those employees who may be impacted by the mistake that you’ve made. If you forgot something or didn’t fully understand what someone wanted, accept responsibility and move toward solutions. Be honest with people you work with and express appreciation for their honesty with you.