10 Steps to Being a Good Co-Worker

19 May, 2020
A good co-worker makes any work task more pleasant. In today's world, people spend lots of time working, so it's fundamental for everyone's productivity to count on an environment full of constructive people. Moreover, if you're being a great co-worker, your peers will like working with you and having you around.

Finding a good co-worker is one of the best things that can happen to you at your job. Think about all the time you spend at work. If you have someone you can count on at your side, someone who makes your day more pleasant, everything will be simpler. Although other variables help make your job more enjoyable, this is one of the most important ones.

Obviously, everyone wants to have a great co-worker. But you should ask yourself whether you have the ability and the attitude to be a good co-worker yourself. Social exchanges work due to reciprocity: how you treat others will determine how others treat you.

Being of good company to people means being present, attentive, and willing to be a good influence. How can you make sure that you’re being a good and supportive co-worker? Follow these 10 steps!

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” 

-Michael Jordan-

A good co-worker talking to her peer.

1. Respect as the foundation of everything

A great co-worker knows how to respect others. This means accepting others the way they are and admitting to having differences without wanting to change the other person. Respect is also about approaching others with consideration and kindness.

2. Share available resources

It’s common for people to have to share resources at the workplace. This is one of the most common sources of conflict. In these cases, it’s necessary to create mechanisms so that everyone can benefit from the available resources. It’s about knowing when to give in, while being assertive in order to protect your right to use them at the same time.

3. Offer guidance when needed

Everyone asks for help at least once in their professional career to solve a problem. A good co-worker is willing to give guidance. It’s not about doing other people’s tasks but providing them with the elements, tools, or concepts they need.

4. Support other co-workers

It’s normal to go through some tough times at work. In those moments, having the support of a co-worker can be a true blessing.

This doesn’t mean that you’ll become their therapist but it’s important that you understand them and listen to them when they’re upset, or offer some encouragement if they feel unmotivated. Small actions can make a huge difference.

5. Accept other people’s mistakes

Remember that you and your co-workers are human, so you’re probably going to make mistakes at some point. A bad co-worker will take the moment someone fails to do a task to shame them or to point it out every now and then.

On the other hand, a good co-worker will understand that it’s normal for others to make mistakes and will provide help in order to make up for them. 

6. Learn to listen

Knowing how to listen to your co-workers is the active task of paying attention to what they’re saying to you. You should process that information and link it to the things that you already know. Listening means caring for the other person and trying to understand them in their own terms, valuing what they say. Being a good listener is a sign of openness and it leads to good communication in general.

7. Face conflict by talking about it

Having a conversation in order to solve any conflict that might arise is something extremely important in the workplace. It’s a very constructive skill when you’re part of a team. 

Thus, it’s a bad idea to stay silent if something bothers you. However, turning the problem into something bigger than it is makes everything worse. Instead, you should try to express yourself calmly and directly.

8. Learn from more experienced co-workers

Many people don’t like it when they see that a co-worker knows more than they do. This isn’t a very smart attitude. In fact, what’s reasonable is to open your mind to those who have more experience than you. Listen to what they have to say and take it as an opportunity to grow professionally.

9. Cooperate instead of competing

Cooperating means working as a team, on equal terms, and giving your best to achieve a common goal.

If you compete against your co-workers, you simply focus on your personal goals in order to get above everyone else, and that creates a hostile work environment.

When you struggle to focus on a common goal, remember the famous African proverb that says If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

10. Acknowledge your co-workers’ achievements

An insecure person with low self-esteem will have a hard time acknowledging other people’s success. But a good co-worker tries to value what their peers achieve because it promotes a pleasant work environment.

You should try to apply these ten steps to being a good co-worker to make your job more enjoyable.

  • Littlewood, H. F., & Rojas, L. E. A. (2017). Comportamiento Organizacional Ciudadano o Buen Compañero de Trabajo: Antecedente y Consecuencias. Revista de la Facultad de Contaduría y Ciencias Administrativas, 2(3), 1-17.