Reality Check: The Employability Skill of Getting Along… But How?

Last post, I suggested that the skill of “getting along” is essential if you are to succeed in most any workplace.
If you find yourself in disputes or isolated from your co-workers, then it may help to work on your “getting along” skills. How? Here are some suggestions.
1. Recognize that getting along with people is important. It’s hard to make an effort at anything unless you believe it matters. If you want to get/stay employed, then you need to get along. When the going gets tough (as it likely will) you may need to remind yourself that it matters.
2. In choice theory, Dr. Glasser promotes seven caring habits as key to building relationships. While you might not see your workmates as people you want to “build a relationship” with, the skill of getting along is another way of saying “build a relationship.” The caring habits are supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating differences. Try them!
3. Dr. Glasser also pinpoints some deadly habits. If one spends much time criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, or punishing, there’s little wonder why one might be having trouble getting along. If that’s you, try holding back or even substituting a caring habit.
Get the urge to complain? Try listening instead. Have an urge to criticize? Try honest encouragement instead, even if you have to dig to find something to honestly encourage. See what happens.
4. Be polite. Did your parents try to teach you manners? There was a reason; good manners make work, and life, better. So say hi, nod, smile when you see someone. Say please and thank you. Listen when someone is talking; avoid interrupting. It all helps.
5. Give credit and recognition when it’s due. If John came up with a good idea, acknowledge it. Just because you don’t like John doesn’t mean that his contribution isn’t valuable. And who knows? Once you start acknowledging others, they may start treating you better, too!
6. Act with respect. No matter whether it’s boss, customer, employee, or peer; maintaining an attitude of respect is never wrong.
People sometimes confuse pleasant, getting-along behaviours with the nasty phrase: “sucking up.” For example, some folks would never want to be seen greeting their boss courteously because their peers would accuse them of sucking up. Peer pressure can be pressure, indeed.
However, if you live among folks who look down on people who act courteously, then here’s a reality for you—everyone doesn’t see things that way.
Many of us go out of our way—for our customers, our employers, and our coworkers, to help people get along and work well together. It’s not sucking up; it’s helping the business succeed. Why do we care whether the business succeeds? The short answer, so we can have the opportunity to continue working.
In short, be pleasant and cooperative. It’s not sucking up, it’s professional. The same behaviours will ultimately help make your life more pleasant, too. It is a win-win.
Do you have a favorite suggestion to help people get along at work?

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