Proper Work Relations


In an era where mobile sites, media outlets and blogs (such as this one), stories surrounding employee incidents can go viral very fast. A very publicized incident that happened in the 21st century stems from how the well-known supermodel Naomi Campbell threw a phone at her housekeeper. Whether this incident really happened or not, we may never know, but it does open on the dialogue for how situations like this can be dealt with. If you are having difficulties in the workplace with a co-worker, then it may help to look at the suggestions below on how to work bette with others in difficult times.

Be honest: Use direct language when speaking with colleagues. If something is bothering you, bring it up. A lot times people do not realize what they are doing and it’s a kind gesture to make sure what is bothering you is evident and hopefully unintentional on the other party’s part.

Rise above bad behavior: Don’t know what to do to make someone stop annoying you at work? Truncate the situation by ignoring that is bothering you. Often times ignoring the actions the other is trying to do eliminates the benefit for the other person. They may just want a strong reaction from you. Don’t give that reaction.

Sweeten the conversation: Be as friendly as possible. Had a previous implication with someone? Try to forgive that person and extend your personal olive branch. The person will see your efforts and hopefully act in a positive light as well.

Reposition your perception: A good tactic to change the relationship between two individuals is to focus only on the positive actions. Does your co-worker say thank you after you complete a task? Or is appreciative when you do other work? Remember the “good moments” during times when interactions are not favorable.

Report if necessary: Still having problems? While it’s important to respect the work environment and avoid becoming a workplace tattletale, if problems continue it may be best to send a incident report to your boss. This will ensure that the workplace remains professional and that co-workers are kept inline if they proceed to interact poorly.

Have you ever experienced a tough co-worker relationship? How did you manage the situation? Leave thoughts in the comment section below!

This post was inspired by Monster’s, “How to Get Along with a Coworker You Hate” post.


One thought on “Proper Work Relations

  1. Great post!

    One of my least favorite interview questions to ask and be asked is “Describe a time you had a conflict with a coworker.” Over the years, I’ve developed pretty solid answers, but what I would really like to say is: “I am a professional adult, and expect to work with other professional adults who do not let differences turn into conflicts.”

    It almost seems silly to address professional colleague interactions, but it is shockingly necessary in many firms. For example, the co-founder of Tinder was suspended in light of a sexual harassment lawsuit. Among other inappropriate messages to his VP of Marketing and fellow co-founder, he called her a “slut,” a “gold-digger,” and a “whore.” This case is surprisingly not uncommon, according to this Forbes article:


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