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Getting Along with Different Types of Colleagues

written by: Faye Angeli Vitan•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/21/2011

Getting along with coworkers is an important factor to be successful in the workplace. Aside from exhibiting the necessary expertise and attitude, building good relationships with your coworkers is essential and may even help you climb the professional ladder.

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    Get Along With Coworkers One of the best ways to get along with your coworkers is to have a glimpse of what they value in life and at work. What your coworkers value translates how they are as workers.

    Below you'll find some valuable tips on understanding the values of your coworkers categorized by the five most common types.

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    1. The Friend

    This is the coworker who is sociable and nice to everyone. He puts importance on establishing personal relationships. Thus, he is the type of worker who is easy to get along with. Just be open to his friendliness and you'll get along because he is the type of person who appreciates people with warm personalities. However, implementing or reminding this colleague on office rules may be tricky. You have to maintain a professional attitude without being too formal. You also have to maintain his friendship compromising professionalism. So whenever you have to work together, inject a dose of friendliness but always be firm.

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    2. The Competitor

    The competitor is your coworker who always seem to compare himself with you. He is the type of worker who is ambitious and 414210cf35z3lc2 thinks you aspire to the same position or the same recognition he wants. He also thinks you can be his number one rival in professional advancement. The competitor values success in one's career so he may be single-minded in his pursuit.

    For this type of coworker, always act with self-restraint. Do not show any form of animosity but at the same time, do not be too friendly. Animosity may worsen the rivalry between you. On the other hand, acts of friendliness may be taken as hypocrisy or may be seen as an act with ulterior motives. Simply put, keep your relationship on a professional level.

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    3. The Critic

    The critic is the coworker who seems to see the bad side of everything-from a new management plan to other people's clothes. He notices just about everything. Probably without knowing it, a critic values perfection.

    As much as you want to avoid this type of coworker, the best way to handle this type of person is to simply listen. Whenever, the critic comes to you, just be open to what he says and allow him to rant. But do not say anything or try to verbally express agreement. Try to be "indifferently friendly." Chances are, if your coworker sees that you are just indulging him, he will stop ranting.

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    4. The Know-it-All

    408357mwpdpjudz This is the worker who loves to share his supposed expertise to everyone. He will give advice on just about everything. A know-it-all may either be a pioneer worker who has become familiar with the system or a new worker trying to prove himself. The know-it-all is usually a show-off but at the same time, he also sincerely wants to help you. To get along with the know-it-all, give him a chance to guide you. Ask for his advice and listen to what he is about to say. At the same time, also show that you are knowledgeable in your field to earn his respect.

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    5. The Slacker

    This is the worker who is content to let everyone do the work. He values his free time and weekends. If a particular task is assigned to him, he will do it half-heartedly and probably ask for the help of others. In assigning tasks to a slacker, make sure to give him an earlier deadline. Give a plausible reason why you are collecting his work earlier. Give him a schedule of small tasks he can manage at his own his pace. If you are working as a team, make sure to update him politely on tasks either verbally or through short notes. With your constant update and earlier deadlines, you are saving the slacker from slacking and saving yourself delays.

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    Although there are no hard and fast rules on getting along with coworkers, understanding the values of your coworkers and how different they are from each other will help you treat them accordingly and establish good working relationships. Getting along wit coworkers is also a step toward professional development now and throughout your career.

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    References: (last accessed 05/12/2011)