If there is one lesson I want to teach my children about their professional lives, it’s this one.
You have a vested interest in the success of your coworkers. Let’s walk through some of the pieces of that.
If you talk negatively about your coworkers, it hurts you. You’re adding a bunch of negative emotions to the workplace. Rather than letting people deal with them individually and thus keeping the workplace positive, you’re creating a cesspool.
If you talk positively about your coworkers, it helps you. Not only does it build up their confidence and connection to you, it also shows others that you don’t badmouth people.
If you constantly toss work onto your coworkers’ plates, you don’t build up skills. You’re not seen as being very productive by both the other workers and the boss and, before long, you’re sliding down to the end of the chopping line.
If you look for opportunities to make your coworkers’ loads easier without drastically overburdening yourself, you cement strong relationships with people, keep your skills in tip-top shape, and create a reputation as a valuable contributor in the workplace.
If you focus on building good relationships with coworkers and do what you can to make the work environment better, people are going to associate positive attitudes with you.
What about other people? What about “slackers” in the office? What about the people that add nothing but poison?
To that, I say, what about them? Those people are not your problem. Just minimize your interaction with them, keep what interactions you have in a positive light, and let the situation resolve itself.
What’s the end result of these positive moves?
Most coworkers will think positively of you and want to help you out when you’re in a pinch. If you need to leave early one day or need help with a project, it’s the people you have a strong relationship with that will come through with you.
If you help coworkers achieve career milestones, most of them won’t forget it. Ever. I’ve had coworkers from more than a decade ago pop up again in my life just because I happened to help them at a key moment.
If you have a positive work reputation, you’re much more insulated from the pink slips and you’re more likely to receive raises, bonuses, and promotions. You’re the kind of person a company wants to keep around. That means they’ll be less likely to fire you and more likely to reward you.
If your coworkers succeed regularly, then the business as a whole succeeds, which helps you. When you’re in a workplace, everything is interconnected and your choices ripple out and affect everyone else and then, just like ripples in a small pond, they come back to you.
You are completely vested in the success of your coworkers. Keep that in mind every single day when you head into work.