|Communication with co-workers essential for the workplace|
|Written by Brittany Tepper, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:20|
It is your first day on the job, and being the new guy or girl can be stressful. One way to ensure your success within an organization is to create positive relationships with co-workers. But how do you begin developing these relationships?
Lance Lippert, associate professor in the school of communication, and his organizational communication class, as well as Pamela Cooper, the assistant director for professional practice, recommend being inquisitive and getting to know everyone within an organization.
“Bonding over work-related projects is one of the most common ways work friendships begin. Even if you aren’t having that much of a problem with your task, consulting someone for some general advice or pointers will help break the ice,” Cooper said.
A common way to start up a conversation is getting to know the people who work around you. Chances are, the closer in proximity the person is to you in the workplace, the closer his or her job is to yours.
“The first people you should ask [are] the ones sitting around you in the office. Asking what they are working on, or for help, is the easiest way to get to know people. You don’t have to be searching for people to get to know,” Olivia Hook, student in Lippert’s class and communication studies major, said.
Taking the extra step and getting to know everyone from the CEO to
the janitor ensures that an individual knows what is going on in their
“I am a sucker for secretaries. They know everything. In my office
there is a huge age discrepancy. I am 20 years younger, and I am the
only one who is unmarried. By getting to know the secretary, she
introduced me to everyone else in the office,” Mickey Boehm,
organizational communication student, said.
Getting to know co-workers can also help you avoid conflict later on
the job. Chances are not everyone you encounter will think the way you
do. By getting to know co-workers and understanding their values and
personality you will be able to better understand how to deal with
issues that arise.
“I worked in a mall in Decatur. Everyone who worked with me was
totally different from me. I got to know their moods, communication
styles and quirks. By getting to know them, I got to know how I should
react in a given situation,” Jermey Lehman, public relations major,
One mistake employees often make is relying too much on an organization to get assimilated into the workplace.
Organizations typically hold orientation for new employees. The
training process usually includes basic introductions to co-workers,
but the responsibility of creating positive relationships is up to the
employee. The more individuals get to know their co-workers, the more
they will be able to find commonalities and create relationships.
“Organizations have a responsibility for orientation to give you the information you need, access to training modules and other resources. You have a responsibility too. To get to know people and put yourself out there,” Lippert said.