Singapore

Get along and get ahead

Finding it difficult to get along with people at work? Try these tips to create a more harmonious workplace

Being able to get along with the people at work is not about putting up a front.

Especially if those with whom you interact - your bosses, colleagues and subordinates - are genuinely difficult.

Rather, being able to get along is about knowing what makes them tick - and bringing them around to your point of view.

Especially if they are of different generations and cultures.

More often than not, it's a misreading of others which makes them appear to be so hard to please.

Here's how to create a more harmonious workplace, not least for your own well-being.

LOOK INSIDE YOU

If you find that most of the people around you are tiresome, check your own behaviour.

Are any of your actions contributing to the rough edges? Rein in your prejudices and perceptions of others.

DON'T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY

It may be that the person you consider your thorn in the flesh treats you the same way that she treats others.

Realise that you are not being targeted and let things slide.

SEPARATE ISSUE 
FROM PERSON

When discussing matters with a contrarian, separate the issues from the person. For instance, instead of saying, "Your proposed solution is flawed," say instead, "The proposed solution may not work because…"

INVOLVE THEM

Involve finicky people in decision-making at the start of critical projects to reduce resistance.

Getting their buy-in will make them feel like they are a part of something big and they will champion the project.

ASK QUESTIONS

Tough cookies tend to have strong opinions and beliefs. To gain clarity about what is being said, ask questions.

Then, reinterpret what you heard to prevent miscommunication. Also, resist the urge to fight or win an argument.

SUPPORT YOUR VIEWS

When you find yourself facing resistance to important initiatives, instead of becoming defensive, provide documentation to support your claims and point of view.

SHOW AN INTEREST IN THEM

Invest time to get to know people who are from different cultures and generations. Read up about them too.

When you are flexible and accept their different norms, you not only stand out in your office but the people who gave you a hard time may begin to make an effort to work with you, thus creating a better workplace environment.

Being a people person is a prized skill that will help you go far in your career.

This article was contributed by Right Management (www.rightmanagement.sg), the global career experts within United States-listed HR consulting firm ManpowerGroup.

SELF-HELPWORKERSCareer