Have you ever felt like you’re the odd one out at work?
Do you struggle to fit in with your coworkers or wonder why they don’t seem to want to include you or listen to your ideas?
If the thought has crossed your mind that some, if not all of your coworkers, may not appreciate your existence, you may be right. And if you’ve had this thought cross your mind and you have no idea WHY they don’t like you, it’s probably time for some introspection. Whether it’s communication issues, personality clashes, or something else entirely, there are ways that you can build stronger connections with those around you at work.
If your emails generate more questions than answers and you sense frustration or impatience on the part of others when you’re communicating your thoughts and ideas, it can create misunderstandings that lead to tension between you and your coworkers. Additionally, many people who are poor communicators focus so much on what they have to say and their own agendas, that it turns others off. To improve communication at work, focus on being a better listener. Making eye contact and paraphrasing what you’ve heard is a great way to communicate that you’re paying attention. When it’s your turn to speak, be clear about what you want to say, use concise language, and avoid jargon or technical terms if possible. Mastering the art of effective communication will help improve relationships with coworkers and boost morale and productivity amongst your team.
The clash of personalities is a common issue in workplace relationships. It occurs when individuals with distinct personalities, communication styles, or work approaches find it challenging to get along effectively. These differences can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and strained working relationships, affecting team morale and productivity. Sometimes, you may be unaware that your personality or approach is causing friction among coworkers. You might perceive yourself as outgoing and friendly, while others see you as aggressive or overbearing, or you might think you’re neutral and accommodating, while others see you as indecisive or weak. Overcoming these issues takes self-awareness to identify personal shortcomings in communication style or behavior patterns that might be rubbing colleagues the wrong way. One way to identify whether a personality issue is the cause of workplace conflict is to take a personality or conflict style assessment such as the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Inventory or the Enneagram assessment. (Contact me if you’re interested in taking either assessment!)
Once you’ve identified your personality and communication style, communication is key in ensuring others understand your preferences and taking the time to understand theirs. One effective approach involves establishing clear boundaries around how all members should interact with one another at the start of a project or during regular meetings. If you handle these conversations professionally, it can result in healthier collaboration among people who previously struggled to connect instead of turning every issue that arises into a conflict situation.
Perceived lack of effort
Another reason coworkers may not like you is that they perceive a lack of effort on your part. This could manifest in a number of ways, from failing to meet deadlines or skipping team meetings to appearing disinterested in your work and colleagues. To assess this concern, honestly ask yourself whether you’re giving 100% to your work and team efforts. When you procrastinate, daydream, or do non-work-related activities, ask yourself, “Could I be doing something more productive with my time?” If you find you are wasting a lot of time being non-productive at work, it may be time to re-assess why.
However, in some cases, this perception may merely be coming about because of miscommunication rather than laziness or apathy. For example, perhaps you’ve been struggling with a particularly difficult project and are putting in long hours behind the scenes without communicating this to your team. Alternatively, maybe you haven’t had the chance to interact with coworkers due to different schedules or remote work challenges. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for you to take steps toward demonstrating your genuine interest and involvement in both your job and workplace relationships.
If you’re unsure whether others are perceiving a lack of effort on your part, it can be helpful to ask for honest feedback from trusted colleagues or supervisors. From there, prioritize open communication channels with coworkers so that everyone is aware of each other’s workload and contributions – this will help keep everyone in the loop and ensure others you’re there to do your fair share and to be a positive contributor. Additionally, don’t wait for others to reach out, take the first step to check in to see how team members are doing, share what you’re working on, and see how you can support each other.
If you have a coworker that is excluded by others, what are they doing, and what could they do to get along better with others?