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3 Ways to Learn Something New from Your Coworkers

3 Ways to Learn Something New from Your Coworkers

Striving to always learn something new and evolve is crucial in the workplace. The business world changes every day so staying at the top of your industry is crucial for success. While there is often an opportunity to continue your education at work with training manuals and documents, there is also an opportunity to learn from your coworkers.

Coworker relationships are extremely important and vital to your success in the workplace, so building a positive rapport with these individuals is important. One of the ways to do this is by getting to know your coworkers and learning something new from them. Here are three ways to deepen your connection and gain knowledge with the help of your coworkers:

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Learn a New Skill

Take advantage of an opportunity to learn a new skill from one of your coworkers. Have you always been intrigued by gaining more knowledge about the sales or marketing side of your company? Sit down with a colleague from this division and talk to them about the sales and marketing department. The more that everyone can learn from one another, the better it will be for the company. If you get the chance to pick the brain of one of your coworkers make sure to return the favor by teaching them something in return. They will appreciate this new knowledge and new friendship.

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While learning job related skills from coworkers is beneficial, there may also be an opportunity to acquire new soft skills from your associates as well. Perhaps one of your coworkers is very personable and handles client interaction very well. Follow their lead and learn new ways to communicate like this individual does.

Learn Something New About the Company

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Many companies have manuals and websites with information about the background of the organization, and while reading this material is helpful, it is often times a high level overview of the company. There is so much to learn about the organization you are working for so consider tapping into the minds of one of your coworkers. If this individual has been with the company for a few years they may have some helpful insight about the company culture, the relationships of those in each department and the overall political structure of the office. The more you know about your company and how to contribute to company growth and culture, the better suited you will be to contribute to the team.

Learn About the Other Person

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This may seem like a no brainer, but oftentimes we get so caught up in the daily tasks of our job and deadlines that we forget to learn about the other individuals around us. Many offices want to create a team environment and in order for everyone to function as a team, there needs to be a personal connection between employees. Take a few minutes to learn about your coworkers likes and interests. This will help you to create common ground so it will be easier to communicate with this person and it will make you feel comfortable with them when working on projects. If you feel more at ease with your coworkers it will be much easier to collaborate on projects together because you will be much more comfortable with asking questions and brainstorming solutions to problems.

At the end of the day, employers are happy to see their team members getting along with one another and solving problems together. You spend a great deal of time with your coworkers, so why not learn from them? The amount of knowledge you acquire and the friendship you gain may just surprise you.

Featured photo credit: Man And Woman Having Business Meeting With Bag, Drinks And Technology via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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