Would you really like to have better relationships on your job? I’m talking about what you can do—as one person—to improve the atmosphere where you work.

We hear lots of comments about how difficult workplaces are these days. You may feel as though you are trapped in a job you don’t like and you have no hope of escaping because jobs are scarce or you have too much time invested, or whatever. I want to challenge you to try to improve the place you’re in. As a Christian, a true follower of Jesus Christ, your first priority is to represent Christ well where you work, regardless of the circumstances.

I’ve made two suggestions for working well with others. Here’s number three: Never ambush your coworkers or boss. For example, if you bring up a problem in a meeting and it’s the first time your boss or the people involved have heard about it, then you have blindsided them and they may well interpret that to mean you’re trying to make them look bad. Always discuss issues first with the people directly involved.

Not only will that prevent you from appearing to ambush them, but you’re likely to learn something that will give you a different perspective of the situation. Proverbs 18:17 (ESV) says, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” We’ve all witnessed times when someone forcefully presented their case, expressed their opinion, pointed their fingers, and then when the facts were fully revealed, they were made to look foolish.

In order to have really good working relationships, your coworkers and management must trust you. Trust is built over time, and the little things you do—or don’t do—on a daily basis will create a firm belief in the minds of your coworkers as to whether or not they can trust you. Are there not some people on your job that you simply don’t trust? Well, that should never be the perception our coworkers have of us, if we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

It was said of Daniel that his coworkers “could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Daniel 6:4b). A distinguishing mark of a Christian in a secular workplace should be that we never ambush others, and we are very trustworthy.