A recent study showed that if you have a good friend at work, you are much more likely to be satisfied with your job. How would you describe your work relationships? Do you just tolerate those coworkers, or would you count at least some of them as good friends? Your answer to those questions could have a lot to do with how you feel about your job.
I want to talk about what you can do to work well with others, to make those working relationships more pleasant, indeed to form some close friendships where you work. Often the workplace brings out the worst in people, but as ambassadors for Jesus Christ, the workplace is our opportunity to shine as lights in a dark place, and even to change the atmosphere by learning how to work well with others. One person can make a difference, you know, so why shouldn’t that one person be you?
Here is suggestion number one for working well with others at work: Don’t play the blame game. Shifting the blame for any situation is a big no-no. I’m not suggesting you take blame for something that was not your responsibility, but don’t alienate coworkers by pointing fingers, especially in a meeting or where multiple people are present.
The biblical principle for solving issues between two people is very straight-forward: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Matthew 18:15-16).
Often problems must be addressed and those responsible must be identified and corrected. But the way you go about this will make all the difference in whether or not you truly help someone to correct a problem or just make a problem worse. It’s really smart to always confront privately, one-on-one, after you have had time to think it through, form your words, control your anger, and make sure you’re speaking truth in love—meaning you’re doing this for the good of the other person, not just to ventilate your frustration. You definitely could win a person over this way.
And then remember, pick your fights. There are some hills that simply aren’t worth dying on, so be willing to let some things go.