How to be a Better Coworker (And Characteristics of Bad Coworkers)

The joy of working in a company is that you are working with company.  However, when your coworkers are less than ideal, it can negatively impact your day, mood and workload.  Then there are the people who are great to work with and make your job a little more enjoyable.

This week, I studied characteristics of great coworkers (as well as characteristics of bad coworkers).  Below are the top characteristics of great coworker according to answer on my LinkedIn Answers question, as well as those of bad coworkers.  Read on to see what traits were most and least appreciated in coworkers.

Characteristics of Good Coworkers

  • Communicator: shares ideas & knowledge, listens, honest
  • Team Player: works well with the team, complements skill sets, cooperative, positive, responsible, personable, compassionate, humble
  • Challenger: provides constructive criticism, challenges others, raises the bar, quality-focused
  • Innovator: creative, problem solver, efficient, open-minded
  • Hard worker: passionate, dedicated, punctual, takes responsibility for own mistakes, respectful, has integrity, serious

Characteristics of Bad Coworkers

  • Time Waster: unfocused, talks about non-work related topics too much, late, irresponsible, gossipy, dishonest
  • Finger Pointer: blames others for mistakes
  • Egomaniac: egotistical, critical, not a team player, condescending, unsharing
  • “Negative Nancy”: closed-minded, negative, selfish, inconsiderate
  • “Whatever Man”: lazy, indifferent

Words of Wisdom

“I would suggest the best way to be an ideal coworker is to be first and foremost honest and humble,” says Matt Clark on LinkedIn.  “Do not let your ego get in the way of building relationships and solving problems. If we could all just focus on our own areas to improve, we would all be better coworkers.”

“Look for the soft skills, listening, communication, and bit of compassion, otherwise known as emotional intelligence,” says John LaFay on LinkedIn.  “In the long run, these personal traits are a better investment than value matching.”

“If you can have a healthy working relationship with your coworker, he is a good coworker for you,” says Masood Sayed on LinkedIn.  “A good co worker for you can be a bad coworker for someone else.  It depends on how well you understand and communicate with each other.”

How Do You Rate?

While most people think they are a good coworker, it is important to step back and examine your own characteristics in the workplace.  How do you rate on the characteristics of good coworkers?  How would your coworkers rate you?

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3 comments

  1. Good points Sally! An ideal coworker is someone who takes full responsibility of his actions and does not blame anyone or points anyone if a problem arises. A good coworker is also a team player and can sometimes be a leader among his fellow coworkers. He must also be an open-minded person and accepts ideas and criticisms from others.

    http://takethisjoborshoveit.com/

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  2. Negative Nancy is interesting for me. The difference between a negative Nancy and a challenger is often the perception of the person receiving the feedback. I often see colleagues simultaneously categorized as both. It often depends on the receiver’s reaction to constructive criticism.

    Ex: Idea “z” has a high failure probability in Market “X” because of “Y”. For me to give my approval to move forward with initiative “z”, I want you to find possible replacements for “y”.

    If the receiver of news focuses on the first clause, the speaker becomes a negative Nancy. Conversely, if receiver focuses on the second clause, speaker is perceived as a challenger. Therein, eye of the beholder.

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