How do I get along with my colleagues better?

The following article is written by Matthew Coppola,  Australian Career Coach and Employment Consultant. If you are interested in inviting him to speak at any events/conferences, please feel free to contact us.

Do you sometimes feel that no matter how hard you try to be friends, you manage to turn off some of your co-workers? What then do you need to do to be able to get along with your colleagues better? The truth of the matter is, not everyone is going to like you. This is a sad reality of life that we must all accept. If you try too hard to have your colleagues like you, it may actually work the opposite, actually turning them off. Your colleagues will be able to sniff out the insecurity from you. So how do you then deal with this dilemma?

The answer is to treat your co-workers as you would treat yourself. Although you have your own flaws, recognize your own worth as an individual and how much you have to offer to your workplace. By valuing yourself better, it will enable you to be able to value your co-workers better. For instance this would help in dealing with the occasional co-worker who puts forward a cold shoulder whenever you try to be friends with them on a professional level. In saying that, steer away from automatically assuming that “the other person has the problem” it may be that your personality and approach in communicating to others needs refinement.

There are two ways that can help you in making a goal of getting along better with your colleagues. These are:

  1. Try and improve your conversation skills
  2. Show personal, yet professional interest in your colleagues

Improving your conversation skills

People like those who can converse well in meetings, networking functions, and amongst co-workers. Improving your conversation skills starts with having something worthwhile to say, that is, to think before you speak. It is good to be able to talk about a wide variety of subjects. For example, you might want to keep up to date with news and current affairs or innovations and changes in your industry. Reading industry focused magazines and newsletters are a good way of having something to talk about. Whatever you speak about, try and avoid three things – making your conversations more about yourself and not the other person, negative talk and gossiping about other staff members.

Another important skill is to be able to keep the conversation flowing. If a co-worker or manager asks you a question or says something to you in conversation, don’t kill the discussion with a yes or a no answer, instead reply in full. For example, if a colleague asks you how your weekend was, reply in saying how it was and what you did. This then opens the door for further discussion and allows the opportunity for you to ask your co-worker a similar question. Do you ever find that people bring up subjects that you are either not interested in or have little idea about it? Even so, the other person will think favourably upon you if you ask them questions and show interest in what they have to say.

Show personal, yet professional interest in your colleagues

Personal interest on a professional level, by definition, is about being attentive to the concerns and being curious about your fellow colleagues. You can show this through making yourself available to help and using encouraging words such as ‘you should be proud of yourself’ ‘That’s impressive’ or ‘Wish I was as good as you’ and so forth. If you make it a goal of genuinely expressing praise to your co-workers, you can expect them to do also to you.

The basic principle to making others like you is to tell them what they want to hear and Show them what they want to see.

You tell your colleagues what they want to hear by praising them and their work, saying things like “I wish I was as smart as you” and “You’re going to go far in this company” this is what they want to hear! They also want to see you praising them to the boss, making mistakes and asking them for help and not trying to seek attention from others in the office. They want to see genuineness, accountability and respect from you.

Make it also a goal of giving your time and energy to your fellow colleagues. This will impress them greatly. If you are working, and your colleague comes up to you and explains how they solved a work-related issue, sacrifice five minutes of your time to listen to what they say, by dropping everything you have in your hands and turn your body towards them. Of course, if you are really busy at work and cannot spare 5 minutes, explain to them that you are flat out but would be interested in hearing about it possibly over lunch or at another suitable time.

You can get along with your colleagues better!

Often times the reason why we have a hard getting along with certain people is simply because there is a clash of personalities. Generally, personality clashes centre around two colleagues with strong personalities. If you find yourself having a hard time getting along with someone at work that has a strong personality, remember that blaming the other person will only result in a vicious circle, with each individual not giving in. Best thing to do in that situation is to realise that it takes the stronger person to back down and show humility.

Clashes between individuals with strong personalities at work usually begin like a tiny leak on a submarine submerged underwater. Sooner or later the crack becomes bigger and bigger, finally bursting a hole in the vessel and flooding it. So likewise if you find yourself about to explode with angry words, it would be best for you to physically walk away. The potential for personality clashes to occur are always going to be there, so therefore it is your responsibility to avoid it all cost.

Every colleague is different, so it can be very challenging at times to build a relationship with them all. But trying your hardest to get along with all of your colleagues despite differing personalities, some more extreme than others, will make an impression on your colleagues and they will go out of their way to get along with you too. It just takes the bigger person. So it might as well be you!


Established in 2010, Client Centric Executive Employment Solutions (formerly All Jobs Resume Writing Services Australia) has become one of the leading boutique Employment Services firm in Australia. We offer a range of specialist career management and resume writing services to satisfy our clients both at an individual and corporate level. Our writing services include resume and cover letter assistance, responding to key selection criteria, search word optimised LinkedIn Profiles for greater online presence and a job application service where we apply for jobs on your behalf. Our corporate program includes career management planning assistance such as writing key staff biographies for website and marketing presentations, outplacement and career transitioning services for retrenched staff and career counselling. Our team are highly skilled and knowledgeable in broad range of industries. We service clients all over Australia including Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart. 

How To Help Others And Ourselves Accept Change In The Workplace By Matthew Coppola

If we want to help ourselves and others manage change, what can we do?Empathy: The First Key to Successful ChangeA practical definition of empathy is, putting yourself in the shoes of the other person.

In managing change, the first key is to know to what extent the change will be resented or rejected, accepted or welcomed. If everyone is enthusiastic about it, it is probably wise to proceed immediately. But if it will be resented and resisted, it is probably wise to reconsider or go slowly.

In order to be accurate in analyzing the degree of resistance or acceptance, it is necessary to consider each person individually. The better a manager knows the individuals who will be affected by the change the more accurate will be his or her analysis of their reactions.

Participation: The Second Key to Successful Change

Empathy, the first key, requires a manager to determine feelings and reactions toward a change. The second key, participation, requires a manager to get involvement from those concerned with and affected by the change.

Participation is a very important factor in the successful management of change. It begins with a philosophy among all levels of management, beginning at the top. They must believe that participation can benefit both the organization and the employees.

It then requires implementation. In most cases a formal approach is best. This would include a specific program such as quality circles with its structure and training. In some cases an informal approach can be successful.

Communication: The Third Key to Successful Change

Communication, the third key, requires the manager to maintain continuous, complete, and clear communication with all persons affected by the change.

The following aspects of communication are frequently misunderstood or often ignored by managers.

Communication means to create understanding and not merely to send information. If people don’t understand, the manager has not communicated.

The criteria for deciding to whom to communicate should include those who want to know as well as those who need to know.

Care should be taken regarding the timing of the communication. First of all, managers should be told before non managers and union officers get the information. Secondly, those who will be affected should be told as far in advance as practical.

Managers should give thought to the method of communicating before doing it. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of oral and written communication. When making a decision, it is also important to use empathy. In most cases, oral as well as written may be necessary to get understanding as well as to gain acceptance. In very few cases will written communication alone do the job.


Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at to find out more.

Does money make us more happier?

An assumption in Economics is that consumers prefer more, and that one’s utility can be increased through the consumption of more goods and services. In other words, the more money we have as individuals, the more satisfied we are with our life. But does greater income and consumption really translate into greater happiness? Three main research studies are examined, with offer similiar yet different answers.

In one study, an ordinal scale for happiness was derived from answering the question: “taken all together, how would you say things are these days – would you say that you are very happy (score of 3), pretty happy (2), or not too happy (3)?” (Davis, Smith & Marsden, 2001) For 1994-1996, the mean happiness score was 1.92 for those in the lowest 10% of the income distribution, and 2.36 for those in the highest 10% income distribution. This study showed that there is a positive relationship between utility and income.

In the World Values Survey, cross-country comparisons were made to view this relationship on a global scale. In this case, income was measured by each 51 country’s per-capita gross national product (GNP) as measured in US Dollars. The question asked to all respondents: “all things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?” the scale was 1 representing most dissatisfied and 10 most satisfied (ICPSR 2000). Graphical analysis showed that countries with higher GNP per capita on average, experience higher satisfaction. However this satisfaction increases at a lower rate, reflecting diminishing utility as material well being increases (Davis, Smith & Marsden, 2001).

The researchers concluded that there are other factors which affect satisfaction levels, such as health, the political environment, freedom etc. For example individuals with high income levels, but poor health were less happy, then those with better health. Countries with high incomes, yet strict government control had less happier individuals then those countries with less control (People in North Korea can testify to this!) Although researchers still agree that greater happiness results from greater utility, on average that is.

However, Princeton University Researchers have found that the link between income and happiness is “greatly exaggerated and mostly an illusion” (Quinones 2006). Their new fndings build on efforts to develp alternative methods of gauging the well being of individuals and of society, as it became apparent that people surveyed in a new study about their own happiness were overstating the impact of income on their wellbeing.

Although income is a good measure of well being, its role is low and less important then first thought. People with greater incomes do not necessarily spend a greater amount of time doing enjoyable activities (Quinones 2006) In economics it is assumed that the rational consumer will increase their level of consumption for luxury goods and services, due to their higher level of disposable income and will be more satisfied. But in reality, higher income individuals are “barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience” and tend to be tenser.

New measures adopted are based on individuals ratings of their actual experiences, instead of a judgement of their lives as a whole. The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) measures peoples quality of daily life. This creates an “enjoyment scale” by requiring people to record the previous days activities and describe their feelings about the experiences. The method has proved effective.

For example, when people were asked to describe their general happines and then asked how many dates they had in the past month, their answers showed little correlation. But when the order of the questions was the opposite for another group, the link between their love lives and general happiness became much greater. This is in line with the finding from the World Values Surveys.

So far three studies have been examined. The first study concluded that there is a positive relationship between income and happiness, the second looked at this relationship on a global scale, still indicating a positive relationship, but discovering the presence of diminishing utility with income, and concludes that there are other factors at play. The last study makes a revision of past research then it conducts its own study. The researchers concluded that this positive relationship has been very much exaggerated and criticize the integrity of past surveys. Whilst they acknowledge that there is a positive relationship, there are still many other factors at play and only to a small extent, is income positively related to happiness, thus agreeing with the other two studies.

Do’s and Dont’s of Email Etiquette by Matthew Coppola

1.What is the biggest mistake people make when sending business emails?

The biggest mistake would have to be sending emails with too many subjects.
If you are sending an email, make sure that it is on one subject alone, not many. Because when people receive emails with too many subjects, the email respondents end up forgetting to reply to most of the different matters.
So I suggest when sending emails, make sure they are on one subject, and if you have a number of matters that need dealt with, keep them as separate emails.

2.What is a common mistake people make without realising they are making a mistake?

Bad grammar
– forgetting to spell check is a common mistake people make that they don’t realize.
– When sending emails throughout the day, we may become busy and so will rush through an email, and sending it without double checking our grammar and punctuation.
– Make sure spell check is always turned on. However, spell check misses mistakes like this:
“I this due by Tuesday”
Spell check would say that is correct. When really it isn”t and should be:
“I need this due by Tuesday”

So it is always good to double check our emails before sending.
Ways you can quickly check for typo mistakes:
Read through the email but only concentrate on the words and their structure, not what the email is reading. This way you will be able to find mistakes easier without getting caught up in the email.

3.How should an email be properly constructed?

-Specific subject
BAD: Next Tuesday”s appointment
GOOD: Appointment for Tuesday the 20th of August 2010 with John Smith
An email should start off with a good introduction which captures your readers attention and helps them to follow on through the email:
Hello John,
Hope you had a good weekend OR
Thank you for your time today to discuss the matter with you.

This is the base of the email.
Key information for the reader is in this part of the email. Whatever you need to ask or say put it in here.

Always end an email off in a positive note or to recap your email.
Eg. Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information
Kind regards,
I look forward to seeing you next week and discussing the proposition with you.
Kind regards,

4.How important is good email etiquette?

Very important.
A good email shows professionalism so sending a well written email will impress your client or customer.

5.What are the possible ramifications of bad email etiquette?

-Perception by the email respondent as unprofessionalism and lack of care in the way your conducting business
-The email respondent may disregard the email and forget about it
-The email may be passed on as junk mail if the subject line is too general or small.
-The use of emoticons and acronyms like BTW (by the way) are way too informal. Not everybody knows what they mean. Readers could even get the wrong impression of your email writing skills.


Author: Matthew Coppola, Managing Director of Client Centric.

Client Centric – Executive Employment Solutions are a boutique employment services company specialising in executive and managerial level roles. We are committed to helping you succeed in your career and to do this we have the best staff on board to help you reach your goals. Our team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in a broad range of areas and expertise, so you get the best advice. We service clients all over Australia including Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart.  We provide Resume Writing ServicesCover Letter WritingLinkedIn ProfilesAddressing Selection Criteria’s and we also offer a Job Application Service where we apply for jobs on your behalf and all you do is wait for the call. Please visit our website at to find out more.