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5 Reasons Your Colleagues Don't Want to Work With You

By Maurie Backman - Jul 31, 2019 at 6:47AM

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If any of these apply to you, it's time to make some major changes.

In the course of your job, there may be times when opportunities arise to work on exciting new projects. Similarly, new teams might open up, or co-workers of yours might get together to present different ideas to your company's management team. But if you've noticed that you're never a part of those discussions or aren't chosen to work on new initiatives despite the fact that you're more than qualified to get involved, then it could be that your colleagues simply don't want to work with you. And if that's the case, here are a few possible reasons why.

1. You're not organized

It's hard to team up with someone who comes off as scattered. If your desk is in constant disarray, and you never seem to know what meeting you're supposed to attend and where, then your co-workers might balk at the idea of collaborating.

Man sitting at a computer with a serious expression, resting his head on his fist


2. You're often late with deadlines

When you're late submitting work you're responsible for solely, that reflects poorly on you. But if you team up with your colleagues on a project and don't stick to its timeline, you'll drag everyone else down with you. And chances are, your co-workers don't want to take that risk.

3. You have a bad attitude

It's not unusual to grumble about your job on occasion, or to sometimes bemoan the fact that you spend a chunk of your day doing work that's mindless and dull. But if you tend to approach your job with negativity on a whole, that's something your colleagues probably don't want to be a part of.

4. You don't work well under pressure

In the course of your job, you're likely to find yourself in situations where you're forced to scramble through no fault of your own. Many people don't enjoy having to tackle urgent, last-minute requests, especially when the stakes are high. But if you have a tendency to crumble under pressure, your co-workers might opt to team up with someone who has more of a "can do" attitude.

5. You respond poorly to criticism

Nobody's perfect. In a given job situation, you're likely to have things you excel at and things you struggle with. But if you're known as someone who doesn't take kindly to criticism, even when it's clearly constructive in nature, then your colleagues might hesitate to get you involved in what they're working on for fear of offending you along the way.

If you've noticed that your colleagues don't want to work you, then it pays to examine your behavior and see if any of these points apply. Similarly, if you have a decent enough relationship with your co-workers, you might come out and ask what's needed on your part to be looped in on things more often. Whether your colleagues will feel comfortable sharing is a different story, but if they are willing to be honest, it'll give you something to work with.

From there, you'll be in a better position to address your shortcomings and get in your colleagues' good graces. For example, if you're chronically disorganized or late, you can implement a physical and electronic filing system and find a calendar app that helps you stay ahead of deadlines and scheduling. If you're the resident office downer, you can try changing your outlook, or at least start presenting yourself as a less negative person. If you don't do well with pressure, learn some new coping mechanisms. And if you tend to respond to criticism harshly, work on accepting feedback. Taking these steps could open the door to new opportunities for you, not to mention improve the relationship you have with the people you work with.

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