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How to tell your colleague is trustworthy

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th April 2009 03:00 AM

WE spend a huge portion of our lives at work, sometimes spending even more time with our coworkers than with our family. Completing difficult projects or improving one’s innovation requires working with colleagues you can trust.

WE spend a huge portion of our lives at work, sometimes spending even more time with our coworkers than with our family. Completing difficult projects or improving one’s innovation requires working with colleagues you can trust.

BY REBECCA HARSHBARGER

WE spend a huge portion of our lives at work, sometimes spending even more time with our coworkers than with our family. Completing difficult projects or improving one’s innovation requires working with colleagues you can trust. However, how do you tell if the person you are working with is trustworthy?

“You can tell by the way someone behaves,” said Gerald Bareeba, a writer said. “For instance, if you borrow their computer for a moment, how do they act? Are they rude?

One warning sign of an untrustworthy colleague is gossip. To some degree, everyone gossips occasionally, but for some it is like an addiction, infiltrating their conversations with mean-spirited rumours. When your coworkers go for lunch, do they gossip? Listen to the tone of the gossip to see if it’s innocent or mean-spirited. Innocent gossip might speculate whether a coworker who left might return, or if a company might re-brand itself. This kind of gossip can be constructive, building a sense of camaraderie between workmates. Mean-spirited gossip tears down another worker’s reputation through rumours and says more about the gossip than the person being gossiped about.

“A coworker is a true friend if they always have your back,” said Abu Omondi, an advertising art director. Omondi said he sometimes experiences coworkers gossiping about him, to his detriment. For instance, when he bought photography equipment, some of his coworkers said he wanted to leave the company and no longer cared about his job.

Another warning sign to look out for are colleagues that backbite. Backbiting is gossip’s cruel sister. It means to speak badly of someone’s personality, appearance or behaviour. In the workplace, people might backbite to deal with boredom, professional jealousy, or relieve stress. The practice sours the work atmosphere and makes building trust between workers difficult.

WHEN TO TRUST A COLLEAGUE
Trustworthy colleagues compliment other workers’ strengths, rather than focusing on their weaknesses

When irritated by a coworker, a reliable colleague will speak to them, rather than backbiting them

Trustworthy individuals focus on their own tasks, rather than wasting time gossiping

Faithful workers advance in their profession through hard work, rather than tearing down other professionals through gossip

How to tell your colleague is trustworthy

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