Tips to Get Along With Your Coworkers

FT Contributor
A group of coworkers all giving a thumbs up.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Getting along with your coworkers is extremely important. You spend the majority of your time with the people you work with, so if you don’t get along, it can make going to work painful. Additionally, not getting along with your coworkers could have some serious repercussions, including the loss of your job. Striving to get along with your coworkers makes for a better workplace. Discover the best tips for getting along with your coworkers, regardless of their personality type.

Know the Different Personality Types

Each personality type handles social interactions differently. Understanding your own personality type can help you land your dream job, but it can also help you get along better with others. Figuring out the personality type of a coworker you don’t get along with can be extremely beneficial. With this knowledge, you can start to make better choices about how you communicate with them. You can also make adjustments to your own actions that may be causing this personality type to butt heads with you.

The most common belief is that there are 16 personality types. The Myers Briggs personality test assesses a person’s strengths and weaknesses based on their personality type. Equipped with that knowledge, psychology experts are able to help each personality type find the career that is right for them. Your personality type can also dictate the types of people you’re more likely to get along with. Contrary to popular belief, researchers from Northwestern University found that there are only four personality types:


Average is the most common personality type. The average personality includes people who are high in neuroticism and extraversion but low in openness. Average personalities are often negative, spending much of their time angry, worried, or sad. They’re extremely sensitive and have a tendency to dominate the conversation. Average personalities tend to trust routine and avoid being open to new experiences, regardless of what they might be.

Self Centered

Self-centered personalities are considered extroverts, but they aren’t open, agreeable, or conscientious individuals. While talkative, self-centered people only enjoy talking about their likes, dislikes, and interests. They aren’t open to hearing about other people’s lives or what they have going on at work. Self-centered individuals can be difficult to get along with because having a conversation with them often seems one-sided.

Role Model

Role models are natural-born leaders. They have extremely low levels of neuroticism and are rarely angry, worried, or sad. This personality type exhibits high levels of agreeableness and openness. They’re willing to listen and work with others in effective ways. They are conscientious of other people’s feelings. Role models are reliable, trustworthy individuals that you want to have in the workplace.


Reserved personalities are emotionally stable, not open or neurotic. Most often, they’re introverts who are agreeable and conscientious. They’re always on time, enjoy following the rules, and tend to be hard-working individuals. Rather than assert their own opinions, reserved personality types are open to hearing others’ thoughts and they often go with whatever the other person is saying.

Avoid Sharing Too Much Information

When you get to know a coworker, it gets easier to start to open up about your personal life. However, sharing too much information can sometimes backfire on you. It’s important to keep your personal life separate from your work life. While it’s great to be comfortable and at ease with your coworkers, you should still have an understanding as to the subjects that are inappropriate to discuss at work. Controversial subjects include politics, religion, or sex life. Bringing up these topics can cause awkwardness and make a coworker feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, discussing these topics can even result in an argument, which can lead to discord at work.

Be Respectful of Your Coworkers’ Opinions

It’s important to respect your coworkers’ opinions. They might differ from your own, but that’s the beauty of having an opinion. No two people share exactly the same views. Instead of getting combative when a coworker has a different opinion, take the time to listen to their opinion. Doing so could open your eyes to a new perspective you might not have considered before. Giving your coworkers the opportunity to express themselves could even change your opinion on a particular subject.

It’s Okay to Disagree

Once you’ve given your coworkers a chance to share their opinion, you may start to agree with them or you’ll continue to disagree. That’s okay! When you and a coworker have differences, it simply means that you are individuals. It’s okay to disagree with your coworkers, as long as it doesn’t result in a hostile workplace or physical altercation.

Avoid Gossip

Gossip in the workplace can cause a lot of problems and make the office a hostile environment. It’s hard to get along with coworkers when there is gossip in the office. Whether the information is totally accurate or only slightly true, gossiping about your coworkers never ends well. While it might be tempting to share the drama going on in someone else’s life, it doesn’t make you look good to others. Instead, you appear untrustworthy to others. Coworkers will avoid you at all costs in the future for fear that you might start to spread rumors about them.

Keep the Conversation Professional

There is a time and place for every conversation. At work, conversations with coworkers should be dominated by work tasks. There are points in the day, like break time or lunch, when it’s okay to discuss what you watched on television or your weekend plans, but for the most part, conversations should remain professional in subject matter. If what you are saying is offensive or inappropriate, it shouldn’t be discussed in the workplace. Similarly, if a coworker says something that is offensive or inappropriate, remove yourself from the conversation.

Go Out of Your Way to Be Kind

A small gesture can go a long way, especially in the workplace. Connecting with your coworkers on a personal level can give you a better understanding of their personality types. Sometimes, these connections can even develop into friendships. Even if you aren’t feeling super upbeat on any given day, try to put your best foot forward when it comes to interacting with your coworkers. Below are a few ways you can express kindness to your coworkers every day:

  1. Smile. Doing so completely changes the perspective people have about you.
  2. Be helpful. If you see a coworker struggling, ask how you can help.
  3. Mentor a new colleague. This demonstrates to your coworkers and your boss that you’re willing to better the entire team.
  4. Sing praise. If you see a coworker succeed, praise them publicly.
  5. Share the wealth. Showing up at the office with a cup of coffee for yourself is one thing, but bringing enough for everyone is a simple way to show your coworkers you care.

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