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7 Personal and Professional Qualities to be Popular at Work

What makes one a popular colleague? Here are seven qualities of everyone’s favourite co-worker.

Good colleagues inject fun and positive energy into our work day. They work with us to achieve common goals and are a big part of the reason we look forward to showing up for work.

Stimulating co-workers make the team stronger, and by extension, the company.

Our happiness at work bears direct correlation with our performance. A dynamic working environment breeds fresh ideas and perspectives for creative breakthroughs. But the people, not the space, make it what it is.

What makes one a popular colleague? Here are the top 7 qualities of everyone’s favourite co-worker:

1. Open

Being receptive to different perspectives and constructive criticism is an important quality that enhances teamwork and productivity.

It doesn’t mean that you should agree to everything and be a pushover though. It simply means respecting different opinions, and having the humility to accept constructive criticism of your work. You don’t have to agree with them, but peer reviews can be a great way to improve and grow.

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2. Flexible

Adaptability to change is key for continued growth, particularly for creative working environments and competitive industries.

It’s now more important than ever to keep up with the rapid pace of technological developments—the way we live, work and play has been completely transformed, and continues to evolve on a daily basis. In a few short years, driverless cars and drone deliveries will be a daily occurrence, and who knows what else!

Read More: Frustrated With Colleagues? Improve Your Relationships With Empathy

3. Accountable

Accountability—taking ownership of your work and responsibilities—tells your team members that they can rely on you to get the job done when you say you will.

It shows integrity and trustworthiness when you hold yourself accountable to deadlines and delivery standards, particularly when you own up to mistakes and focus on the big picture rather than making excuses for why you dropped the ball.

4. Self-starter

Initiative says a lot about one’s character. Being quick on your feet to pick up the slack when you see your team members struggling with a task, or simply pitching in with fresh ideas and constructive feedback without being asked to do so will earn you brownie points with the team. Everyone appreciates a helpful team member!

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5. Team player

Show what a stellar team-player you are by staying focused on the job and prioritising the company’s goals. Don’t get side-tracked by office politics and taking sides. That’s not what you’re paid to do. Your team mates will respect you more for it and appreciate your professionalism.

6. Empathy

Showing empathy for your fellow workers when they’re facing personal or professional problems makes a bigger difference than you might realise.

Just the simple fact that someone else cares about what you’re going through makes you feel appreciated and alleviates the stress somewhat. Empathy also helps form a bond between the two parties, fostering greater trust and mutual respect.

7. Problem-solver

Ever noticed how some people automatically start pointing fingers when a problem occurs? This defensive reaction does absolutely nothing to solve the problem and is counter-productive in so many ways.

It’s important to identify the cause of the problem to prevent a recurrence, but the priority should be on solving the problem and damage control, rather than naming and shaming. Wow your team members with your creative problem-solving skills and you’ll instantly become their favourite go-to person.

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