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How to win friends and influence management
Published on Thursday, 12 May 2011
Illustration: Bay Leung

The ability to work with others is essential in the modern team-based workplace. Your capability to form productive relationships could affect your career advancement. Here are some strategies from Robert Half, a financial recruitment company, on how to polish your workplace diplomacy skills. 

Listen and observe

Look to office veterans to get a feel of the unwritten rules and norms of behaviour. Watch how they interact with others and make a mental note of what works and what does not. 

Know your co-workers

Cultivate strong relationships by learning about professional roles and the demands and pressures your co-workers face. Ask how your expertise might benefit them in how they perform their jobs. 

Be a team player

Put the organisation's interests and needs before your own. Be supportive of others and be happy when colleagues succeed. 

Don't criticise your co-workers in public

If you have problems with a co-worker, arrange a private meeting to make your feelings known and resolve the issue. You will maintain your reputation as a professional and prevent problems from affecting your entire department. 

Give credit where it is due

If you are reporting the results of a company project in which others took part, be sure to note who was involved. Take care to use "we" instead of "I" when discussing successful outcomes.


Andrew Morris, managing director, Greater China, Robert Half International