Some of the best friends I have had and still have are friends that were made in the workplace. Not everyone in your workplace will become “best friends,” but there are some principles that are applicable to maintaining good relationships with all co-workers.
It is necessary to be dependable, which is important to your employer and your co-worker. Your employer expects you to be on the job daily so the business will be successful. If the job didn’t depend on you the employer wouldn’t need you. Likewise, another co-worker’s job may also depend on the performance of your job. If he/she knows that you are going to be there, except for sickness or emergency, you have already built a good relationship. To him or her you are “faithful,” someone who can be counted on. To be faithful means to be reliable, dependable, and consistent. The Bible asks us such a question, “Who can find a faithful man (person).” (Proverbs 20:6 NKJV) People appreciate dependability.
It is important to be understanding rather than judgmental when working with others. Is anyone perfect? That is a rhetorical question with an emphatic, NO! Since we all fit into the same category of “imperfection,” not one of us can be the judge of another. When they brought the woman taken in adultery to Jesus, He defended her publicly by asking the one who is without sin to cast the first stone, then, dealt with her privately. It helps our understanding of each other to accept people as they are rather than what we want them to be. When a person, co-worker, knows that a good relationship has already begun.
Someone has said, “A little kindness goes a long way.” The apostle Paul wrote, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) We all come from a different background, and we encounter different problems, so any given day one of us may come to work not in a “good mood,” or “upset” because of something that has taken place outside the work place. To have co-workers who are sympathetic in time of need, understanding when we hurt, and show kindness is a rich blessing. People who are kind usually are sensitive to the needs of others. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
Resources for more study: The Bible; Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby & Claude King; The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren; Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper; Seasons of Life by Charles Swindoll; The Secret of Happiness by Dr Billy Graham.