"Treat others the way you would like to be treated." | Matthew 7:12
Many people grow up in families with unhealthy relationships, so they lack the relational skills needed to be able to interact with other people in a healthy way. They need to be taught how to get along with and relate to others outside the home, even in the workplace. We meet some people in the workplace that become lifelong friends and others who irritate us to the point we wish we didn’t have to see them every day. This latter group make it difficult to have an enjoyable working environment.
Rick Warren, in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, has a chapter, Cultivating Community, in which he relates five principles for cultivating community within the local church fellowship. These same principles can also operate in the workplace. He states that the New Testament is filled with instructions on how to share life together. He quotes James 3:18 (Msg), “You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”
If you would like to cultivate harmony where you work, in your department, try a couple of these principles which Rick Warren suggests.
Be Humble: The opposite of humility is pride. Pride builds walls between people and eventually leads to destroying relationships. Humility consists of building blocks, it builds good relationships. Humility enables you to give more respect and honor to others than to yourself. The Bible says, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another...” (I Peter 5:5b NIV) Rick Warren shares, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” You develop humility by admitting your weaknesses and being patient with others’ weaknesses, and by open to correction.
Be Courteous: Courtesy is being considerate of others. Considerate of their feelings, respectful of their differences and patient with those who irritate you. The Bible says, “...Excel in showing respect to each other.” (Romans 12:10 GWT) Rick Warren states, “One key to courtesy is to understand where people are coming from. Discover their history. When you know what they’ve been through, you will be more understanding, instead of thinking about how far they still have to go. Think about how far they have come in spite of their hurts.”
Learn to respect people for the person they are. God puts people in our midst for both their benefit and ours. Each one is an opportunity to make a life-long friend.
Humility and Courtesy mean giving up our self-centeredness and independence in order to become interdependent. The benefits of sharing life together far outweigh the cost.