Career 101: Connecting with Coworkers

“No one in the workplace exists in a vacuum,” says Marlene González, president and founder of Life Coaching Group. Yet, according to research, Latinas often resort to isolated behaviors if they feel they don’t fit in. Here are González’s tips for improving your communication and relationships with your co-workers, as you climb the ladder:

Find common ground.

When we are isolated, our lives begin to turn into a struggle of “me against the world,” which only makes it more difficult to change our perspectives and behavior. It can also discourage others from working with us. But by identifying the positives about your colleagues, you can start to appreciate their contributions and develop a greater sense of trust and respect.

Notice triggers.

Recognize behaviors, such as, “I do not want to create waves,” “I like to keep it low key,” I’m just going to work hard, do my job and that’s it,” as these are warning signs. Behaviors of isolation prevent you from giving your very best and having a voice at the table.

Ask for feedback.

As Latinas, it is easier to gravitate towards people you culturally identify with. This can be difficult in a workplace where there are only a few others who are culturally similar to you. But learning from people who are different from us can be empowering. Ask, “How did I do today during the meeting? What could I do better next time around?”

Surround yourself with positive people.

Look for people who demonstrate good spirits, work habits and group skills. These people will guide you in learning to interact with others in the workplace and introduce you to new perspectives on how to do your job better.

Collect insights about how you are perceived by others.

Try to become more aware of your behavior and this will allow you to change incorrect perceptions that exist about you. Do not take things personally, but proactively work to protect your reputation.