One of the hardest parts of starting a new job is finding out who to trust at work. While it would be great to be able to wholeheartedly trust all your co-workers, some of them simply aren't trustworthy. Others may become your new best friends. Once you discover who to trust at work, you'll likely perform better and feel more comfortable around your co-workers. The key to finding this harmony is through a series of tests.
1 Share a Small Secret
One of the easiest tests to find out who to trust at work is to share a small secret. It should be something true about yourself, but something that you don't mind everyone knowing. If the secret spreads or turns into a distorted rumor, you probably can't trust the person too much. If your secret stays safe, then you've already started building a trusting relationship with the co-worker.
2 Offer Ideas in a Team Setting
Teams quickly show you which co-workers are truly team players and which are out for themselves. During a meeting, share a useful idea. After the project is over, take notice of who got credit for the idea. Was it you, the entire team or the team leader? If it's the latter, the person isn't exactly someone you can trust. They're out to use everyone for their own gain.
3 Ask for Gossip
Believe me when I say, everyone gossips at work. However, some people do nothing but talk about their co-workers behind their backs. Strike up a conversation about your fellow co-workers and see how each person responds. Do they share every piece of gossip about them or do they give you a simple opinion and move on? The more they gossip and bad mouth their own co-workers, the more likely they are to do the same to you.
4 Ask for Help
While you should be able to ask for help from your co-workers, some will absolutely refuse to help. Remember, you shouldn't ask them to do your job for you. However, ask your co-workers for help learning how to do something or managing an important project. If they're trustworthy, they won't mind lending a helping hand if they're available. They'll happily share information to help make you a better employee.
5 Work on a Project Together
The most trustworthy co-workers aren't afraid to do their share of the work when it comes to a team project. Whether you work as partners or in a team, take note of how well your co-workers handle their portion of the work. Do they make excuses or ask someone else to do it for them? Do they meet deadlines? Co-workers who refuse to do their fair share aren't people you can trust.
6 Go to Lunch Together
This test may not seem all that useful, but it actually is. Outside the office, people tend to be a little different. Notice what they talk about and how they talk about their job and co-workers. The more positive they are, the more trustworthy they're likely to be. Of course, some complaining is natural. Also pay attention to any advice they give you. The more friendly advice they give out, the more likely they are to be a trusting friend.
7 Try to Be a Part of Cliques
Much like high school, you'll probably notice cliques at work. Try to befriend different co-workers from these cliques. If the co-workers ignore you, they're probably more interested in themselves than in being trustworthy to the new person. If they welcome you with open arms, it's a good sign you might be able to trust them. Why you shouldn't rely solely upon this test, it is a good starting point.
When you start a new job, keep an open mind and expect the best from your co-workers. After trying some of these tests, you'll quickly find out who you can rely on and trust. Remember, they'll probably test you too, so be prepared and just be yourself. What advice do you have for finding trustworthy co-workers?
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