Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How to Work Well With Others in the Workplace

From time to time the PR Job Coach invites guest posts from colleagues on related career management topics.  This guest post come from Tori R. Terhune and Betsy A. Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA, authors of the new book, “Life After College: 10 Steps to Build a Life You Love,”  Read it and leap!

As a young professional in the workplace, it can be difficult to know how best to deal with all the different personalities surrounding you. You’ve probably had plenty of experience with group projects and challenging professors, but at the end of the semester you get to leave, and – sometimes – never work with those people again. But in the working world, teams usually aren’t temporary.

So how do you best work with others and put your best foot forward? In Life After College: 10 Steps to Build a Life You Love, we outline many ways to work well with others in the workplace, and we wanted to share a few with you here.

Watch how you communicate: How you say something is just as important as what you say. Pay attention to your body language and tone when you speak with others to make your meaning and sentiment clear. And be careful when using written communication – nonverbal communication (a smile, wink or chuckle), isn’t easily transferrable into the written word, so you want to be sure they don’t misinterpret your words.

Under promise and over deliver: This is a fantastic rule of thumb in the workplace, as you never want to be the person who is behind deadline. You want to be ahead of your deadline with extra projects completed to beef up the overall product! For example, say you will complete A, B and C, and then work hard to make progress on D. When you are actually able to complete everything, you’ll look like a hero!

Be kind and positive: People love happy people, and when you are nice to others, they will want to be around you even more! This can do a lot for your career, as these folks will want to collaborate on projects with you and champion you to others in your company. Make it a priority to give a compliment or two daily, and you will influence others to help you on your path to your goals.

Don’t worry about credit or affirmation: While you are making the effort to compliment and affirm others, you may not receive the same courtesy. Do your best because you want to produce excellent work, not because you are looking for credit. If you constantly expect validation (which you may not receive), you will stress yourself out looking for value from others. Be secure in yourself and your abilities, and thrive off the few compliments and kudos you do receive.

With these few tips, you will be on your way toward working with others successfully! For more tips on managing your workplace, and many other strategies to thriving in post college life, pick up a copy of Life After College: 10 Steps to Build a Life You Love. If you have more tips to share, or if any of these have worked for you, let us know in the comments below!

Author bios:

Tori Randolph Terhune is an award-winning author, speaker, coach and public relations and social media professional. She is CEO of Brand Chicks (, an online branding consulting firm, and her experience varies from career coaching for recent college graduates to website and social media search engine optimization practices. She is a popular speaker to college groups and women’s conferences, as well as serving as a guest lecturer for many college courses over the last five years. She was recognized as the Outstanding PR Graduate by Fresno State in 2009 and as Rookie of the Year by PRSA Central California in 2008. You can reach Tori on Twitter @ToriRTerhune.

Betsy A. Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA, is an author, keynote speaker, and workshop presenter whose topics include personal and professional success, public relations excellence, effective communication, and landing your dream career. She is also the lead Public Relations Professor for the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University, Fresno -- a post she has held since 1999. Betsy is the faculty adviser for the Public Relations Student Society of America and Fresno State's student-run PR firm, Talk. Active in the PR world’s premiere professional organization (Public Relations Society of America) since 1998, she is currently the president-elect for the North Pacific District. You can reach Betsy at or @BetsyHays (Twitter). 

Tori and Betsy's first book, “Land Your Dream Career: 11 Steps to Take in College," (  was listed in the American Library Association's Bests of 2013. Their second book, "Life After College: 10 Steps to Build A Life You Love" ( was published in early May 2014. 

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