Today, I want to write a post about working with your Army peers. This is “one of those things” that few people talk about, even though it’s a very important topic.
As I see it, it’s pretty easy to lead your team of followers, and it’s pretty easy to do what your boss tells you to do, but sometimes working with your peers can be challenging, especially if you are the same rank. Sometimes there are personality conflicts, differences in values, and differences in opinion. This can lead to stress, tension, low morale, and poor work performance.
I look back at my military career and wish I would have done a much better job working with my peers. I didn’t do bad or damage any relationships or try to screw anyone over. But, I could have done more to support them, help them, and build a good relationship with them.
# 1 Build Friendships with Your Peers
You really can’t build a friendship with your boss or your subordinates, but you can build frienships with your peers. And you should. You should get to know them, find out what they bring to the table, and cultivate good relationships. This can lead go more job satisfaction and sense of belonging. Spend some time together and get to know them as a person, not just a Soldier. Let’s face it, we can all use more friends and alliances!
# 2 Try to Help Everyone
Your peers are not the competition. You really should do what you can to help them become successful. If they need help, help them (as long as it doesn’t keep you from doing your job). If you know one of your peers is weak in a certain area, and you’re good in that area, go the extra mile to help them out. We are all part of a team and we should all support each other. Be a team player.
# 3 Establish Trust
Good working relationships are based upon mutual trust and respect. Make sure that you do what you say you are going to do. Don’t lie or mislead your peers. Show them that you are a team player and that you are a person of your word. Without trust, nothing else really matters.
# 4 Have Fun Together
When possible, have fun together. Have cookouts and fun events. Get your families together. Try to make work fun. Create a little “friendly” competition between your sections or units. We could all benefit from having more fun at work and in life.
# 5 Think Long Term
In case you don’t realize this already, there’s a good chance that one of your peers might one day be your boss! Never ruin a relationship or burn a bridge. It can definitely come back and haunt you! You should also realize that there is a good chance that the two of you will work together again in the future. Always keep the long-term view.
# 6 Focus on Their Strengths
No one is good at everything. You’re not and neither am I. Don’t focus on what your peers are bad at. Instead, focus on on their good qualities. Everyone has good qualities, if you’re willing to look for them. Learn to leverage each other’s strengths and work together when you can.
# 7 Think of Things from Their Perspective
You probably already realize that everyone is different. No two people are exactly alike. Accept your differences with your peers and put yourself in their shoes from time-to-time. It’s easy to only think of things from our own paradigm, but sometimes you need to step back and think of things from the other person’s perspective. This is what good friends do with each other.
# 8 Always Put the Unit First
Always keep the goals and objectives of the unit (and your Soldiers) first. When it’s not about YOU, it’s easy to get along with others. Let your peers know that you want the unit (and them) to be successful!
The bottom line is that we can all do a better job when it comes to working with our peers. We should all follow the advice outlined in this article so we can build strong working relationships with our peers. This will lead to improve morale, more job fulfillment, better performance and better job satisfaction.
What are your thoughts? What do you do and recommend to get along with your peers? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.