Daily Archives: November 10, 2008

3 Ways to Learn From Others at Work

Learning as much as you can on the job is important to your personal and professional growth. Most of your co-workers probably have different strengths and weaknesses than you do, which makes your team function well when everyone pulls their talents together. So, take the opportunity to learn from your co-workers and sharpen your skills. Here are three informal ways to increase your knowledge in the workplace by working with your peers.

Pay attention. Watch how your colleagues act and react to certain situations at work, whether it’s how they handle a customer complaint, the way they treat their supervisor, or how they complete their work on time. Observe how they’re received by others and what other co-workers’ reactions are. You can learn from both positive and negative behaviors by imitating good examples and learning not to mimic poor behaviors.

Ask for a demonstration. If you’re on the job and need or simply want to learn how to complete a procedure, ask a co-worker who is knowledgeable about the process. Ask if you can watch them the next time they complete that task, and ask them to explain their strategy during each step.

Request guidance. Sometimes you might come across a task that you’re somewhat familiar with but need a little guidance and reassurance along the way. In this case, ask a knowledgeable co-worker if they can watch you as you perform the task yourself and correct you if you miss a step. Make sure to ask questions for clarification as you complete your task so that you’ll understand the process.

Every day is a new opportunity to learn something. So take time to learn from your co-workers and improve your skills to grow personally and professionally. These opportunities will help you build relationships with your co-workers, creating value for both you and your entire team.