Do you remember learning defensive driving in high school? The instructor’s constant reminder was, “In defensive driving, you do not drive for yourself. You drive for the other driver.” Yes, the success of how well we drive depends upon how well we look out for the other driver and anticipate the driver’s moves.
It is no different when we work with others. Our success in the workplace can depend on how well we look out for the other coworker and anticipate their needs. So, instead of setting up your workspace to accommodate your needs only, why not become a “defensive coworker”.
1. If you are going to be away from the office, leave a note on your desk or send an email outlining work that must be followed-up by your coworker.
2. If you share space with another coworker put shared materials in a mutual location for easy use by both parties – even if you are the senior.
3. Create clearly labeled folders for each project that you are working on, no matter how small the project may be. This will enable coworkers to find what they may need in your absence without disorganizing your work.
Imagine how much “work rage” could be eliminated if we all became – Defensive Coworkers.