How Many People Fail at Their Jobs Because They Can’t Work Well With Others?

CoffeePals Team
CoffeePals Team
February 15, 2024
How Many People Fail at Their Jobs Because They Can’t Work Well With Others?

Recent workplace trends show that success isn't just about individual skills and qualifications. It's equally dependent on one's ability to collaborate and work effectively with others.

Today’s workplace doesn’t just count who works the most hours or who closes the most deals anymore. It's surprising how many individuals find themselves teetering on the edge of failure in their careers, not due to a lack of skills, but because they struggle to navigate the intricate terrain of interpersonal relationships within the workplace.

In this article, we'll dive into the fascinating world of workplace dynamics, exploring why a significant number of people stumble in their professional journeys because they can't quite master the art of working harmoniously with their colleagues.

Job Failure in Numbers

Do people really fail at their jobs just because they can’t work well with others?

According to the numbers, that’s a huge YES. 24% of workers who are unable to form positive relationships in the workplace have actually caused their own teams to fail.

It also contributes to the overall workplace dynamics. People who fail to be team players normally have a negative attitude at work. 20% are not responsive to coaching or feedback, while 17% resist any form of change. 17% also fail to take accountability for their own actions.

Arrogance is another factor that cuts off one’s ability to communicate effectively with the team. That’s why 11% of workers say that they failed to establish a relationship with an arrogant colleague.

Even bosses who don’t treat their employees right contribute to the toxic corporate culture that sets people up for failure. Up to 90% of managers treat each employee differently based on the way they perform. This causes unhealthy competition in teams, which leads to rifts among team members and cause employees to resent their managers and peers.

The problem is that people who are unable to work with others also impact the overall work experience of other people around them. In fact, 98% of employees have, at some point in their careers, experienced negativity or rudeness from a co-worker, causing them to eventually become dissatisfied with their work.

How to Work Well With Others

Some may say that they’re just introverted. Others might blame it on a difference in personalities. But whatever your excuse may be, the fact still remains that you need to learn how to get along with people in the workplace to succeed.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time and see how small changes can impact your job performance. In time, it will become easier to collaborate and exchange ideas with others.

Here are a few ideas on how you can be more intentional about working well with others.

1. Get to know people better.

Most of the time, we fail to work well with others because we see things from our own perspective. But when you make an effort to get to know your colleagues better, you can start considering their perspectives as well. 

Start with some small talk. The simple act of asking people how they are can bring down walls. Be interested about their families, what they do for fun, and other tidbits that can help you see your colleagues from a different perspective.

You can also open up unique ways for your team to communicate. Suggest having virtual coffee chats through an app like CoffeePals so that you have room for casual conversations in the workplace.

Aside from giving you more insights on how your colleagues think the way they do, it could also help them have a better experience in the workplace. After all, it always feel good to know that people are taking interest in who we are, not just in what we can do for them.

2. Do your job well.

Doing your job well is crucial for building positive relationships with colleagues because it demonstrates competence and reliability. It helps make your colleagues trust and respect you, and shows them that they can rely on you to contribute to the team's success.

Performing your job competently also reduces the likelihood of conflicts or misunderstandings with colleagues. When everyone fulfills their duties and meets expectations, there's less room for frustration or resentment to fester. 

This promotes a more harmonious and stress-free work environment where everyone gets along better and achieves their collective goals more efficiently.

3. Learn to ask for help.

If only more people would learn how to openly ask for help, so many conflicts and failures would have been avoided. 

Learning how to ask for help is a vital skill in building positive relationships with colleagues. It demonstrates humility and a willingness to collaborate. When you acknowledge that you don't have all the answers or can't handle every task alone, it shows that you value your colleagues' expertise and contributions. This makes colleagues feel appreciated and more inclined to help each other.

Asking for help also prevent potential issues from escalating. When you face challenges or obstacles, seeking guidance or input from colleagues can lead to quicker problem resolution. It shows that finding solutions is more important to you that pride or ego, reducing the likelihood of conflicts or misunderstandings.

4. Be approachable.

Just as you have to open yourself to the idea of approaching other people for help, it’s also necessary to allow people to ask you for help. When you're approachable, your colleagues are more likely to trust you because they know they can rely on you for help or guidance when needed.

When team members are approachable, the workplace also becomes more pleasant. Everyone knows that they can freely share ideas, concerns, and insights, leading to improved problem-solving and innovation.

job failure

5. Offer solutions.

Nobody likes a debbie downer. It’s okay to talk about issues around the workplace, but dwelling on it without being open to possible solutions just prolongs the agony. It’s also the fastest way to spread negativity in the workplace.

Being solutions-oriented shows your commitment to teamwork and problem-solving. When you actively seek ways to resolve problems, it’s easier to streamline processes, reduce stress, and maintain a more harmonious work environment.

6. Keep an open mind.

It’s tough to work well with others if you are closed off to new ideas and different perspectives. The problem is, it’s impossible to achieve success if you stick to what you know. After all, the only way to grow professionally and personally is by learning and adapting to new ideas.

When you approach discussions and decision-making with an open mind, you create an inclusive atmosphere where different perspectives are valued. This not only encourages creativity but also ensures that all team members feel heard and respected.

Flexibility is key. By being receptive to new ideas and willing to embrace change, you can navigate transitions more smoothly and work collaboratively with colleagues, even when facing unfamiliar challenges.

7. Join non-work related team activities.

Sometimes, the best way to work well with others is to step back and engage with them in non-work related activities. Whether it’s a team building activity or a simple random coffee chat, it’s a great way to foster camaraderie and trust.

Engaging in these activities also allows you to observe your colleagues' communication styles, leadership qualities, and problem-solving abilities in a less formal setting. This insight allows you to work together on projects with a better understanding of each other's strengths and how to leverage them.


Q: Why is it important to work well with others?

A: Working well with others is crucial because it allows people to collaborate. Strong interpersonal skills, including teamwork and effective communication, are also highly prized by employers, offering opportunities for career growth.

Q: How can you work with different personalities?

A: Effectively working with different personalities requires a combination of adaptability, active listening, and empathy. Recognize and respect the diversity in communication styles, motivations, and perspectives among your colleagues.

Q: What tools can you use to start working better with others?

A: Communication tools like CoffeePals allow you to step back from the seriousness of the workplace and engage with other team members in a casual and relaxed manner. Building good relationships in the workplace often starts with these personal interactions, allowing for more harmonious and productive working relationships.

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