Essay: What are some important characteristics of a co-worker?

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We all work or will work in our jobs with many different kinds of
people. In your opinion, what are some important characteristics of
a co-worker (someone you work closely with)? Use reasons and
specific examples to explain why these characteristics are important.

We live in a time of great variety of personal interests, habits and views and we need contact people with these diversities at work, unless we a lonely genius or austere pundit. I think that in such a situation the most important personal characteristics are respect and helpfulness. These are the two main traits that a person should have in order to successfully socialize at work.

First, respect is crucial for building successful professional relationships at work. I think no one enjoys working with overbearing or contemptuous persons. Unfortunately such persons are not rare and almost everyone can provide a real life example of that kind. In my personal experience I have had a colleague who showed little respect for others. He was an obtrusive and boorish. His attitude to others had great negative effect on the climate in our team. On the other hand, a person who demonstrates respect for others usually deserves respect in exchange. When you treat colleagues with respect you at least make a ground for fruitful long-term professional relationships.

Second, helpfulness is one of the traits that distinguishes the humans from robots. Of course, the processes in modern business are structured and regulated, but policies and procedures cannot foresee all the situations. When something goes out of order at work, a helping hand of a colleague can greatly alleviate the situation. In fact, mutual helpfulness can further become a cohesion which forms a successful team from single professionals. I can remember a colleague in our office who I helped with his first assignment during his probation period. He has often assisted me whenever I had tough times since then.

To sum up, I think that the most important personal characteristics to bring to the office are respect and helpfulness. This is because no other traits do so much in building a professional network and fostering a spirit of camaraderie.

TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between two students in their dormitory during registration week