All Articles Leadership Workforce Become the one everyone wants to work with

Become the one everyone wants to work with

Becoming the co-worker everyone wants to work with comes down to whether you're seen as competent, credible and confident, writes John Baldoni.

3 min read


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You will be lucky to work with her. She is a gem.

You will love his work. He’s a total professional.

You can trust her. She’s the very best.

john baldoni 2022

These are the types of off-hand comments we hear about colleagues or friends. These informal endorsements are worth their weight in platinum. These statements affirm the value of an individual and position them as resources you can trust.

We all want people to say such things about us. So how do we do it?

Do the work. Perform the task you are asked to do, on-time and within budget. Listen well. Be responsive to change and flexible in your work attitude. That is, flex to the organization’s needs as long as it meets your capacity to do the work well. 

Do more than the work. Go above and beyond what is required. Look at the job as a springboard to innovate, creating additional value.

Affirm your value. This statement might strike one as odd. It is not bragging per se, but it is letting others know what you have done and why. It is also your opportunity to include others. Mention what they have accomplished and pointed out the value of what they have done. We call this being a team player.

Three factors to build trust

All of these come down to three factors I have written about: competence, credibility and confidence. Competence means you can do the job. Credibility means others believe you can do the job. And confidence implies others have faith in you to do a good job.

What all of these add up to is trust. It is the bedrock of any relationship, personal or professional. Stephen M. R. Covey writes in his book, The Speed of Trust,There are no moral shortcuts in the game of business — or life. There are three kinds of people: the unsuccessful, the temporarily successful, and those who become and remain successful. The difference is character.”

The root of character is trust. As Covey writes, “Trust is equal parts character and competence. You can look at any leadership failure, and it’s always a failure of one or the other.”

Sense of belonging

Working with others is essential to any endeavor, and people feel something powerful: a sense of belonging when there is trust. The bedrock of belonging is the feeling of psychological safety, knowing that you can contribute not merely by going along to get along but by adding to the whole, even when it means going against the tide. Innovation thrives from such dissonance. However, dissonance can only be productive when it is regarded as a contribution, not a threat. When people feel safe to voice alternative ideas, they think they belong. 

People will want to work with you when you are perceived as competent, credible and confident. And along the way, they will even say good things about you.

John Baldoni is a member of 100 coaches and leadership keynote presenter. He has been recognized as a top 20 leadership expert by Global Gurus, a list he has been on since 2007. He is also ranked as a Global 100 Leader and Top 50 Leadership Expert by John is the author of 15 books. His leadership resource website is 

Opinions expressed by SmartBrief contributors are their own.


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