The modern world is built of companies having multiple employees working together. Companies success depends on how well these employees can collaborate. Surely you can be a lone wolf, but in most scenarios, you work as a part of the team.

Your team can be built of different types of people. People with different values and goals. Some you may like, some you don’t. Some you relate with, some you don’t. You can choose the type of work you want to do, but not your teammates. At least in most cases.

But as you try to learn and improve yourself to become better than yesterday’s you, you should try and help your teammates do the same too. Help them skill up. If not for them, then for yourself. Here are the 5 reasons why helping your coworkers become the best versions of themselves is in your interest too.

1. You are the average of 5 persons you keep.

You are the average of 5 people you spend the most time with.

 — Jim Rohn

The people we surround ourselves with have the biggest influence on our behaviour, attitudes and results. They impact the way we think and work.

And since the average person spends somewhere between 40–60 hours a week at work, you end up spending most of your time in your coworker’s company.

Thus if they are a group of no-good whinners or slaggers, chances are you’ll morph into the same over time. On the other hand, if they are a bunch of talented and driven individuals, you’ll rise to their standards as well.

Helping your coworkers achieve their goals, both personal and professional, help you too. Success is contagious.

2. Misery loves misery.

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch. 

Proverb

This is an extension of the above point. If your coworkers live a miserable life, the misery will pass to you as well. We love to compare ourself with others. When someone tells the stories about how shitty their life is, we try to show them how we got it way worse. Nobody hates a bit of sympathy.

Eventually, taking a cue from your coworkers, you start to complain to. And then you complain more. The more you complain, the unhappier and distracted you become. The best way to avoid this? Help your coworkers see the brighter side of things. Help them develop a positive outlook. Help them overcome fears and difficulties.

3. You learn more when you impart knowledge

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. 

— James Keller

Knowledge is not something you can hoard so it doesn’t run out. It’s something which reaches a deeper level the more you try to distribute it.

As Albert Einstein said,

if you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it yourself.

When you explain things to others, you get a better understanding of the topic. Their questions provide further clarity to your concepts.

In some cases, keeping the knowledge to yourself may provide you with some genuine advantage, but this happens rarely. Be a teacher, not a knowledge hoarder.

4. Helps create long term connections

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. 

— John Bunyan

Good and deep connections are underrated. We are automatically attracted to the people we like. And we like the people we can learn from. That’s why more and more people are searching for mentors today. They want some who can guide them.

When you give your time, knowledge or effort to people, it rarely goes waste. Some may take advantage of you, but others will feel grateful. They’ll value you as someone who cares for them, and in turn, they’ll care for you.

When you help someone, their respect and likeness for you increase. And you never know when which connection may help you in life. It could be today, tomorrow, or perhaps never.

5. At the end of the day, you all have the same goal (company’s best)

Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals. 

— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Everyone you work with in an organisation has the same purpose. They all are working for the company’s growth, just like you. This same goal binds everyone in your team, and across departments. People working in various departments such as tech, legal, HR, sales, marketing, etc all may have different agendas, but the same goal.

Therefore it bodes well to help others, irrespective of whether they can do anything for you in return. Their success is your success too, kind of.

By sharing your knowledge or experiences with others, you are not only helping that person but also helping your company. And that is one of your goals too, isn’t it?

Conclusion

Helping others is a great way to grow yourself. In a team, you’re not working against your teammates, but working with them.

Stretch out a hand, help others even if they don’t ask you for it. Do it for them, for the company, for yourself. You’ll be a better person for it.

You may work well alone, but you can work great together.