Most of us work outside the home and interact with our co-workers often times more than with our own family members. Whether it’s people we supervise, those who supervise us, lateral colleagues, or those on a lower pay scale, it’s important to have a cordial, if not friendly, relationship with them. Enjoying your co-workers adds to your overall satisfaction at work, which helps you to be more productive, creates stronger teamwork, and reduces stress.
Perhaps you’re an extrovert and have no difficulty making friends or at least being friendly with your colleagues. Maybe, like me, you’re more introverted and cautious in approaching people and perhaps even shy about befriending others. Regardless of which personality type you are, you may find yourself in a situation where you really want the people with whom you work to simply like you.
Here are 10 ways to accomplish that noble pursuit in 60 seconds or less:
- Smile – It’s been said that smiling is contagious. Smiling tends to put people at ease and conveys a more approachable attitude.
- Look them in the eyes – It’s getting to be a lost art, but making eye contact, especially when coupled with a smile, engages people like nothing else can.
- Learn names – Everyone loves to know that you remember their name. Calling someone by their name creates a personal connection and says you care enough to remember.
- Say “good morning, good afternoon, or good night” – Greeting your co-workers with a smile and simple phrase, using their name, of course, may set the tone for the remainder of your time together. At the very least, you’ve acknowledged their presence and greeted them warmly.
- Shake a hand or give a fist bump – These physical gestures suggest camaraderie, professionalism, and politeness—all of which are essentials in the workplace
- Listen – If you’ve worked long enough, you’ve experienced the co-worker who talks so much that you go out of your way to avoid her. Don’t be that person. Be the one who truly listens when someone is speaking with you, whether they are talking about their cat or a work project.
- Put down the phone – In other words, give your co-worker your undivided attention. The call, email, text, and social media notifications can wait for just a minute.
- “How can I help?” – It’s a simple question, but one that conveys care, humility, and team spirit. Even if it’s opening a door or pushing an elevator button, simply asking to help lets your co-worker know that you are genuine.
- Curb your enthusiasm – Most of us know how to be friendly, but there are those people whose personality knows little of boundaries. If you tend to be more outgoing than someone with whom you interact regularly, try to keep your vivacity in check.
Watch for social cues – Be aware of verbal and physical cues and respond accordingly. If a co-worker is trying to get into the restroom or appears to be rushing to a meeting, choose another time to start up a conversation (you could still smile and say hello!).
Common courtesy can work wonders. If it’s true that we are more disconnected than ever before, surprise your co-workers by taking a few seconds out of your day to try one of these friendliness tips that you haven’t yet deployed. You may find that it wins mutual respect and goodwill in your workplace. Those are qualities that can benefit everyone.
For more on positive work environments, start here:
How to Build the Workplace Reputation of Your Dreams
Have a Problem at Work? Go Direct and Talk About It!
How to Handle Workplace Criticism with Grit and Grace
Stuck in a Bad Work Culture? 6 Ways to Make it Better
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