Building relationships with the people you work with is absolutely crucial to job satisfaction. You don’t have to be best friends with these people, but considering you’ll spend more of your waking hours with them than your actual friends and family, you might want to at least develop a rapport with them. You have to work together, you have to communicate, you might as well get along. Here are five icebreakers to get to know your colleagues.
It’s easy to think that everything you have to say is so important that everyone around you needs to shut their traps and listen. And you might be right. But you also need to extend the same courtesy. Respect their points, let them know that you heard them and you want to work with them. Even if you disagree, let them explain their reasoning and try to empathize. And hear our their personal sagas, too. If they feel they can trust you with the most intimate details of their lives, chances are they’ll trust your professional input and opinions, too.
Sometimes we take saying a simple thank you for granted. Even if it’s something small—sending over a routine file, complimenting you, or catching a small mistake you made—say thank you. And if it’s something bigger, like covering a shift for you or grabbing you an extra coffee, show your thanks in a bigger way—a gift card or a thank you note. Just recognizing the extra efforts of your coworkers makes them feel respected and trusted.
I know you have a lot of work to do and the project you’re working on is the most important in the company, but take a brief timeout now and then to have lunch with your colleagues. Say yes when someone invites you to go grab a coffee. And stop by that happy hour instead of heading straight home after work. You have to be a friend to make a friend. Relax a little and focus on building stronger relationships with those around you.
Don’t hold grudges
If a conflict develops between you and your coworkers, try your best to resolve it. That might mean admitting you were wrong or saying you were sorry, but by being proactive and having a mature conversation about the matter, you’ll squash those bad feelings that either of you may have. If you don’t, that negativity will eventually explode into a much bigger issue. Even if you can’t quite reach an agreement, have a respectful conversation and agree to disagree.
Be yourself at work. Show off your real sense of humor, share some of your hobbies, and open up about your personal life. By making yourself vulnerable, your coworkers will begin to empathize with you and trust you with their own issues just a little bit more. When you can be honest and share about personal things, you’ll soon be able to share professional opinions, leading to more efficient problem-solving, innovative ideas, and diverse viewpoints.
And you never know—in this whole process of getting to know your coworkers, you might actually make a new best friend. For real. For more tips on how to get along with your coworkers, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh