Are you new at the office and trying to make friends? Or have you’ve worked at the same company for several years, yet are feeling like you still don’t fit in? Maybe it’s time to work on becoming a more likable employee.
Here are five ways to up your friendly quotient at the office:
Smile more and acknowledge your coworkers when you see them. You’ve probably heard the comment that smiling is contagious. It’s a fun challenge to put this into practice at the office.
Give the first coworker you see tomorrow your most dazzling smile and happily chirp, “Good morning!” At lunch, smile and go speak to that colleague who’s been asked to join the project team you’re on: “Hi Barb! I just heard you’ll be joining our XYZ team – that’s wonderful news!” As you’re leaving the office, wave to another coworker: “Good night Bob. Have a great time at your daughter’s soccer match!”
Just remember, this isn’t about creating a fake persona of perpetual happiness with a plastic-looking smile glued to your face. It’s about genuinely connecting with people at work in a way that makes them (and you) feel good.
Take more time to get to know your colleagues. You’ve worked in a cubicle sandwiched between the same two people for the last three years, but what do you really know about them? We spend more time at work each day than in any other activity (except sleeping), so isn’t it about time you got to know your coworkers?
Every week, try going on a coffee break or having lunch with a different colleague. Then have some fun finding out about their background (Where did you grow up or go to college?), what they like to do to relax on weekends, or other fun facts they’d like to share.
Spend more time asking what others think. Flip the switch from telling to asking by spending more time gathering feedback. Yep, that means you’ll need to listen more and talk less, but just think about all the great information you’ll hear when you start asking co-workers for their feedback and opinions on various work projects or challenges.
Become more helpful around the office. Ask not what your coworkers can do for you, but what you can do for your coworkers. Dirty dishes in the break room sink? Spend a few minutes washing them. Copier out of paper? Take a minute to fill it while you hum your favorite song in your head and smile at everyone who walks past.
Give more compliments. When was the last time someone gave you a compliment or acknowledged your hard work? It felt really good, right? That’s because words can have an incredibly profound impact (positively and negatively) on people. Start observing what goes on in your office and then each day, take the time to recognize the amazing work of one person or let them know what you appreciate about them.
Lisa Quast is the author of Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want. Every Time.
More Info: www.forbes.com