Everyone wants to be popular at work because positive relationships make the workplace less stressful. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have found that when the vital ‘peer social support’ in the workplace was missing, people were twice as likely to die earlier. Follow these 13 steps to make sure that your colleagues like you more.
1. Greet your colleagues.
If you forget or cannot be bothered to greet your co-workers, think again! This is your most important visiting card. Greet your colleagues every morning because if you don’t, people will hardly notice you, never mind like you.
2. Engage and maintain eye contact.
When you talk to people, you want to engage them in some way, even if it is only to exchange a greeting. The best way to do this is to make eye contact. Most people do this naturally but some are shy and introverted people have trouble in doing so. A good trick is to make sure you note the color of a person’s eyes. That always helps you to maintain eye contact.
3. Bond by finding common interests.
In conversation, find common interests which help you to bond with colleagues. When you do so, always make sure that you use a follow-up question, such as, ‘When did you first start doing X?’
4. Steer away from controversial issues.
Some colleagues love having a go at management and will never stop complaining about other colleagues. The best trick is to not get drawn in. Just listen and keep your contribution to a bare minimum.
5. Give a few compliments.
Everyone likes a compliment or two. It makes them feel cherished but also gives a seal of approval on how they work. If you genuinely like a person’s outfit, how they handle clients or how quickly they finished a project, say so. This can help colleagues feel valued and appreciated.
6. Count to ten.
If someone criticizes you or pushes you to your limit, you have to be careful about letting your temper take over. Good tricks are counting to ten or walking away without banging the door. Give yourself time to think about it, even sleeping on it. A hasty, angry response can often create a nasty fall-out which will be difficult to repair.
7. Ask yourself why colleagues get on your nerves.
Think about this. It just might be the case that the fault lies with you! Analyze what is happening and also try to take an objective look at how you are reacting. What negative or positive signals are you sending out? You might surprise yourself.
8. Treat your co-workers well.
The secret here is to treat your colleagues exactly how you would like to be treated by them. You are expecting people to be helpful, friendly, positive, and productive. Go and do likewise!
9. Talk things through.
Imagine that there is a problem in your section or team. It may concern a lazy or difficult colleague. There may be issues about a project deadline, assignment of duties, or sloppy work. If you let things fester, relationships will become sour, and factions will flourish. But if you talk things through openly by asking about the problems and solutions, then this is much more productive in the long term.
10. Newbies tread carefully.
Don’t dive in – paddle. If you are new to the job, look around you and listen. Try to estimate where the flash-points are and who the difficult colleagues are. Just look at how abrasive, rude, unhelpful, and obstreperous they are and resolve never to sink to that level.
11. Think twice about complaining to management.
Unless you have suffered at the hands of a bullying boss or colleague, think twice about complaining. Negative experiences in the workplace are usually affecting all your team members. You are not alone and that should stimulate you to find a joint solution. It is also a great way to be constructive.
12. Never attack or blame.
It is easy to fall into the blame game. If you take the stance of using phrases like, ‘Why don’t you ever take my suggestions on board?’ the atmosphere is liable to become toxic. Instead of attacking, try a different approach where you can state, ‘I was under the impression that I should be doing X and not Y. Is there a problem with this?’ Diplomacy can work wonders.
13. Smile more often.
‘A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.’ – Denis Waitley.
‘I never smile unless I really mean it.’- Donnie Osmond
Trying to get your colleagues to like you more is not rocket science. Follow the above tips and your popularity will soar in a relatively short space of time. You can get started right now!
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