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13 Ways to Make Your Colleagues Like You More

13 Ways to Make Your Colleagues Like You More

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

Featured photo credit: Getting On At Work/ Victor 1558 via Flickr via Victor 1558 via Flickr

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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