You may not same the share interests or hang out beyond the obligatory company happy hour, but having work friends can get you places. Being friendly with your colleagues will not only make your days more enjoyable, but can provide more personal support and motivation towards your career goals. To make sure you’re being the best work friend you can be, here are 6 easy tips to follow:
- Spread good cheer for all to hear. You don’t have to wait for the holidays to wish your colleagues well. Try to pay-it-forward in the workplace by performing one act of kindness each week. Maybe you decide to bring in bagels or drop off a card for someone who has been killin’ it. Whatever the act is, it won’t go unnoticed and will improve morale for all.
- Be prompt in your responses. To win over friends at work, it helps to be responsive. By taking the time to quickly read and respond to your colleagues via email, slack or phone, it will convey your sense of interest and make them feel important. If you’re too busy to answer or not in the office, make sure you notify your teammates that responses may take longer than usual. They’ll appreciate the consideration.
- Don’t fear the watercooler. Small talk with colleagues shows a genuine interest in their world while making them feel more comfortable around you. Try asking your co-workers about their favorite films, hobbies, and books to find common interests. This will remind you of the human side of the workplace which is super important to building culture.
- You don’t know what you don’t know. Assume the positive in situations you aren’t aware of. Oftentimes we’re quick to judge other departments or team members. For instance “We’re always working harder than they are.” or “His boss is clueless.” Don’t subscribe to this negative thinking, even if others are displacing blame. Instead, assume that everyone is on their game and doing their best, even if you aren’t in the weeds on work details.
- Say “Hi.” On average we spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families, so why not make the most of it? In my career experience, I’ve seen many examples of people ignoring others in passing, or not looking up from their desk to greet colleagues in the morning. Get into the habit of smiling and greeting others in the workplace. It’ll help forge new relationships and boost positivity.
- Ask for input. People love to be involved in the conversation, especially when they can offer an opinion. Go out of your way to include others in the decision-making process, and ask what they think! Not all ideas will be gold, but there could be some good nuggets of information sprinkled in their responses.