Monday, December 7, 2015

6 Ways to Become More Likable at Work

No matter what anyone says, it's difficult to go into work every day if you feel like no one likes you.

It could be that you're quiet, and so it's difficult for you to strike up conversations or participate in discussions at lunch. Or, it may be that you have the problem of sticking your foot in your mouth, always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

There are a variety of reasons why you may have trouble getting along with colleagues, but as I said before, it's difficult and often emotionally painful to be the one who everyone seems to avoid.

There is an additional problem, as well. Not getting along with co-workers can really impede your chances of getting ahead at work. If you're not liked -- or at least respected -- it can hamper your ability to work on great projects, get a promotion or form important networks.

So, think about some ways you can form a better bond with colleagues, such as:

1. Making a peace offering. If you know you've offended someone by saying the wrong thing, then simply say "I'm sorry." If you're too shy to do that, or afraid you'll mess it up, try sending an email. Even better, drop a small gift at the person's desk, such as an coffee mug labeled with the person's favorite sports team.

2. Doing the smell test. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this uncomfortable topic. Often, you're unaware you have bad breath or body odor that is offensive. Maybe you don't wash your hair often enough, or your clothes smell musty and unpleasant. All things that can drive away colleagues very quickly. Sometimes even your friends or family members won't be honest, so consider going to a nice hair salon where you can get an unbiased opinion. Talk to your doctor or dentist, who may discover you have a health issue that is causing an unpleasant odor.

3. Smiling. There's really nothing more effective or easier to do if you're trying to win over colleagues than to just smile. Look them in the eye when you pass in the hallway and think of something that makes you happy. That way the smile will be genuine and not some fake facsimile that will creep people out. Smile when you see them first thing in the morning, and let it be the last thing you do before leaving work every day.

4. Sharing. If you make great brownies, bring some to work to share and post with a note: "Hey everyone...enjoy!" (Make sure you sign your name.) Or, if a client sends you a box of fruit for the holidays, share with your colleagues. Share an interesting article on the industry or share information on where you recently found really cheap gas.

5. Asking questions. Colleagues often steer away from those who can't shut up, who have an opinion about EVERYTHING or who are NEVER wrong. Tell yourself that every day you are going to ask at least three questions. It can be something like, "What did you do this weekend?" to "What's the most challenging thing you find about working with that new software?" to "What was the best presentation on this subject you've ever heard?"

6. Offering compliments. Put five dimes in your left pocket. Every time you offer a compliment to a colleague, switch a coin to the right pocket. After a few days, try 10 dimes. By the end of two weeks, you should be easily switching those coins to your right pocket every day.

What other tips can someone use to get along better with colleagues?

1 comment:

Anita said...

It was pointed out to me by a reader of this blog that many women don't have pockets in their work clothing, so it may be difficult to use the "dime" idea. Since we rarely go anywhere without our phones, how about sending ourselves a smiling emoji for each compliment we give? At the end of the day....count them up! I'm open to ideas on this one -- I still believe that giving compliments is a great way to help work relationships.