How well do you know your coworkers? Simple as it may seem, but getting to know about people around you in the office is important. Whether you are a new employee trying to fit in or you have spent years in your current office, knowing your coworkers better can benefit you more than just professionally. Even if you are not the most chatty person in the office, socializing can be made easy. Here’s how.
Some people think that the notion of work-life balance goes far into perceiving your coworkers as people you need to “leave” in the office and shut down completely outside working hours. While it is good to keep work and life boundaries, it does not mean you should not try to make new friends from the office. Here are some reasons why getting to know your coworkers is important.
Professional collaboration can be carried out more smoothly when you already have personal connections with other team members, at least a bit! With good relations between coworkers, you will learn new information about each other, such as abilities and strengths. When you need help, you are aware of who is most fitted to answer your question or provide help and support. You are also more likely to enjoy working with well-acquainted team members, which eventually improves the teamwork spirit!
More Reason to Stay Motivated
Let’s be honest; sometimes you just do not have the mood to go to the office, since work is your sole reason to go. Getting to know your coworkers better can give you another reason to go to the office other than your work, since you will be going for the sake of meeting your friends and not only to get drowned in tasks. Becoming friends with your coworkers beyond work matters can help you learn about things in new and different ways. You may discover new hobbies, places to hangout to, or try out new activities with them.
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If you do not want to be merely an “acquaintance” and want to actually get to know your coworkers better, consider these tips.
Glance at your coworker’s desk
This is a very simple and effective way if you want to know your peers better; the way you arrange your desk can reveal a lot about your personality. For instance, you can assume that your workmate is an extrovert if their desk is more likely to be colorful, chaotic, and cluttered. Yet, if the desk is stylish, unusual, and distinctive, this can indicate that they are more creative, adaptive, and intellectual individuals. Therefore, take a look at your coworker’s desk to identify what kind of personality they have. After learning about their personality types, you can learn the right strategy to get closer with them.
Initiate the Conversation
Do not wait for your coworkers to be the one initiating the conversation; be the one who starts the talk. It is easy to misread or misunderstand emails and instant messaging, so have more face-to-face contact with your office mate once you are working from the office again. However, it is a bit tricky to do this, actually, since you need to pay close attention to how you talk to them. The manner in which you speak with coworkers may have a big influence on your relationships with them. For example, if they look like they are focusing on their work, wait until they look relaxed or less busy. Still too shy to approach your co-workers? Join them for lunch; as workplace meals may enhance productivity as well as help you connect with others.
Get into the Talk
To have a proper conversation, you must first remove all distractions and the first thing you can do is to put your phone away when you talk. This gesture shows that you respect your coworkers. In asking questions, make sure you draw the line between casual and nosy; avoid talking about politics or personal finance, as these two are very sensitive topics. Instead, make it non-work matters, such as recommendations of coffee shops, TV series to watch, or ask whether your coworkers also enjoy watching sport events. This gives you a chance to get to know them better without interfering with their private life too much. Respond by displaying interest in their response or by asking follow-up questions. Allow the discussion to flow spontaneously, and if they ask you a question, respond nicely!
Be a Good Listener
Being a listener is not a passive activity as you need to demonstrate some signs that you are actively engaged in the conversation such as nodding, smiling, and giving your best attention and response if the speaker asks you questions. Listening is an effective way to get to know people and bond with them. Being a good listener also brings you closer to the others because the way you try to understand them can make them feel safe and comfortable around you. Moreover, try to show that you recall the talk you had with them. For example, if they mention that they are now binge-watching the Korean drama Business Proposal, ask what the plot is so far. This implies that you listened to them and cared about what they said.
Getting to know your co-workers more than just for work matters can actually benefit you very much. After all, making friends in your 20s and 30s is not an easy matter, so why not find one among your coworkers? If you develop good connections with your coworkers, you may discover that you love your job more!