One of the keys to career success is being able to relate properly with others in your workplace and industry. This will surely set you on the path to making it in your chosen career. But you don’t need to be all up in your colleague’s business to be friendly. It does help that you show up to work with a smile and a ready to conquer attitude. And if you are more of an introvert and not entirely keen on having others around you, you must try to loosen up and learn some social skills that will help you move forward in the workplace.
In the sections below you will learn more about the benefits of being social in the workplace and some tips to help you warm up to others in the office and outside work.
Why be Social at Work?
You may wonder why is it important to even make friends at work since you are there to perform a task for just a few hours and head back home at the end of the day. But the truth is that the office is a community and to become an active member of a community, you need to interact with other members. This same theory applies to the family which is the smallest unit of society.
And to put it rightly, in the business environment, the team or workplace is the smallest unit of the business society and you must get along with others at work. You want to try and learn about social loafing and how to avoid it. Need more reasons why you want to be more interested in building a working relationship with others in the office? You can find some good reasons below.
This is one of the benefits of socializing with others especially when you work in a team where team members need to reach an understanding to move forward. There is no denying that the office is a diverse community of different individuals from different backgrounds coming together to achieve a common goal. And it is easier for things to work smoothly when you enjoy a good deal of communication and share basic knowledge about one another.
It doesn’t mean that you should know about their private lives or the state of their romantic relationship. What this means is that you will need to be aware of their strength and weaknesses especially as it relates to working together. This will more than make it easy for each individual to come together to achieve a common goal. And managers could help with getting insight into which person is ideal to work on certain tasks and lead specific groups in the workplace.
Stronger Company Culture and Improved Productivity
There is also the fact that when the office is set up to look like a second home, employees will surely enjoy waking up in the morning and coming to work. This should be part of any employer’s strategy to encourage employee retention which will surely affect home the individuals strive to achieve the collective goals. When there is an established culture in place such as organizing the workplace to be more inclusive for everyone, you will find that it is easier for people to make friends and for newbies to learn fast.
When someone finds it hard to finish their task, rather than sitting alone in their office wondering how to go about the challenge, they may be interested in asking around to get possible insights from others to help complete the task. And you bet this will lead to a more productive business environment where things get done quickly and effectively. This page has more on ways to improve productivity in the workplace.
Ways to Improve Social Skills in the Workplace
Okay, there is no science to it. And some of the tips you have already learned since the first day you arrived at school during your high school, college, or university days. It is also similar to meeting a stranger in the park, or the last time you talked to someone when you were out for drinks at the bar. If you equally have a few friends, think back to the first time you met them and how you were able to build a relationship from thereon. Although it is a little different in the workplace, but not all that different from what you probably already know.
It Starts with Communication
You have probably heard the term before that communication is the key to building a strong relationship. And this is not only true for dating and married life, it also applies to the workplace. When you make it a habit to strike a conversation with people you meet at work, there is a good chance that you will become familiar with them and vice-versa. It doesn’t mean that you have to be chatty always, a simple good morning, how was your night? Can set the ball rolling and you take it up from there to score a new pal at work.
It doesn’t mean you have to be the first one to start the conversation. A colleague could walk up to you asking for help in locating a section of the office or how to go about a task and you can provide assistance. The next time you run into them, you could ask if you were able to be of help with the issue the last time. And as a friendly colleague take things up from there and let them know you are glad you were able to help. Also, remind them you are always available to assist anytime. You can check this link https://money.howstuffworks.com/business/starting-a-job/10-tips-for-effective-workplace-communication.htm for more effective communication tips.
Take Genuine Interest in Others
Things may be a little tricky if you are more like the crab or turtle who is always hiding inside a shell praying not to encounter any other species as they go about their life. But when it comes to being social at work, you want to be genuinely interested in others even to an extent about their personal life.
While it may seem like everyone comes to the office to perform their official duties, you should understand that everyone is human and have things that bother them in their life. While you don’t have to be the priest to who others confess their sins to, you could give people the impression that you care enough to notice things as it relates to their personal life.
You could make a new friend at work by simply paying a compliment about their new appearance. “Did you get a new haircut dude? I almost didn’t recognize you looking like a movie star.” Or “is that a new hairstyle you have on Annie, it does make your face appear brighter than usual.”
While this may seem like a question or compliment about their appearance, it goes a long way to show that you care enough to notice them in the office. And you can bet that they will not forget the compliment when next you meet and it is all thanks to taking a genuine interest in their wellbeing.
Don’t Forget Body Language and Active Listening
More than often, your body language says a lot about your feelings when speaking with people who understand effective communication skills. And you can’t always tell who is highly skilled in this context when working in a corporate environment. So you want to be actively committed whenever you are talking with others at work. You should have a posture that says that you are willing and open to listening and not just there nodding aware while your mind is roaming far away in some foreign land.
You want to maintain eye contact and speak in a tone that is acceptable to garner a reply from the other person. And if you aren’t by chance bashing an employee for not doing well at a given task, you want to keep a smile or at least make it seem like there is no cause to worry about the information you are passing.
Stay Updated with Current Happenings in the Office
You will also be doing a lot of good for yourself and others if you make it a habit to stay updated with things that go on at work. This will ensure that you have enough information to pass around when engaged in a conversation in the office. This will also help draw more people your way when you are the guy or gal who seems to be more informed about happenings as it relates to the office.
Now you want to be careful not to be the gossip who always has something to say about your other colleagues. It is more like making it more related to the organization or industry you work in, so others can always be sure to benefit from having a chat with you.
There are many benefits to being social at work as it will help you in your career progression and also make new friends who could become references for when you want to take up a new job. Not to mention also help you increase your social skills which could also help you outside the workplace. Remember to avoid office gossips whenever you can and share positive information that can help others learn and grow.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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