How to have friendlier interactions with your colleagues

September 28, 2020

Laura Duff

Work

The thing about work is, you don’t choose who you’re going to be around. This can be a tough reality to face, as you are going to - probably - spend the majority of your week with them (or post COVID-19 style: interact with them 24/7 via zoom calls and instant messaging). It’s weird that in the place we find ourselves most, we can be surrounded by what we think to be the last people on earth that we would ever choose to spend time with.

Obviously, there are some people in the world who just seem to naturally get along with everyone. With their boss and even with people who are completely different from them. But maybe they don’t feel this way on the inside and could do with reading these quick tips on how to build a relationship with your colleagues.

The first thing to realise when you maybe don’t like a colleague or feel you can’t relate to them is that you will have common interests. If they are hard to find, listen to your colleagues. If you listen to them, you are guaranteed to learn something, and they will also trust and respect you more, and maybe even listen to you. This will enable you guys to have more comfortable and fluent communication.

The next thing to do is to have boundaries. If you feel you are constantly helping too much, or sharing too much with your colleagues, it’s going to feel a bit, well, unbalanced. If you create boundaries on when you can do things and what you tell them - about your personal life or your shared work life -, you won’t leave feeling like you overshared, and also, you won’t resent them for giving you too much work. Avoid oversharing and avoid overdoing.

An easy way to invite colleagues to become workmates is to be approachable. Make eye contact and smile. This is similar to the listening piece of advice; you need to show an interest in them. If you wedge-open your office door (or whatever you do that is metaphorically the same), and you smile when people knock, and you initiate conversations and bring a little positivity into each thing you do - you are going to get on with everybody like a house on fire. It will also make your working experience all the better too.

If you are finding it hard to get on with your colleagues, just remember:

1. Listen to your colleagues, find out more about them.

2. Set boundaries, don’t overshare and don’t take on too many tasks from them.

3. Be approachable, make eye contact and smile.

Just give these things a shot, no harm in trying!

Laura Duff

The team call me the 'mighty Duff'. I'm 19 years old and study Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh. Throughout our time together, I'll be writing about topics related to mental health, food and fitness! I'm also a host for the Wedotalk, check them out on YouTube, Spotify or Soundcloud! Down below you'll find my personal links, I make vlogs as a hobby!

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