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How to Engage Your Office Colleagues to Build Better Relationships

How to Engage Your Office Colleagues to Build Better Relationships

There’s ample evidence that the relationships we build in our workspace directly affect how satisfied we feel about our job.

Everyone has experienced some exceedingly awkward moments with their colleagues at some point. But if you’re a bit introverted, moments like these bring a weighty feeling with them. Feeling isolated while people are going up and down around you probably isn’t something you’d wish to prolong.

Each of us is different and not all people mix. Moreover, it’s quite hard to pierce yourself into an already established community that might not know how to treat new employees. It isn’t necessarily your or anyone else’s fault.

Once you accept the fact that other colleagues might also be having a hard time socializing, you won’t feel alone anymore. You might even develop some true friendships through empathy and a more healthy approach.

There are a lot of things you can do to become a better colleague and most of them involve being a better version of yourself.

Accept That You’re Vulnerable

One of the greatest obstacles that stop us from being open towards people is the fear of judgment. It leaves us curled up in our own safe space, holding an invincible stone face. People think that this expresses strength and makes them invincible, but quite the opposite is true. It’s an absolute weakness.

Regardless, people are more likely to throw around insults or be unnecessarily harsh if they think you can take it. Accepting that you’re vulnerable and letting other people see it is risky. Everyone will know that they can hurt you, but that’s why they won’t do it.

Most people are decent enough to not want to hurt another person’s feelings. If you show your vulnerability, you give a chance for genuine communication. Such communication is the basis of healthy relationships.

Speak Your Mind

It’s easy to think that nobody in the workplace would care about our day, especially if it wasn’t an exciting one. But you’d be surprised how engaging a conversation about mundane things can really be. Talking about your life events isn’t about painting things as extraordinary. It’s about emphasizing special things in the ordinary, showing your unique perspective.

Furthermore, sharing your opinions with people will make you and everyone feel that you matter. Some of your colleagues will ask you for your opinion before you know it.

Maintain Eye Contact

The eyes are a window to the soul, which is why gazing at another person has a powerful effect. A 1980 study shows that teachers who gazed into children’s eyes while reading them a story affected their memory. This suggests that people will inevitably know and unconsciously remember more about who you are if you look into their eyes while you tell them something.

Humans are creatures of memory and feel most comfortable around things and people they know well.

Communicate Openly

This is not to say that you should open up about your wildest childhood dreams. Rather, you should always let anyone else join a conversation, especially when they’re listening to you. Take up an open body posture and allow a bit of space between you and your active conversation partner. This will make the situation more inviting for anyone else who is listening and would like to join.

Remain Positive and Objective

People will always talk about each other, it’s unavoidable. How you talk about another person doesn’t define them, it defines you. So, don’t talk negative things about anybody, because you’re not just gossiping, you’re damaging your self-image.

Of course, you don’t have to be a pushover. Someone will eventually do something that pisses you off. Maybe they spill their coffee. Objectively state the facts, that they did indeed cause you a problem and it was unpleasant. The same goes for any other situation if it caused problems for anybody.

Listen Patiently

Listening to people will put them at ease and might help you to learn something new. Rushing to try and get your own points across will leave you with the same old information. Not only does that break the quality of communication and make it one-sided, your colleagues will think you don’t value their opinions.

Ask For Help

Asking for help is one of the best ways to start a relationship. It will allow the person you ask to paint a positive image of himself and put you in his debt. It’s a win-win situation that might just be the start of a new friendship.

Moreover, your boss and co-workers are all there to assist you. You’re one team after all. Don’t be shy about it. Asking for help only shows that you’re confident and smart enough to know you can’t handle everything on your own.

It goes without saying that you should offer your help wherever you think it might be needed.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Witty

The quality of a relationship can be defined by how much you laugh together. Laughter releases the stress from work and supports a positive approach towards others.

If you have a good sense of humor, you shouldn’t be afraid to show it. Just as long as you keep certain boundaries. If you’re not practicing an offensive sense of humor, it’s worth trying to make other people laugh.

Avoid Small Talk

Try to make conversations as real as possible. Ask your colleagues how they feel and what their weekend was like. Try to ask them about their passions and the things they love. People love talking about what they love and the things that touch them emotionally.

If you’re the one to have them talk about those things, they’ll remember you for a lifetime.

Don’t Avoid Problems

As I mentioned, don’t be a pushover if someone tries to practice their dominance on you. There is an invisible dominance hierarchy within the human jungle that you’re a part of. How you react to certain dominance challenges and behaviors will determine how much people respect you.

That is not to say that you should start flexing your muscles and roar in cries of dominance. It just means that when you’re against something, you should say so. Furthermore, if someone is rude to you or hurts your feelings, let them know about it.

Conclusion

Building better relationships with your colleagues aren’t at all about sucking up to them. It’s about being a more open and authentic version of yourself. It’s also about being there for them and helping wherever you can.

By practicing at least a few things mentioned above, you can create a more pleasant work environment for yourself.

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