10 Helpful Tips To Make Friends At Work Place
Well before we jump and start answering how we can make friends with people at the work place, especially when you are the newbie in the set up, lets try and answer WHY in the first place? I mean why on earth should I or you make an effort, try to introduce ourselves to people, get to know them, share an interest, talk to them about their lives – I mean it is an office space right? Why not come in, just do the work assigned and then go back home, simple right? Well if only we were machines, it would have worked perfectly well, thankfully we’re more than that and that’s perhaps why irreplaceable as well.
Well I guess I don’t need to try and talk you into why we need friends, we just need to talk about why we need them in the first place. Well lots of reasons actually, the primary one being to set aside the notion that work is a chore, it can very well be a part of your life, something from which you can derive fun, you can always go to someone for help, you can help someone, you have company for coffee, lunch, you can share a few laughs, make jokes at the manager’s expense 😉 and a lot more. Well bottom line you need friends to get away from the monotony of life, we have too much of it already, why would you want this too to pile on it? In that case what are the ways to actually make a few acquaintances? Here you go with a few thoughts that might help.
1) The Basics
Well of course the smile, body language, eye contact, introducing yourself, try and spend time with them, talk about daily events, politics, talk about how bad the food is in the cafeteria and lots more. I am sure you already know that and I don’t want to bore you with that again, I am sure they have done that already in the induction part 😉
2) Be genuinely interested
Well if you are trying to make friends for the sake of it, forget it, there is no point in even trying. They will see right through you and you will be avoided all through the conversation. Try the different approach – NO I am not saying wait till they come and talk to you :D. What I am saying is, be the true you who is truly interested in people, in your neighbours, in the people whom you share a floor with. Don’t force yourself to be that someone who tries to smile when they can’t – they will see right through it, don’t talk about a conversation just cos someone else is talking about it- that doesn’t make sense either. Try to be the genuine you and try to show why you are interested, not the selfish reasons, but the real ones of sharing a joy and banter
3) Try to know about your colleagues
Do a little research about them, show genuine interest in them, ask them – where they went to school, which college, how their college life was, how they made it to this company, the journey to coming here, how they find working here, what they like to do in their free time, how the office social life is, whether people meet and plan up quite often… I am sure the questions are plenty enough, you just need that opening start! But do know about your people, they are everything, no one is going to complain that you know something about them, infact most are flattered that you have taken the effort in knowing the person beneath a fancy title and a name tag!
4) Make the best of the coffee and lunch breaks
The one time you get to see a real person is when he is with food or with his favourite cup of coffee. It is very easy to get coffee to your cubicle and pretend that you are busy. Find out the time when people usually go out for coffee, join the group. If you are too shy, be close to the group and smile at them, someone usually is courteous enough to invite you to a conversation
5) Forget the titles
Something very effective in a corporate sector is the flat organizations. You are working with people here, not FOR someone. You don’t need the fancy titles or the badges to prove that you are superior – You are not, you are the same as the CEO or the entry level employee. No one will dare try to do a distinction, if you can engage the CEO in a conversation about Football, who is stopping you? The titles are for the outside world, it is a marketing mode, not for the team. For the top level employer, the team is his family and he will make sure to take care of it in a good way. Be a part as soon as possible.
6) Plan things together
Not just the company deadlines, plan a game, a movie, a drink, a dance, a cultural fest or an outing together. Nothing gels people better than the outdoor air. Frankly we are all tired of the AC cubes, let the heat get to us a bit, it makes us talk, it makes us find ourselves amongst familiar faces, it helps put a name to the face and a memory to the person which always pans out better.
7) Help them
Be genuinely interested, help them if you can. I am not saying you should do their work. I am saying you can help out, that doesn’t have to be at the cost of you doing something overboard, it can be as simple as listening out to them. We are all humans in the end, we are all thread bare, the most basic entity of Homo Sapiens, we love society, we have never been independent and nor should we be. The beauty of a friendship is that you have a shoulder to lean on, establish that. People are smart enough, they won’t be an anchor to pull you down, they may even surprise you by being of a better help to you than you are to them
8) Find a common ground to talk to
I would hate a person talking to me about the details of the theory of gravity, newton’s third law, friction, force.. bla bla bla just to tell that the car took him X time to reach office. All I am interested is that he reached office and that’s that. Some may love the details, but not me. What I am trying to say is, if you would try to initiate a conversation with me talking about these, I don’t see it going beyond a few stares of surprise and end of conversation. Try and find something you both could share, talk about. Find a conversation where the other person can also contribute, or else it becomes a monologue, a speech and you know everyone yawns at a speech!
9) Humour is an underrated tool
I haven’t seen many people complain how awful a meeting was when they had a plenty to laugh about? Humour is a fantastic emotion, tastefully done, it will serve you as the most powerful trait in the office scenario. There certainly is a difference between having a good sense of humour and being a joke. The former comes with respect and the latter- Well! You know..
10) Remember it is people
In the end it is all about people, they need you just the same way you need them. People are always up for a healthy space and a conversation which can elevate them to a new level and add value for their time. This way they will find ways to keep coming back to you. The trick is not about knowing everything, the trick is just to care enough. You care, they care – It is as simple as that.
Well I guess we did discuss quite a few hot topics, a lot can help out and a lot can prove absolutely useless. There is no one size fits all, pick up the ones which you think work best with your personality. The ideas are here to serve you, make your life a little simpler but the moment you realize the ideas are taking the centre stage over you, maybe it is time to establish who is in control.
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