Sometimes making friends at the office can be a daunting task. We’ve all had our turns being the new kid on the block, and it can add to the stress of learning the ropes at a fresh post. Here are a few simple tips that I use to get better acquainted with new colleagues:
- Introduce yourself (properly) Not in a “Hello, my name is Khan” sort of way, but more like a little intro about yourself. Where you come from, your previous jobs, likes, dislikes, and include something to lighten things up.
- Always avoid politics, religion, inter-office romances, and gossip When it comes to a new workplace, you never know who’s fanning old rivalry flames, who’s dating who, and who stands for what. Saying something wrong can leave a very bad impression that will take time and energy to wipe clean. Keep your office topics generic, and make sure you stay on the positive side.
- Get to know your colleagues better Talking with your colleagues will probably tell you a lot about what they like and what they don't like. Try to find common interests that you can share, and make sure you expand that.
- Meet them outside of the office Meeting co-workers outside of the office will bring you closer. Suggest going out for drinks after work or grabbing a quick bite at a nearby restaurant. If your offer isn’t taken up, wait for them to approach you next.
Good rule of thumb? Always listen more than you talk, and don’t force friendships that aren’t there. You don’t need to be best buds with every single person in the office, that’s not what this is about. You do need to be a positive team player, and being on the chummier side helps that along.