How to Get Along Better with Co-Workers?

How to Get Along Better with Co-Workers

Let’s face it, workplace relationships can be tricky. While some colleagues become instant friends, others leave us feeling like we’re navigating a social minefield. But fear not, building stronger bonds with your co-workers is within reach, and the benefits extend far beyond coffee chit-chat. Stronger relationships lead to increased collaboration, improved communication, and a more positive work environment, ultimately boosting productivity and morale.

In this blog, inspired by Dr. Maria Church’s “Love-Based Leadership,” we’ll explore three simple yet powerful strategies to help you bridge the gap and develop better connections with your colleagues. Whether you’re a professional leader or just starting out, these practical tips can help you create a more harmonious and fulfilling work experience.

So, let’s get started.

 

 

1. Find Commonalities

The foundation of any strong relationship, professional or otherwise, is finding common ground. In the fast-paced and impersonal working environment, taking the time to discover what connects you to your colleagues can make a world of difference.

So, here are some ways to find commonalities:

 

a. Desk Dwellers

Take a look around their workspace – it’s like a goldmine of hints about them. Family pictures, sports stuff, books, art, or even random little things can tell you what they’re into. Start chatting about something you both like based on what you see. Did they just get back from a trip? Ask about their experience! Does their favorite band poster catch your eye? Share your own musical preferences!

 

b. Eavesdropping for Good

Conversations are treasures of information. Without being too nosy, just keep an ear out for what your co-workers talk about with each other. Are they passionate about a specific sport? Maybe mention an upcoming game. Do they excitedly talk about a local festival?

Express your interest in attending! Remember, it’s about genuine curiosity, not prying, so keep it natural and respectful.

 

c. Tips to maintain ethical conduct:

i. Start Small: Don’t start bombarding your colleagues with personal questions right away. Stick to lighthearted, work-appropriate topics to break the ice and gradually discover areas of shared interest.

ii. Respect Boundaries: Not everyone enjoys the same level of personal interaction. Be mindful of body language and cues that indicate discomfort.

iii. Quality over Quantity: A genuine conversation about a shared passion is far more impactful than forcing small talk on multiple topics. Be patient and let connections develop organically.

 

 

2. Finding Hobbies

The second tip for getting along with coworkers is to discover their hobbies. Learning about their hobbies provides valuable insights into what matters to them, and you might discover shared interests. People generally enjoy talking about themselves, especially when it comes to their hobbies, so it’s an excellent way to strengthen your relationship.

Hobbies offer a glimpse into who your colleagues are outside of work, revealing areas where they truly come alive.

Here’s how to do this exploration:

 

a. Listen actively

Love-Based Leadership

When colleagues mention activities they enjoy, pay attention! Ask follow-up questions, and show genuine interest. You might discover shared passions for gardening, hiking, or even birdwatching!

 

b. Remember the details

Make mental notes (discreetly, of course!) about their hobbies. For instance, if you notice someone leaving the office in workout clothes, it’s a clear clue that they enjoy exercising.  Ask them about their favorite wrestler next time you see them.

 

c. Social media detective (ethically)

If all else fails, check public social media profiles – with caution! Look for clues about their interests, but never overstep privacy boundaries.

 

d. Tips to maintain ethical conduct:

i. Respect the Privacy Fence: Don’t poke into personal details or overstep boundaries. Stick to lighthearted inquiries and respect their comfort level.

ii. Active Listening: When they talk about their hobbies, truly listen! Ask follow-up questions, show genuine interest, and avoid dominating the conversation.

iii. Time is Key: Don’t interrupt their workflow or personal time with hobby talk. Choose appropriate moments, like coffee breaks or casual chats, to engage.

 

 

3. Working the Room

working the room

Dr. Maria Church’s final tip is to become a master of “working the room,” especially when anticipating potentially conflicting situations.

Here’s how:

 

a. Embrace the power of pre-meeting greetings

Ditch the Walmart greeter routine: Don’t stand at the door like a sentinel. Instead, as colleagues arrive, smile, nod, or offer a handshake as they walk by. This informal interaction sets a positive tone and subtly reminds everyone of your shared connection.

 

b. Weave the web of connection

This simple act strengthens existing bonds and sets a positive tone. It reminds everyone, including yourself, that despite potential disagreements, you share a common purpose and are ultimately on the same team.

 

c. Tips to maintain ethical conduct:

i. Authenticity matters: Don’t be fake or overly enthusiastic. A genuine, warm approach resonates best.

ii. Respect boundaries: Not everyone enjoys physical contact. Adapt your greetings based on individual preferences.

iii. Start small, build over time: This isn’t a one-time trick. Make pre-meeting greetings a consistent habit for lasting impact.

 

 

Conclusion

Building positive relationships with your colleagues isn’t just about avoiding awkward silences – it’s about creating a supportive, collaborative environment where everyone thrives. By incorporating Dr. Maria Church’s “Love-Based Leadership” tips – observing for clues, discovering hobbies, and building connections to prevent conflicts – you can transform your workplace experience.

Remember, these strategies are just the beginning. As you apply them, listen actively, be respectful, and show genuine interest in those around you. Soon, you’ll discover the incredible potential of positive workplace relationships. You’ll find colleagues turning into allies, collaboration flourishing, and the joy of public service amplified.

Now, go forth and connect! Together, we can create a more positive and fulfilling working experience for everyone.