“Likable” may be a subjective state of being. But certain behaviors, conversation starters, and attitudes do tend to elicit positive responses from others, particularly in highly specific environments like workplaces.
Wanna stand out as a particularly collaborative colleague? Offering regular displays of appreciation and making oneself available to help with professional projects are auspicious ways to start — as are adding these 15 phrases to your office vocabulary.
1. "I absolutely love how you handled that customer!"
Business Insider included this phrase in a recent roundup of sentences uttered by likable employees, and we have to agree with its effectiveness. Your coworkers want to know that their efforts are valued by their colleagues, and a specific compliment like this one will make your office mate feel noticed and appreciated.
2. "Thanks for always being willing to lend a hand."
When it comes to coworkers volunteering to help with a project, a bit of gratitude goes a long way. If someone’s offering her time and energy to assist you, go ahead and thank her out loud.
3. "What can I do to help?"
On a related note, making yourself available to assist coworkers (even if your job doesn’t strictly require it) solidifies your reputation as a team player and generally presents you in a positive light.
4. "Let’s put our heads together and figure this one out."
Anyone who works in a collaborative environment appreciates a coworker who doesn’t shy away from tricky scenarios. Eliminate defeatist phrasing and instead approach challenges with a can-do attitude, and you’ll quickly discover that determination is infectious.
5. "I really appreciate your flexibility."
Sometimes, offering thanks to a colleague for a seemingly-minor move holds more weight than a more obvious “thank you”. If a coworker helps you out by completing a project ahead of schedule or agrees to switch a shift with you, let her know that her efforts to be flexible were hugely appreciated.
6. "Having you on this team makes a big difference."
Group-project dynamics can make employees feel sidelined and eclipsed, even when they’re working their hardest. If you notice a teammate doing an exceptional job at a project task, tell her that you recognize her successes.
7. "You've gone above and beyond this week."
During particularly difficult periods at work, employees need reinforcement from their supervisors and peers more than ever. No one likes to push herself especially hard only to have her efforts ignored. Be the person who brings this subject into the workplace conversation and gives her dedicated colleagues their fair dues.
8. "The way you handled last week's crisis with your calm demeanor was a game changer."
Subtle achievements like keeping your cool during a tense meeting don’t often come with accolades, but they often require a great deal of strength and patience. Let your cool, calm, and collected colleague know how impressed you are with her even temper, and she’ll feel encouraged to keep it up.
Did your coworker just earn a promotion or a leadership role in a major work project? Show your support by offering your sincere congrats!
10. "You should definitely apply for that promotion."
Good workplace citizenship involves supporting your colleagues and urging them to pursue advancement opportunities that suit their skill sets. If your work friend is hemming and hawwing over whether to apply for a more senior position at your company, feel free to give her a confidence boost.
11. "I’ll set up for the meeting/clean up after the meeting this time."
If, like many offices, your workplace lacks a designated person whose job involves setting up and cleaning up meetings and events, these tasks should be shared by all participants. Employees who maintain a good rapport with their coworkers don’t shirk their turns to perform these duties, accepting them as a cooperative aspect of office life.
12. "I refilled the printer paper."
Like tidying up after meetings, taking on small “housekeeping” tasks like refilling printer paper should be a natural part of the workday for all employees. Don’t wait around for someone else to restock supplies - if you see something running low, take one for the team and do the job yourself.
13. "How did the presentation go?"
Employees who get along with everyone tend to express interest in work projects that aren’t their immediate responsibility, and they’ll check in with coworkers to see how things are going. If you know that your office mate has a big presentation on the schedule, a brief query about it reads as thoughtful and considerate.
14. "I have some ideas for handling that problem client... can I run them by you?"
As far as demanding clients and challenging projects are concerned, a willingness to work as a team often leads to a more successful outcome than going it alone. If you have an idea for handling a tricky work problem, go ahead and share it, ideally while maintaining a collaborative attitude.
15. "Let me know if you have any questions!"
Nothing will endear you to new office arrivals more than making yourself available to answer questions and provide insight. Pay it forward by greeting new hires with genuine warmth and offering your help if you have the time and the bandwidth.