So, you want to be well-liked at work. Don't we all?
But how do you win over your colleagues to become the favorite of the office? If you follow these 11 simple steps, you'll certainly have a fighting chance. (Note: making coffee runs or doing other office errands are not on this list!)
1. Do your job well.
First and foremost, do your job and do it well. Like your slacking off hurts your teammates, your success lifts them up with you. Your efficiency, attention to detail and overall professionalism affects everyone else in the office.
2. Be someone on whom your colleagues can depend.
Lend a helping hand when you can. If a coworker needs coverage, and you have the availability, cover for them. If a colleague needs honest feedback or help with a project, and you can provide it, offer just that. Your colleagues will start to recognize you as someone on whom they can rely, and that's hugely valuable.
3. Practice active listening.
Part of being an effective communicator is knowing how to listen. And that doesn't just mean giving someone else an opportunity to speak but, rather, actually hearing them out by giving them your undivided attention. If your coworkers feel heard around you, they'll want to share more with you and you'll, ultimately, grow a lot closer.
4. Mirror your colleagues' nonverbal communication with eye contact.
A wealth of research suggests that, when you mirror the other person's body language in a conversation, they can sense that you are engaged. And, of course, when you make eye contact with someone, that's a surefire sign that you're present both physically and mentally.
5. Give credit where credit is due.
Be the person in the room who shows respect by giving credit where credit is due. If you're being acknowledged for a certain success that you didn't achieve alone, publicly share your gratitude for your team and even call people out specifically for their contributions. This will be well-received and appreciated.
6. Engage with colleagues both in and outside of the office.
Sure, if you don't have the time to make every happy hour or morning coffee date or lunch with your colleagues, that's understandable and totally acceptable. After all, you're not required to spend time with them outside of the office. That said, if you can make the time to get to know your colleagues over coffee or lunch in a less formal setting, chances are that you'll have deeper conversations that don't necessarily pertain to work. And they might even grow to like you more for it!
7. Share constructive feedback.
When asked for feedback, don't just let others know that they could have done a better job. Share constructive criticism that will help them to actually do a better job. Explain what they can do better by sharing specifics and outlining your suggestions for them. They'll appreciate this over generic or unhelpful comments.
8. Set boundaries, and lead by example.
Set boundaries for yourself, and then stick to them. If you have certain hours of the evening or weekends that you don't log into your email or take phone calls, don't. A lot of people (workaholics) are afraid to unplug, as they don't want to be considered lazy or unreliable. You can help them to unplug by doing it yourself. The truth is that everyone is better off when they have a little work-life balance, and you can be the person to encourage it.
9. Be an advocate for others in the workplace.
If you know someone who can do the job well, refer them. If you know someone deserving of a promotion, push for them. Be an advocate for your colleagues, including those below you; treat everyone as an equal and spread the good word when they've earned it.
10. Work smarter, not harder.
Instead of burning yourself out (which, contrary to popular belief, will negatively impact your performance and, as such, negatively impact your whole office), spend your time more wisely. Prioritize, stick to your personal boundaries and hone in on tasks instead of trying to constantly multitask. When you do this, you'll be far more productive, which benefits everyone.
11. Work together toward shared goals.
Being on a team means learning how to collaborate. Sometimes, you'll need to make sacrifices, like your time. Sometimes, you'll need to bounce ideas off of one another and be okay with rejection. Sometimes, you'll need to step in and help out at a moment's notice. Make sure you understand what your team's shared vision is, and then figure out how best to work together toward those goals. When you do, everyone will appreciate you for it.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.