Making friends in school or college is a lot different than doing the same in the workplace. The same techniques and methods don’t work in the workplace. The environment and culture are a lot different in an organization than it is in a school or a college. It is true that socializing at a work is easy for extroverts and outgoing people. But by following some basic rules of social dynamics an introvert can be as social as an extrovert.
Here are 8 professional was to socialize and make friends at work.
1) Just introduce yourself
The best way to make friends at work is by simply introducing yourself. Walk up to a person and tell them your name and department in which you are working. Most people will follow your lead and share name as well. However, this might seem too bold for some people. Especially the ones who are introverted or don’t like attention. But I don’t think there is any risk in introducing yourself.
2) Have an open body language
Most people prefer to judge others by their external appearance and body language. So, if you are sitting in a corner with eyes on your computer, people are going to think you are an introvert and will leave you alone. Signaling is very important to make friends at work.
3) Be authentic
Do not try to be someone you’re not. Compromising your authenticity at the sake of impressing others never works. In fact, by being pretentious you will lose the trust and respect of your co-workers. Just be yourself and ask open-ended questions to make others talk more.
4) Share lunch
You might be uncomfortable sharing your lunch with others. But you don’t have to do it every day. Occasionally inviting others to try out your lunch will allow you to get close to people. Sharing food on the same table signifies unity and coherence between the members.
5) Invite your colleagues for a coffee
Having coffee together is a great way to let others know more about you. Invite some of the colleagues for a coffee during the afternoon snack break. Cultivating a professional relationship with your co-workers will require a bit of time and effort from your side. But the results will be amazing.
6) Offer help whenever needed
Being positive and excited to learn about what your new company does is the best way to cut short your learning curve. Your colleagues want to get you on board with them and showing a willingness to learn will help them do so. Always be the first to help other people at work.
7) Connect via social media
It’s very easy to mingle and gel in with the co-workers in a startup or a small company. The teams are small and the environment is always warm and friendly. But if you are working in a large organization, you will have to use social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to get in touch with everyone.
8) Find things you have in common
This is the most important tip on how to make friends at work. Do not waste your time building rapport with people who have nothing in common with you. You might want to be polite and professional with them bit getting close will always invite trouble. Hang out with co-workers with whom you share common hobbies and interests.
Not having friends at work can make you feel very isolated and lonely. Also being alone is not going to help you grow as an employee. No matter what your job is. Even people who work in non-social jobs like engineering and architecture need to be able to communicate their ideas clearly. Being friends with co-workers can help them do so.