It’s 9:00 in the morning. You walk into the office, headed for your cube. As you walk down the rows, nobody stops to say Good Morning. Flash forward to lunch. Nobody asks you to go to lunch with them, so you end up eating in the break room all by yourself while other co-workers chat at tables around you. As 5:00 closes in, you hear the buzz about Happy Hour. As your colleagues head out, nobody invites you.
Sound familiar? Do you feel a little like the odd one out at your office? Are you having flashbacks to the middle school cafeteria? No worries–turn that frown upside down! Here are some tips to win more friends at work. And be sure to smile–after all, nobody likes a case of the Mondays!
1. Bring Donuts!
Don’t forget to bring enough donuts for everyone in your area. Put them in a central location, then be sure to let people around you know.
2. Smile and say “Good Morning!”
Seriously, this works. Oh, and attaching that with their name and a little conversation like “How’s it going?” Or, “Any weekend plans?” is always a good thing.
3. Learn the art of the segue!
A segue is defined as “smooth transition from one topic or section to the next”. So, when you have to discuss a work topic or upcoming project with a co-worker, take advantage of this opportunity! If you’re at their desk and you see a picture of their dog, then let them know how cute the dog is and ask questions–about the breed, how old he is, if he’s playful, etc. etc. Take any opportunity you can to make conversation.
4. Make the most of meetings
Ok, so let’s face it–most of us hate meetings. Especially 8:00 Monday morning meetings, or 4:00 Friday meetings! But take advantage of having a group of your co-workers together by starting up a conversation before or after the meeting. With the exception of 8:00 meetings, of course…
5. Cook something and bring it in
Bring out your inner Betty Crocker–or Pillsbury doughboy–and cook something to bring into the group. Whether it’s your Grandma’s homemade oatmeal cookies or brownies out of a box, it’s the thought the counts. Let your co-workers know to help themselves.
Who doesn’t like a compliment? Find opportunities to–sincerely–compliment your co-workers. For example, if you’re in the elevator with a co-worker and you like her handbag, let her know. Or, if you are in the parking lot and a co-worker pulls up in a shiny new car he just bought, make conversation and let him know how much you like it. This will lend itself to an entire conversation. This works best for co-workers of the same gender…after all, you’ll sound creepy if you’re a guy complimenting a woman’s handbag!
If your office does community outreach, then participate. If someone is selling Girl Scout cookies, then buy them. If there is a collection in for a wedding gift, then pitch in. You get the point–don’t be a Debbie Downer!
8. Lure them with candy
Are you noticing a theme here? Put a huge, overflowing candy bowl on your desk just wait. This will definitely make your desk more popular!
8. Offer to get coffee
Headed to Starbucks? Then ask a few co-workers immediately around you or on your team if you can get them anything. Stopping by the supply closet? Ask if anyone needs a new legal pad or pen. You get the point!
10. Be outgoing!
Don’t be a wallflower! If you’re in the break room, don’t just sit there eating your ham sandwich all alone and looking all forlorn. Ask a table next to you “Mind if I join you guys?” And, join in their conversation instead of being silent. Say you’ve noticed someone you think you would have a lot in common with–for example, you’ve heard him/her talk about a band you also like. Well, don’t be shy, ask him or her to lunch! It’s as easy as “Hey, wanna grab some lunch?” It never hurts to try!
Now, get out there and make use of these awesome tips! Oh, and I’ll take a grande Vanilla Latte.