Do you struggle to be engaging at work? Do you some times choke up, stumble over your words and ideas, and you don't communicate what you want to say? Are you simply too afraid to speak up?
You are not alone!
Being social at work is hard. Especially if you are a shy or private person, introverted, or even if you are the opposite, where you overshare and push boundaries.
Working environments can't help but make people feel tense and on their nerves. All people are driven by different motivations. While you don't have to make friends at work, you should be able to comfortably work with anyone, from any background and whatever skillset. If you're happy not being social, since you have that need fulfilled outside of work, by implementing the below tips you be able to improve your working relationships. Employers and employees must understand just how meaningful social connections are in the workplace.
Being social at work is less about being good at chatting around the water cooler or shining at a work event and more about the collaborative methods you can introduce to your working style within a team. The better you can work together in a team, means you are more likely to get ahead,
The thing about workplaces is that people come from such diverse backgrounds that not everyone is going to get along or be everyone's cup of tea. We are not always is a position to choose who we work with. But that's ok! There is an art to working with people who are not from your tribe, and it all stems from how you communicate.
If you think that being the loudest or the brashest at work is the only way to get ahead, it's not true. The best way to get ahead is to deliver results and work well within your team.
A social workplace is a cohesive workplace. Ideas flow freely, people are happy, they find fulfillment in their work, and stress levels are low. You can work socially without having to sacrifice your privacy, feel awkward, or ever be at a loss of what to say! Here are our top 12 tips on how to be more social in the way you work!
How to be more social in the way that you work
- Have a 'Give First' attitude. This is a great attitude to implement in your life. Say hello first, respond to a request for help, offer a spare hour or two to assist on something, go to your meeting or networking event with the mindset of helping others. This attitude will open up opportunities for you and help you be seen as a team player.
- Best communication practice. Let people know what's the best way to communicate with you. For instance, sometimes a quick chat is preferred to a detailed email, or a question holding up a task can be answered over a short text or private message. Perhaps you are busy and need things set out clearly in writing. Whatever the method, make sure to let people know!
- Explain how you like to work. Perhaps you get your best creative work out in the morning and reserve the afternoon for more administrative tasks. Or maybe your still half-asleep until you've had a coffee, or you never respond to emails! Whatever your method, make sure you communicate it with your team. Explaining this is important if you are starting in a new team, or you want to improve how your current team is working.
- Daily Stand up meetings. Set up a 10 minute stand up meeting. Borrowed from the IT industry, sometimes 10 minutes face to face or on a quick phone call will have a great impact on a working day. You can re-set priorities and announce quick updates so the entire team can get the best out of a working day.
- Share your professional history. Don't be a walking resume or an annoying name-dropper, but relate your professional experience to a problem-solving context within the team. Your professional expertise is valued and why you most likely got your job in the first place! Don't be afraid to share it.
- Listen. People are often so caught up and terrified about preparing what they should say next, they completely forget to listen and remain present in a conversation. If you are so caught up and don't hear what a person says, kindly ask them to repeat what they just said!
- Share what inspires you. Share pieces of work from inside or outside your industry that you find inspiring. Not only will this help you generate ideas, but it also makes for a great conversation starter. If you find yourself struggling to handle small talk, these articles or videos you share become great starting points that are much better than, 'how about this weather?' To give it more meaning, share what specifically inspired you about the piece and create a conversation between your colleagues. It will give people a way to talk to you, and you a way to talk to your colleagues!
- Recognize, reward, and celebrate collaborative behavior. You don't have to be a manager to congratulate a colleague for doing a good job. If you see a colleague do something good, let them and the rest of your team know that they are appreciated.
- Share something you made that you made you proud. It can be directly related to something you are working on, or it can be something you had been working on outside of work. Sharing what makes you proud will give your team insights into who you are and help them see you in a way you want to be seen.
- Encourage innovation. It is also important to ask team members for their thoughts, their reasoning, and ideas regularly. The more connected and understood they feel by their team, the more motivated they will be to perform, impress, be creative, and to exceed expectations.
- Share your failures. It might be the hardest one to do, but sharing your failures can teach you a lot about yourself and help your colleagues learn what not to do. You can see great examples from TED talks talking about failure. As long as you identify what went wrong and how you fixed it, or what you learned, it can send a powerful message to your team.
- Be human. Empathy is very powerful. If you are going to the effort to think about how you like to work, take a moment to understand your colleagues. Be supportive and create a culture of 'can do.'
Of course, these suggestions are not an authoritative list of demands to dictate to your colleges, and if they don't meet them, you won't be able to work with them. It is a way to communicate best practices, so you can work the best you can with your team, and they, in turn, can reciprocate and work well with you. You can also try just a few ideas from the list, even try one at a time. Either way, these tips are a sure-fire way to get you ahead in the workplace. If you are thinking that these ideas are good, and want to take these ideas further, consider reading up more about community software.