How Likeable Are You? Here Are 8 Ways You Can Improve Your Likeability At Work
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest American Time Use survey, Americans spend 8.6 hours a day working and 7.6 hours a day sleeping. This leaves only 7.8 hours per work day to do anything else – eat, workout, do household chores, visit with friends and family, etc. Statistically, that means most people spend more time with their co-workers than anyone else during the workweek, including their own immediate family. For this reason, the relationships you have with your co-workers can be the most important in determining your day-to-day happiness. In fact, these relationships might even affect more than happiness. According to Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People, getting along with your co-workers will not only improve your overall work experience, but will make you more successful. Give your day a boost by following these 8 tips to increase your likeability. If you get along with those you work with, your spirits are bound to improve, as is the quality of your work.
1. Take an interest in your co-workers’ lives. Take water cooler talk a step further than “how are you?” Get interested in your co-workers’ lives – their hobbies, families, and goals. Make a point to remember what’s going on with them, as you would a close friend. Taking an active interest in what your co-workers do outside the office shows that you value them as a person, not just someone that makes your job easier. And besides, it’s much more impressive to ask Jim in HR “how did Emily’s soccer game go?” than “you have a daughter, right?”
2. Say good morning. Not many people are overly happy to be back at their desk come 9 AM Monday morning. Pleasantries can go a long way to brighten the mood. When you arrive at work, greet your co-workers you pass on the way to your desk. A quick, cheery “good morning” is not only polite, but shows that you care about your peers. It’s also much friendlier than launching straight into questions, demands, and agendas. Take a quick second to connect as people before getting into work related stuff.
3. Lend a helping hand. Instead of focusing solely on your own responsibilities, take an active interest in how your workplace is functioning as a whole. If someone on your team is swamped with work leading up to a big deadline, offer some assistance. Maybe you can help with some paperwork, or even make a quick supply run for them. Lending a helping hand will not only make you more likable, it will generally make your job easier in the long run. If the office is flowing efficiently, this means less stress for you.
4. Participate in post-work activities. After a 10 hour work day, it’s understandable to want to head straight home to your couch and TV. However, it’s important to make an appearance at post-work activities. Whether it’s a drink at the local bar or heading to the bowling alley, your presence means more than you would think. Employees of a workplace make up a team, and if you are consistently missing from extracurriculars, you become the odd man out. Post-work shenanigans are a great way to strengthen relationships with your co-workers, so stop by. Even if that means having one beer and hitting the road. Even 20 minutes shows you made the effort and care about the group.
5. Get rid of gossip. According to the Georgia Institute of Technology, approximately 15% of work e-mails contain gossip. This is a dangerously high number, particularly when you factor in how much verbal gossip is spread throughout the workplace on a daily basis, as well. People often think that they are bonding with the people they are gossiping with when in fact, people generally don’t want to be friends with others that talk trash. If you’re trying to up your likeability and keep your reputation intact, say no to gossip altogether. Not only does it eliminate your chance of getting caught talking behind a co-worker’s back, it makes you a more approachable and trustworthy confidant. If your co-workers know that they can trust you with private concerns or problems about work, it means they are also more likely to trust you (and like you) as a friend. And remember – if you’re having a hard time staying positive, fake it until you make it!
6. Do your job. It’s as simple as it sounds. If you say you will have that spreadsheet done on Monday, make sure it is done on Monday. If you schedule a meeting with your team, be on time. If you’re in charge of calling the client before lunch, call the client before lunch. Do what you say you will do, and do it when you say you will do it. Workers at an office are entirely interconnected. Your workload affects someone elses. If you are reliable, your likeability factor goes up because you are making your co-workers’ lives easier and less stressful.
7. Buckle down and lighten up. The mood at work is ever changing, and it’s important to have your radar on at all times. When your office is under a time crunch, it’s time to buckle down. People are busy and stressed, and don’t want to be interrupted by a bored co-worker that wants to talk about March Madness. Even if you aren’t as busy as the rest, put your work face on. There is nothing more annoying than seeing a co-worker play Flappy Bird on their iPhone when you are drowning in paperwork. On the flip side, know when it’s okay to lighten up. If it’s a slow day, grab a quick coffee with a co-worker or talk a bit longer in the kitchen. Use days with lighter workloads to show people that you aren’t all work and no play. It makes you more likeable and relatable.
8. Keep the kitchen cleaner than you keep your own. This may sound like a no-brainer, but being a co-worker is like being a roommate. You’re sharing a common space. Make sure you are respectful of the kitchen, bathroom, supply closet, and all of the other shared areas in the office. If you think about it, that’s almost everywhere except for your desk. Wash your dishes immediately. Clean out your old food from the fridge. Keep the copier free of your miscellaneous papers and accidental prints. Be courteous and clean. It shows that you value your co-workers’ time when they don’t have to wash their coffee cup and yours every morning.