Mar 23, 2013
If we sit and think about it, our colleagues can be a curious bunch. They may display traits of a sweet candy distributing uncle or a vicious mathematics teacher. Dealing with several in a day can be exhausting and you may never be sure how to keep working at ameliorating your relations with them. Here’s how:
The oldest trick of any trade is mutual back scratching. It does not follow that all professional relationships must be conducted in this manner but it does not hurt to fill in for colleagues or help them save face occasionally when they goof up. To know when someone will need you is to keep pace with everyone’s projects. Some may just be shy to ask for assistance. A helpful colleague will always offer assistance relying on calculated intuition.
All good relationships require communication and the office is not indifferent to this rule. When words are not enough, gestures step in. If you step back and observe, you will find small coteries within a large organisation that function on subtle signals. For instance, coffee preferences or even choice of clothes. It is a kind of loosely constructed secret language. If you can pick up signals and incorporate those in your routines to help interpersonal relationships.
Lunch time and coffee breaks are the perfect time to get to know your colleagues at a more personal level. It is a human peculiarity to bond over food but there are those who do not respond much while eating. If you are gastronomically social, then this is the time to sharpen your social wit and strengthen interpersonal connections. It would however, be wise to not pester silent eaters with too much chatter.
This can range from office parties to cocktails and clubbing with colleagues. You might consider it a boring enterprise to drink and dance with the same people you have spent an entire day with. Sadly, we do not live in the age of nine to five anymore. You might as well refuse most days but it is only beneficial to give in every now and then; lest you miss out on opportunities to getting to know them better in a casual setting.
Technically, a colleague does not have to tolerate another’s emotional crisis. Workplace is not the ideal location for bringing up personal issues and one is best advised to keep one’s intimate problems to oneself. You run the risk of exposing your weaknesses and becoming vulnerable. On the other hand it is simply human to offer a shoulder to cry on and help within reasonable limits. A little bit of kindness always goes a long way.
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