Be honest, would you rather be the Dwight Schrute of your office or the Jim Halpert? The Leslie Knope or the Jean-Ralphio? While it might sound slightly grade school-y to admit it, everyone wants to be liked, and being liked at work might be more important than you previously thought. An office is a team, and if you want people to root for you, trust you, and help you build your career, they're going to have to not hate you.
Think about it — how many times would Jean-Ralphio get the backing of a whole office? Not too many times, kids, not too many times.
While it may sound easy to win the favor of your cubicle mates, a lot of people show up to work not in the mood, stressed out, or burnt out. When you see someone drinking coffee with a "don't even" face on, it can be a little tricky to get on their best side. And when the whole office rolls like that? Well. But the thing is, a likeable person can reach even the most anti-social of office mates. The reason for that is that they're genuine, optimistic, and their good vibes are addicting. So how do you become that? Below are seven tips on how to become more likeable at work.
1. Keep Your Insecurities Under Lock And Key
You need to come into that office believing you can befriend everyone come lunch time, and then propose a group-run to Chipotle. I mean, you may not actually propose the group-run, but you're going to walk into work believing you can click with everybody there. Don't let your insecurities get in the way, or hide under your blanket words like "shy" and "introvert" — rather, just go for it. People respond to that kind of openness and friendliness.
Lifestyle writer Evan West at Lifehack offered, "Likeable people don’t come from a place of insecurity. They go into every interaction thinking 'I bet me and this other person would get along great, I should really get to know them better.' And then the likeable person moves on from there." Don't think of all the ways they could snub you or how it'd be better to just stand in the elevator silently. If you want to seem friendly, be friendly. Start talking.
2. Don't Just Focus On Doing Your Own Tasks
If you see a co-worker struggling with a deadline or juggling one too many balls that week, offer to help out. Do it without fuss, and ask if you can help with anything menial or tedious that'll help free up some much needed time for them. Chances are they'll be surprised that you noticed, and thankful that you'd be willing to add more onto your own plate.
Leadership writer Jennifer Cohen at Forbes suggested, " 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." They'll appreciate it, and love you for it.
3. Learn People's Names, And Use Them!
How many times do you actually hear someone using your name? Other than when you're in a Starbucks line, friends, significant others, and coworkers usually grab your attention with an easy "hey." So when someone actually uses your name, it sounds almost intimate. Like you're crossing a line from "unimportant stranger" to "hey I know you."
Jayson Demers, founder of content marketing agency AudienceBloom, told entrepreneur site Inc, "Calling someone by name makes him/her feel special, and shows that you're interested in him/her as an individual, not just in the context of a need." So get to learning!
4. Never, Ever Mention The Weather
There is not one person on this whole entire planet that wants to talk to you about how chilly it is outside. There's not one person that wants to hear about how you forgot your umbrella, or how it's supposed to warm up by the weekend. No. Stop that. Why don't you skip the weather report and instead jump to stuff that could actually matter. Ask what they're up to during the weekend, learn about any hobbies, kids, interests that can help you slowly build your friendship with your office mates.
West explained, "Likeable people avoid small talk by transforming it into deep conversation. They do this by being genuinely interested in others, asking honest questions to help further their understanding, and relating to what they’re told, briefly, before gathering more from the person they’re talking to." Be genuine — learn about what they like and let that build a bond.
5. Be Present When You're Milling Around The Coffee Machine
How pleasantly surprised are you when you come across a person that actually wants to learn something about you? Seriously, how bowled away do you get when you're standing with your coffee cup in hand and someone asks, with genuine interest, how your Spanish meetup group went that weekend or if you have enough vacation days yet to go on that trip to New Orleans. Be that person. Be present and excited to learn something new about the person you're talking to, and actually care about hearing the answer. They'll love you for it.
Lifestyle writer Patrick Allan at Lifehacker explained, "The truth is, we like ourselves and we like talking about ourselves. The people in your life that you find likable and charismatic, though, let you be yourself and let you talk about yourself. Be positive, shut down your ego, and give your full attention." Ask questions, and be excited to hear the answers. You'll make an impression.
6. Be Okay With Not Knowing Everything
There's nothing worse than that one person in the office that does a fancy tap dance to get out of admitting they actually have no idea what they're talking about. And it's even worse watching them throw the blame onto someone else.
Instead of being mortally afraid of not knowing something about your job, instead approach the issue with curiosity. Show that you're happy to learn and develop your skills, and just because you don't know the answer right now, doesn't mean you won't know it later. People will respect you for it, and will enjoy the attitude.
Allan agreed, "If you shift from 'defensive mode' into 'curiosity mode', you'll appear confident with the fact that you don't know about something." That kind of positivity is refreshing.
7. Be The Person That Loves Their Job
There's something so appealing and motivating about seeing a person that truly enjoys their job. It's awesome to see that person bound into work every day, ready to kick butt and make moves. And that positivity usually brims over and spills onto those they work with. Be that person. Be the Chris Traeger of your office, and be excited to be there.
Allan observed, "People with confidence and charisma also live with purpose. It's noticeable when you don't seem to have a mission or driving factor. You don't need to wear your passion on your sleeve, but you need to be confident in the notion that you're alive to do something." When you come in every day with purpose, your office mates will not only love being around you, but will find you motivating. And that's not a bad rep to have.