How to Click with Co-Workers

by Ashley Miller

It's no surprise that work is usually more enjoyable if you get along with your co-workers. Good relationships with co-workers can boost your morale, increase productivity, help you feel more comfortable in your office interactions and create supportive connections, says business consultant Gary Gzik. Negative relationships can cause stress and make you feel like avoiding work. You won't always click with everyone, but you can take certain steps to increase your chances of developing positive work relationships.

Establish Rapport

Establishing rapport with your co-workers is an essential first step to building positive relationships. Developing rapport involves showing interest in your co-workers in a friendly, open and nonjudgmental manner. Some of the ways you might do this includes giving your co-workers complete and undivided attention in conversations, showing respect by not interrupting until someone is finished speaking, making time to communicate, displaying a friendly attitude and being open to new ideas. Your body language also goes a long way in establishing rapport. For example, if you don't make eye contact with your co-workers, speak quickly and softly, or stand with your arms crossed, they might see you as defensive or unapproachable. Look your colleagues in the eye, maintain a relaxed posture and speak calmly during conversations.

Find Common Interests

Finding common interests is perhaps one of the quickest ways to click with your co-workers. To do this, you need to be wiling to open up and share information about yourself. When you share a similar interest or background, people feel a natural sense of connection and often want to get to know you better. It might not be appropriate to discuss outside interests during work time, however. During a lunch or coffee break, try to connect with as many different people within your organization as possible, advises career coach Ryan Kahn in an interview with the website Expanding your circle and meeting new people increases the likelihood that you'll find others who share your interests.

Avoid Gossip

Every office has gossip. But gossiping with and about others is one of the quickest ways to lose respect and rapport with your co-workers. Even if someone else gets on your nerves and you're dying to complain, try to refrain from saying anything negative. The old adage, "what goes around comes around," is usually true, and you don't want your negative comments to come back to haunt you. According to Office Angels, a British-based recruitment firm, gossip can destroy trust in office relationships and only lead to negative consequences. Try to stay positive and bite your tongue if you feel the urge to gossip.

Be a Team Player

Being a team player is another almost surefire way to click with your co-workers. When others see that you're willing to pitch in and go the extra mile, your co-workers will view you as someone they enjoy working with, says business coach Shannon Waller in an interview with "Canadian Living" magazine. Be the first to offer a helping hand, participate in office get-togethers, support new ideas or help out with any extra tasks that need to be completed.

About the Author

Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.

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