1. Say a Cheery “Hello”
Do you plod into the office, eyes down, shoulders slumped, and immediately start work? If so, you’re likely to find that colleagues ignore you (at best) or avoid you (at worst). Get into the habit of smiling and greeting everyone as you begin your shift. It’s amazing how fast this can thaw chilly workplace relations.
2. Learn to “Small Talk”
Ask your colleagues about their interests – their favourite music, films, books, hobbies. It will make them feel more comfortable around you.
3. Join the Office Sports Team
Many offices have a sports team, be it football or softball, and joining in is a great way to enjoy some exercise while you get to know your colleagues in an informal setting.
4. Ask What They Think
People love to be asked their opinion, so ask, “What do you think is missing from this report?” or “How do you think I should handle this situation with X?” Then give the advice-giver a sincere thank you.
5. Avoid Gossip
If a colleague offers a juicy tidbit about an office romance or an impending dismissal, respond with “Really?”, then change the subject or get back to work. If you don’t engage, the gossiper will move on and you’ll retain the trust of your colleagues.