I got to work to do my job, not to make friends!
Imagine you were in a team meeting to brainstorm on ideas to solve the problem that your team is facing. You had a brilliant idea that you wanted to share. But the meeting (as usual) had turned into a fish market.
You raise your voice to make your point heard. Everyone is quiet. They hear you. Probably even accept the idea.
But once they are out of the meeting room, everyone is talking ill about you.
You had all the right intentions, but the way you put it across was perceived as negative. To make things worse, you didn’t know that it ever happened. And by the time you did, it was already too late!
Now imagine, you had your bestie in the same room. S/he would have been honest with you about the perception that got created. You would have known early. You probably could have taken control of the situation before things got worse.
Situations like this and more are a part of our day-to-day office life, aren’t they?
In fact, here is an incident that happened to me.
I was presenting our team’s progress, and my boss disagreed. Whatever I did, he just wasn’t ready to listen. I was about to cross the threshold and burst when I saw one of my teammate (my bestie) hinting me to calm down. I did. And the rest is history.
Besties stand with you through thick and thin. And, especially at the workplace, they can save your skin.
So if you are of the opinion – I got to work to do my job, not to make friends; think again!
It is imperative to have besties at the workplace. Here are 4 A’s that will help you get going–
Be the first one to make the move. You may be a reserved person, but most friendships start with a simple hello.
So go ahead, say hello to someone who you might have not spoken to. Give up on your inhibitions. No one bites when you just say hello!
Let the conversation be about them. Ask your colleagues about their work, their challenges, their way of solving problems, and more. Remember to ask open-ended questions. This will allow them to speak and keep the conversation going longer. As they are talking probe more, so they can open up. Also during the conversation be on a lookout for avenues where you can appreciate them.
Be open to feedback and let them know you will hear it from them. Remember, everything you do always has 2 perspectives–one of yours and the other of the audience. No matter how good your intentions, what matters at the end is how it is perceived by people in the audience. So ask them for their perspective. Don’t argue to their point, agree instead. Their point of view will give you an additional dimension which you might have missed.
Ask for help
This is an ultimate icebreaker. Ask your colleagues for genuine help. This way you will kill two birds with a stone–One you will have a lot to talk to and second you get your work done too. Well, as a bonus, that colleague also has a soft corner for you–the Ben Frank Effect.
Benjamin Franklin once had a powerful political rival who was hell-bent on making his life miserable. Franklin knew that it would be beneficial to have this man on his side, but instead of begging for his approval, he took a counter-intuitive approach. He knew his rival owned a very rare and valuable book and he asked to borrow it. After a few days he returned the book with a thank you note and surprisingly his rival became his friend. When we do a person a favor we tend to like them more. This is because we justify our actions to ourselves that we did them a favor because we liked them.
Do don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Summing it up–
Besties at work play a crucial role in getting ahead in your career. Make as many as you can.
Ask yourself–which colleague do you want to open a dialogue with today so that s/he becomes your bestie?