If you work at least 40 hours a week, you spend more time with your co- workers than your friends and family so it' s worthwhile to have good work relationships. In fact, a Globoforce survey found that people with work friends are nearly three times more likely to say they love their companies.
" You don' t have to be best friends [with your co- workers], but being polite, respectful, engaging, and on the ball is critical to your ongoing success, " says Lori Scherwin, founder of the New York City– based career coaching firm Strategize That. " Your demeanor and relationships often count at least as much, if not more at times, than the work product itself. If people enjoy working with you, you are more likely to get additional opportunities. "
It can seem transactional or opportunistic to create a strategy for forging work friendships, but there are some people that should be at the top of your work friends wish list.
Get to know more about your boss than the fact that she always assigns time- sensitive projects at 5 p. m. that she needs on her desk by 9 a. m. the next day, or that she has very strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Your boss is, after all, a person.
The power brokers
Instead of viewing peers as direct competitors, Scherwin says to focus on collaboration because that way you' ll do better work, faster. And try not to be jealous or extra- competitive with your peers who seem to be on the " fast track. "
" A natural inclination at work may be to feel threatened by someone with high talent who is already viewed as an up- and- comer.
The office rock star
Find someone above you whom people really respect and, ideallyy, whose values are similar to your own.
Once you' ve worked anywhere for a short period, it' s easy to identify the internal stars whom others listen to and follow, " says Schachter.
Try his strategy for becoming friendly with office influencers. First, find someone " you' d like to learn from and emulate, " Schachter advises.
Next, learn what the person is working on. Then at an upcoming company or department event, introduce yourself and ask her about the topic.
You might already have a mentor outside of the office, like someone who' s in your industry at another company, a favorite professor, or even a family member who has great advice. But it' s also beneficial to have a mentor who works at the same company as you because they' ve been there and done that.
" Mentors can help with how you should be seeing the organization and how you should be thinking about the organization in order to get ahead.
As you start climbing the proverbial corporate ladder, you' ll get your very own team to manage. " The people who work for you will do a better job if they respect and like you, " says Scherwin. " When you' re seen as helpful and focused on your teams' development, they' ll want to do better work for you. "
Find out each person' s goals and help them achieve them, ask for their advice, say " thank you, " and give feedback regularly.
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