You can probably think of a handful of people at the office whom everyone seems to genuinely like, people who are indescribably charming and magnetic, people you want to work with and get to know better, people you want to emulate.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you were one of those people? Of course it would be!
The following seven tips are great (and easy) ways to be more likable at work that you can put into action today.
1. Find the Right Co-sign
In the real world, the average person’s probably reluctant to co-sign for someone on a new car or apartment. Luckily it’s much easier in the office to find a guy who’s willing to take a chance and vouch for you. So identify the power players and work to build a relationship with those who are already well-liked and admired. Then, follow their example.
2. Play Your Position Like an All-Star
It’s rare to catch LA Clippers point guard Chris Paul battling Dwight Howard for a rebound. Still, the six-foot Paul remains an eight-time All-Star because he plays his position really, really well. Figure out what you can excel at and work it. Maybe you’re a numbers whiz, a vocabulary master, or confident presentation person. Do you know everything there is to know about Google Docs, or have more email hacks up your sleeve than anyone could possibly need?
Whatever it is that adds to your awesomeness, take advantage of it and share your knowledge.
3. Set Up Regular One-on-Ones
Make a coffee date or out-of-office lunch plan with various co-workers throughout the week. They can be people you know well, people you’re just getting to know, and others whose names you’ve just learned.
Don’t underestimate the power of a one-on-one interaction, which can quickly help you forge a connection with a new colleague. Learning about other departments is beneficial to your work, but if you can go deeper and discover something non-work related about the people you work with, all the better.
4. Make an Effort to Socialize
Someone has to send the email or spread the word about where to grab those happy hour drinks—could that person be you? Organize an evening get-together at a local bar, or offer to lend a hand to your colleague responsible for organizing these events. If drinks aren’t really a part of your office’s culture, consider other ways to initiate social interaction with colleagues outside of business hours.
Maybe there’s a networking event a few of your team members could attend as a group. Or, perhaps, you put a feeler out there for a book club or sports team. Making an effort can go a long way in getting people to think you’re pretty awesome.
5. Find Small Ways to Connect
Bond with your peers by keeping them up-to-date with the newest and most exciting news. Listen to their interests and ask questions. Send restaurant reviews to the office foodie or share info on the summer concert lineup to the musically inclined crew. These recommendations are exactly the kind of gestures that’ll make you a memorable colleague.
6. Be the Office Cheerleader
Be the biggest cheerleader on the team. When someone accomplishes a feat, whether big or small, be the first to clap and personally congratulate them. I used to keep a bottle of top-shelf bourbon in my desk drawer that I’d whip out when a teammate closed a deal.
The whiskey lovers among us would toast as a team. The camaraderie was contagious, and trust me when I say that it genuinely feels good to be there for others and root for their achievements—after all, wouldn’t you wish for the same?
7. Play 21 Questions
Let’s say you’ve got a few minutes before a meeting starts or while you’re waiting for the coffee to finish brewing. Instead of scrolling through the apps on your phone, make eye contact with a nearby colleague. Most people enjoy talking about themselves and their interests, so ask leading questions. Ask about their weekend, their kids, or their latest TV obsession. This move takes little effort but can pay off big time in making you seem approachable and friendly.
An old buddy and co-worker of mine has far more friends than anyone I’ve ever met. When we worked alongside each other he was the “it-guy” in the company. He had an endless string of dinner or drink invitations always.
I once asked him the secret to his reputation. His answer was simple and became one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received, “I’m the driver of every single one of my relationships in life.” What he meant was that he made a point to get to know people and put himself out there. He did all of the above, and it paid off.
Photo of meeting courtesy of Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images.