You want to be well-liked by absolutely everybody in your office (who doesn’t, right?).
Sure, those donuts you bring in for your team every Monday morning are definitely a step in the right direction. But, when it comes to being admired and respected, there’s a little more to it than those frosted pastries.
What’s even more important? Being an inclusive and empathetic team member. Embodying those qualities will not only mean you’re well-liked, but also respected.
So, how do you go about it? Here are a few tips to set you in the right direction.
1. Resist the Cliques
Much like in a high school cafeteria, cliques can quickly form at work. You find the people who you get along well with, and then you tend to spend the majority of your time socializing with only them.
That might be comfortable, but it’s hardly inclusive. So, challenge yourself to venture outside of your usual group and interact with some new people.
Sit with a different table at lunch or strike up a conversation at happy hour with someone you’ve never met before. The more you can put yourself out there, the better!
2. Pay Attention to Your Language
You know that being inclusive means being all-encompassing. But, you’d likely be surprised at how often your word choices can betray your intentions.
Did you start an email with a seemingly casual “hey guys”? Perhaps a more neutral “hey team” would’ve been better. Did you provide well wishes for a holiday you just assumed your co-worker celebrates? Did you make a comment or remark that you meant to be humorous—but could be easily misconstrued by someone with a different cultural upbringing?
Listen, as long as you were well-meaning, most people won’t take offense from a minor slip-up. But, if you really want to roll up your sleeves and be more inclusive of all of the people you work with, keeping a watchful eye on your words is a great place to start.
3. Be the New Employee Welcome Wagon
You likely know firsthand how intimidating it can be to start a new job. You need to get up to speed on the entire company—while feeling like you don’t have a single ally or confidante in your corner.
Why not step up and be that trusted friend for people who are just getting started? Take a new team member out for lunch or for an after-work drink during his first week. If you see someone looking lost in the hallway? Help get him to where he needs to go.
Being warm and welcoming to new employees is not only just the nice thing to do, it’s also a great benefit to you too—you’re widening your web of contacts and friends in the office!
4. Think Outside of Yourself
While you’re gathered around the coffee pot in the morning, one of your colleagues laments to you that she’s feeling totally stuck in Excel. Considering that you’re hardly a spreadsheet whiz yourself, you commiserate with her and then go about your day.
But, being inclusive extends far beyond just what you can do for someone else—it helps to bring some other people into the fold as well. So, if you know for a fact that Dave in accounting is a tried and true Excel master, offer to connect the two of them so that he can help her with her problem.
Doing so is a surefire way to not only be more inclusive yourself, but to encourage that atmosphere across your entire office.
5. Ask Questions
People sometimes assume that being empathetic and open-minded means blindly accepting things without a second thought. But, in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Inclusiveness is about understanding and accepting all different types of people. And, asking questions about various beliefs, traditions, or opinions is a great way to engage in a thoughtful conversation while learning more about the people who differ from you.
So, talk to that team member about that cause she regularly volunteers for or ask that colleague about that religious tradition he’s currently honoring. There’s nothing more inclusive than putting in the effort to get to know people on a deeper level.
When it comes to being well-liked in the office, bringing in the occasional treat is a great place to start! However, being likable goes much deeper.
Employees who are inclusive, empathetic, and friendly are the ones who are always most admired and respected by their team members. So, put these tips to work, and you’re sure to have stronger bonds with all of your co-workers.