1. Don’t brag
Yes you heard it well, don’t brag! About yourself, your skills, about your school, about your children, your spouse, your country, about anything. Unless you’re doing something wrong like gossiping, being nosy or failing on your team playing skills, the number one reason your coworkers will leave you out is envy and fear that you might take their job. Don’t give them an additional reason by bragging about your relationships with the management.
Have you ever tried to talk about something that you found difficult to do at work and you had someone immediately saying “I don’t have a problem with that” or “I’ve always found it easy!” with a smug face on top. I bet you didn’t feel like working with that person anymore!
2. Admit to your mistakes
When you admit to your mistakes you become more human in some sort and it will be much easier for your colleagues to accept you.
Openness and transparency will get you much farther than hiding stuff under the carpet. If you have problems with your coworkers and you know you have done something that contributed to those problems, the least thing you can do is to apologize, quickly and fully.
Take responsibility for the consequences of your actions and fix anything that needs fixing immediately. I’ll come back on how to apologize without feeling like you just sold your soul in another post.
3. Cheer up
Be the office good spirit. People love other people that are open hearted and cheerful most of the time (within reasonable limits). If you’re not good with humor, the minimum you can do is be calm in any situation. Calm people are trusted, respected and valued at work. A word of caution here, don’t force it so as to let anyone run you over just because you want to be good to everybody. Here is the naked truth: you cannot make everybody happy. At some point for some reason, someone will not be happy with your decisions. Heck, some sour puss might even dislike the fact that you are happy most of the time. Don’t stress about it, as long as you cannot reproach yourself anything beyond the common sense limits, you are not responsible for how other people take in what you say or do.
4. Don’t get involved in office gossip
Don’t gossip and don’t take sides. It may be very tempting at times but if you do and it gets out (which most of the times it does) you’ll find yourself in big trouble and you will have lost at least one person from your side. If people start gossiping around you, try to gently change the subject and if that doesn’t work, you’ll have the choice of either excusing yourself out of the room (more suitable for meetings with several people) or openly letting the other person know that you value him/her, and anyone at work for that matter, and you are not interested in talking negatively about your coworkers.
This is just like the old saying your mum keep reminding you when you had a quarrel with your brother or sister: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
5. Don’t complain
Another hard one to keep up to in rough times but there’s no better way to push you coworkers away than being the eternal complainer. People sometimes like to complain but they don’t like other people complaining around them. OK, maybe a bit, out of friendliness, you might want to put up with someone complaining while gently trying to shift the focus of the conversation to a more meaningful subject. But if the person doesn’t stop complaining and keeps coming with more, sooner than you think you’ll start making excuses not to be in their presence. Better off, when you have a problem, say immediately, as fairly and politely as possible and get it over with. What you cannot sort out in a reasonable amount of time, let go of, it’s not worth your time and money to complain about it. Focus on your goals instead.
And if you really must complain at some point, chose to do so in front of a good friend, not in front of a coworker, not even those coworkers who are your friends.