Being popular at work can be so important. Not only does it contribute to a happier life and possibly new friendships, but it ensures you aren’t overlooked for promotions, assignments or other opportunities. When your immediate colleagues think well of you, this tends to filter upwards to management too.
It’s a careful balancing act and everyone is different, but in my experience there are a few mistakes you should try and avoid.
Being too negative – A little complaining sometimes brings people together but go too far and people tend to find it off-putting. Don’t complain too much about your job. Don’t forget, they work there too and you’re at risk of offending them. It’s best to keep a positive attitude when you can.
Over sharing – Sharing a little bit of personal information can help others warm to you and establish a strong connection. Sharing too much, especially when it’s of a very personal nature, can make people feel uncomfortable and they may avoid you in future.
Not listening – If you’re lucky enough that your co-workers are taking the time to talk to you, make sure you listen to them. Give them your undivided attention and let them know you’re listening with active listening techniques such as clarifying questions and signs of agreement.
Being fake – It’s easy to think that you have to put on some kind of alternate persona to be popular at work, especially if you have low self-esteem. People respond much more positively to authenticity, so relax and be yourself.
Hiding away – Some of us are naturally shy which can sometimes be a hindrance at work. There’s no need to go over the top but projecting a little confidence can help. Learn how to speak and act confidently even if you don’t feel it. A few subtle signals will help people look up to you.
Hogging power – If you’re fortunate enough to be in position of power at work, whether that’s management or simply having access to information that might benefit others, make sure you share that power and help others out whenever appropriate.
Not admitting mistakes – It can be tempting to protect ourselves when we make mistakes with excuses or by blaming others, but people will respond much more positively if you admit your mistakes and apologise. Make sure you also forgive others when they do the same.
Having no passion – People tend to respond well to those who share passion for the job they are doing. It makes other people feel more passionate about their roles and importance. This can be hard when you don’t feel that excited about what you do – perhaps it’s time for a new career? Either way, try to be as positive as possible.
Not respecting other people’s priorities – When we’re under stress or pressure to get a task done it can be easy to forget that other people may have equally important priorities or tasks. Even when under pressure, respect other people’s space and time and ask for help politely.
Being the office gossip – People who gossip are often very friendly and can seem popular on the surface. However, people are usually worried about what they’re saying about them behind their backs so it can prevent any proper relationships being formed. It can also be very unprofessional and hurtful so it’s best avoided.
These are just a few tips on how to become more popular at work but progress usually depends on the type of environment you work in and your own personality.
If you’d like to work on this, or anything else, in more depth please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can have a more detailed discussion.