When starting a new job, everyone wants to make an excellent first impression. Getting colleagues to like you facilitates the work process and allows you to become part of the team more rapidly. It is natural to feel worried and excited when starting a new job. Try to contain these emotions and follow some simple tips to make a great first impression.
1. Remember the names of co-workers Make an effort to remember the names of co-workers and try to address them by their names, during conversation. People in general like their names used.
2. Listen carefully without suggestions One mistake that some people make on the first day of work is to offer new ways to do things or make suggestions of improvements. While it is true that your opinion is important and you were hired because of your knowledge, it is important to just listen, learn and absorb on the first day of work. You don't have to change everything the first hour you are at your new job. In time, as everyone gets to know you, there will be plenty of opportunities to impress your boss and co-workers with suggestions.
3. Be friendly without being too personal Itís good to get to know people and let them know you as well. However, don't go into your new job and start airing all of your laundry, so to speak. Talk about neutral things such as popular television shows, your new cell phone and the like. Your co-workers and your boss should be viewed as acquaintances. In time, some of these acquaintances will turn into friendships.
4. Be an active team member Try to show interest in everything that is being said, even if you feel puzzled. When introduced to new colleagues, inquire about their occupation and duties. People like talking about their activities and duties. Being an active team member is a great way to demonstrate your enthusiasm for work. After all, no-one wants to be viewed or labeled as lazy or a burden on the team.
5. Keep your ear to the grapevine but don't contribute to it The grapevine should be considered the unofficial office newsletter. It is important to pay attention to what is being said. You can gain valuable insights into office dynamics, co-workersí personalities, and who to stay away from on a particular day. Just donít contribute to it just as yet. You don't want to begin your career with a reputation for being a gossip.
We spend a great deal of time at work and the way we behave has a big impact on our professional life. The way you project yourself, will be the way you are perceived by people in your office. While it is important to be assertive and firm, you should take care not to come across as aggressive and pushy. Here are some tips to always maintain a balance.
1. Be tactful, not whimsical While making a point at work, always back it up with why you think this approach will work. Do not simply go on a rant and tell co-workers their ideas will not work. Instead, ask open ended questions like if we do this, will it meet the objective? Make your point in a calm and composed manner, so that your colleagues do not feel offended.
2. Saying no is fine If you are packed with work and cannot take up an assignment, tell them you would definitely like to help but give them options as to how you can do it. Provide details of what you are currently working on and also offer to take it up later if possible. This will make your seniors feel like you are making an effort. But if you really cannot or should not take it up, be extremely firm but polite. It is better to say no right now than to regret and fail later. However, remember to sugar coat the refusal. At the same time, do not give a meek refusal as this will generally lead to coaxing and pushing.
3. Discuss, donít accuse or whine If you have a problem with a colleague or a senior, do not go around the office talking about it with others. Instead, approach the person and discuss the problem in a mature and rational manner. Do not accuse or let your temper get the better of you. Discuss to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.
4. No blame game please When things go wrong on a project that you are a part of, do not simply shirk the responsibility and put the blame on others. If you are part of a team, you must take responsibility for a lapse and try and get the problem sorted. This will make your colleagues feel like you are not passing the buck and will also make you stand out as someone who takes charge. But at the same time do not agree to become a scapegoat for someone elseís goof up.
5. Use the magic words Always remember to use words like, please, requesting you to, appreciate your efforts, thank you etc while talking to sending e-mails to your colleagues as this will definitely get them to consider doing what you are asking.
The trick is in not allowing yourself to be pushed around and not being pushy either. Once you master this act, you would have mastered the art of assertiveness at work.
Most working professionals end up spending maximum number of hours around their office colleagues, seniors, juniors, bosses and even clients. Hence it becomes essential to have a relaxed and friendly environment at office. However, there is always a fine line that one should draw between being friendly and overtly friendly. Follow this corporate professionalsí guide to office friendships and you will never go wrong.
1. Be friendly, not over friendly Be friendly so that people will not feel awkward to approach you for any problem. Always make it a point to smile and wish colleagues as this is a great ice breaker. If you have met a colleague after a long time or they have been ill, remember to inquire about their health or absence, but do not pry on them if they are not forthcoming. During the break time, make an effort to strike a personal note but donít go overboard.
2. Donít go drinking too soon If you are new in office, take some time to know people before you decide to go drinking with them. And when you do, donít go overboard and guzzle more than your capacity. Over drinking always liberates your tongue and you may end up acting in a not so dignified manner. After all you have to face them again the next day so itís best that you donít embarrass yourself.
3. Keep the gifting generic One has to often give gifts to colleagues, juniors and even seniors, but its best to keep them generic. Opt for group gifting whenever you can and when gifting gifts individually, stay away from entering the personal zone as you may end up giving the wrong signals, unless this particular colleague is a great friend of yours.
4. Donít get physically close At office it is better to maintain physical distance between your colleagues and yourself as this can unnecessary lead to office gossip. Keep it down to a handshake with colleagues and clients and leave the hugs for outside office.
5. Be a confidant A lot of colleagues invariably end up being good friends too. If you are friends with someone from office and the other person discusses a personal issue with you, be a confidant and donít go spreading the word amongst others in office. As this may not only affect your friendship, but may also strain office relationships.
So youíve just received a promotion and are in charge of your very own team. What does it take to be a good leader you wonder? Effective leadership comes from the understanding that a lot of your success as a leader depends on the productivity of your team. The manner in which you deal with your subordinates is critical to their progress and ultimately your own.
Here are 5 important tips thatíll help you manage your subordinates effectively.
Public praise and private criticism Everybody loves the occasional pat on the back and when you openly praise your subordinates it goes a long way in building their confidence. Similarly presenting your critique of their work in a public forum might humiliate them and shatter their self-esteem. A one-on-one coaching session behind closed doors displays respect and will help you gain the trust of your subordinates.
Do you really know it all? Many leaders inherently believe that they know more than their subordinates. While this might hold true for several instances it would be unwise of you to assume that itís true across the board. Everybody no matter what his/her position in the organisation has something of value to offer and you will win more people over by encouraging their contributions than you will by making all decisions on your own.
Be empathetic You have a junior team member whose performance of late has been below par. Your first instinct would be to hold a private Ďcoaching sessioní. But it would help to take a step back and put yourself in his/her shoes. Itís best to give them the benefit of the doubt and have a heartfelt talk to find out whatís really going on. The empathy will be greatly appreciated and will only strengthen your relationship with your subordinates.
Be fair and objective A leader that noticeably has favourites and doles out preferential treatment is greatly resented. Your job as a leader is to remain objective throughout and treat everyone with equality. Of course, youíre going to like some people more than others but donít ever let that sway your assessment of their work performance.
Pushovers are liked not respected While it is important for you to be liked by your subordinates it is more important for them to acknowledge your leadership. You neednít adopt an autocratic approach to ascertain your position; remember to be firm but fair. When you have to take decisions that your subordinates might not agree with explain your position and get them to see your point of view.
Everyone agrees that embarking upon an office romance is ill advised, but what about forging friendships. Many of us are aware that work is an excellent environment for meeting new people and making new friends. It helps make, work more fun, and most days go by faster as a result.
For many the office is their home away from home and perhaps the only social environment they look forward to all week. At work you really get to see all sides of individuals, you get to know them and end up bonding with them due to the long hours you spend together. Having someone to confide in, share lunch with, give us encouragement and confidence and who may even help us perform our job and duties better are all among the many positives of forming friendships at work or working with a close friend.
On the other hand, just like any relationship, there are certain rules and a protocol you must adhere to and office politics that you will inevitably have to deal with. You wouldnít want your friendship to interfere negatively with your progress and performance or spark professional jealousy, which can make put stress on both your personal and professional relationship.
The key to any successful office relationship is to keep it separate from your personal relationship and as much out of the office as possible. You must proceed with extreme caution when forging friendships and how far you allow them to go, especially within a short span of time. And remember to recognize the different levels of friendship and to never disclose grievances with other colleagues, supervisors and bosses to anyone (not even to a fairly trusted friend).
As far as possible do not make the office your only social scene and never place all your emotional energy in your job and in making friends at work. And, with regards to the friends you do make, try testing the relationship and going out after hours, taking note on what you have in common other than work, and if you are successful at bonding on other levels besides talking about work and the latest office gossip. If you do however find that you genuinely get along, you may consider reaching an agreement, that once work is over, you can talk about anything but work.
You can do away with the hint dropping techniques. If you want your colleague to do some work be direct and ask him/her to do so. Donít fall into the whirlpool of blaming one another for an unfinished job or an error. This only widens the chasm of resentment between employees and colleagues and prevents them from looking at other ways to solve the problem. If you happen to be on the receiving end of the blame let it slide. You need not accept the blame if you are not the person responsible for the goof up instead you could say ďIt would be better if we looked at the facts.Ē Another way of getting the work done is to stay focused avoid being overly critical. Donít demand, instead negotiate. Suggest ways to help. Say less. People resent following orders, so be subtle. Post an itemized checklist and deadlines for goals to be met. Recognize the time and effort colleagues put into the process.
Itís tough dealing with fanatic, moody and unfriendly colleagues. But when you gotta do it, you gotta do it. Try following these guidelines to make your interactions with colleagues smoother: ē Try to stay in control. You neednít be rude but you can be firm. In other words speak your mind. ē Ignore immature, self-centered behaviour to the point where it does not affect you and your work. Stay focused on getting the work done rather than indulging in a power play. ē Try to stress on how behavior can affect productivity. Communicate with your colleague about their place in the scheme of things. ē As a last resort if problems are heightened, your work is suffering etc. speak to your boss. Inform him/her of the problem, but remember not to get emotional about the problem. State your case by outlining the facts with clarity and how and see that the necessary action is taken.
When it comes to dealing with tricky situations in the workplace, be it handling difficult colleagues, bossy seniors and extreme work pressure, there are many incidents that leave us agitated or dissatisfied. When the circumstances of these incidences are beyond your control, itís a good idea to be clear about what you want. Keep these pointers in mind.
ē When faced with a dilemma involving other people, always try to assess what they want from the situation, so that you can come to a mutual agreement. ē When you anticipate a difficult situation, prepare yourself to face the task as well as condition your mind to expect the unexpected. State your case with conviction and have confidence in your abilities. This will make the difference. ē Always remember that it pays to respect another personís goals as you approach your own goal. This way you can understand anotherís perspectives and work as a team. ē You need to feel positive and keep in mind that the work youíre putting in will help you in the long run. ē Take some time out to develop a sincere rapport with your team members. Find some common ground to bond with them even if you do not naturally relate to them. You never know who will bail you out of a tricky situation.