The Strategist

Basic rules of friendship at work


05/31/2019 - 11:21



Everyone has a couple of acquaintances who have found their close friends at work. If you want to make your working hours more pleasant, become friends with colleagues. The working day is much easier if you are surrounded by good company, pleasant colleagues or even friends.



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Each of us needs someone to recognize our features and skills. Therefore, friendship at work is natural. “Friendship is like money. It's easier to earn than to save,” said Samuel Butler. And it is easy for friendship at work to turn into something disappointing.

There are several ways to avoid disappointment.

Keep it moderate. Do not devote all your time exclusively to working relationships. There are your school friends, acquaintances, second half, family outside the office - all those who are also important to you. Relationship with colleagues is only one of all the sources of your friendly relations.

Do not force events. If you take an interest in personal life of your colleague at the first coffee break, he will rather alienate. Start small and gradually move to more personal information. Do not forget that everyone has their own personal boundaries. It is better not to overstep them than to make the wrong move.

Be careful and do not become fascinated. True friendship can appear only after a fairly long conversation and getting to know each other.

Chat with several colleagues. The big mistake is to choose one colleague and spend time only with him. This is how dependence on one friend is born. Communicate with several colleagues in order not to be cut off from the rest of the team. Do not shy away from teamwork, but on the contrary, join in general discussions, be friendly not only with each other, but with everyone else.

Remember about subordination. It is easy to be friends when you are on the same step in the team. But as soon as one of you becomes a boss and the other is a subordinate, it’s much harder to keep familiar friendship. This is possible if one rule is remembered. At work you have the boss - subordinate type of relationship. When the workday ends, you are friends. Understand that this is business. Nothing personal.

When two people sympathize with each other outside the circumstances and have similar values, they will make a great tandem.

1. Be positive. Do not focus on personal weaknesses, better demonstrate openness and optimism. Instead of discussing other colleagues or the boss, remember something positive or tell a joke. Be constructive if the conversation requires a critical eye or advice. A friendship built on a common negative can and will be strong, but absolutely ineffectual. If negative discussion cannot be avoided, dilute it with something good.

2. Look for similarities. They are the building materials of your friendship. Find what unites you: children of the same age, watching the same series, reading the same books. A great way to find similarities is to work on a joint project. When success of a task depends on close interaction, you understand that your main similarity is that you are on the same side.

3. Remember the friendship outside the office. A good way to strengthen friendship is to talk with colleagues about something not related to work. Gradually move from discussion of deadlines and tasks to stories about your hobby or vacation.

Colleagues, partners, work team is a family. You can swear, prove your point of view, disagree, argue, but it is important to remember that you are one. This is the main advantage of a friendship at work.

Based on “Read People. Understand Behaviour. Expertly Communicate” by Rita Carter




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