Be Popular at Your Office Job

Being popular at the office isn't only about gaining more friends, it's about developing a reputation that will help you get chosen for the best assignments and possibly even a promotion. Being popular is also likely to make you happier at work and the increased happiness and social connections will make you more productive.


Changing Your Behaviour

  1. Keep a positive attitude. Keep a positive while you're at work. Remember to smile. Positive attitudes are contagious and will rub off on your coworkers. Positive attitudes can also help to increase your own motivation, and the motivation of those around you. Other people tend to feel inspired by those with positive attitudes.[1]
    • Being positive doesn't mean you have to be that super happy and peppy person that people find extremely annoying. This type of attitude will end up having the opposite of a positive attitude on those around you.
  2. Keep your personal problems at home. Personal problem belong at home. Try not to bring them to work if you can help it. (And try not to bring your work problems home.) Your coworkers, while they may care about you, don't deserve to suffer the bad mood you may have from those personal problems. If you find you're unable to leave your personal problems at home, it may be a wise decision to stay at home with those problems until they're resolved.
  3. Learn to listen better. If you want to be popular at work, you can start by listening to your coworkers, especially without any distractions. This undivided attention will make your coworker feel more confident about what they're talking to you about. And paying attention to your coworker without distractions conveys the message that you are taking your coworker seriously.
    • When talking to your coworkers, put down the smartphone and give your undivided attention to your coworker.
    • Being a good listener will become a part of your new popular reputation. Coworkers will remember you as someone who listens and will seek you out more often for your advice.
    • Use active listening techniques when talking with coworkers. Those techniques include: make sure you understand what your coworker is trying to say, ask clarifying questions if needed; wait to express any judgement associated with what your coworker is saying until you fully understand their perspective; don't interrupt if your coworker goes silent, allow them time to think.[2]
  4. Be yourself. Your popularity at work should be based on the fact that your coworkers like YOU, not someone you're pretending to be. Don't hide behind a façade at work, be yourself.
  5. Show your confidence. People are naturally drawn to confident people. Confident people can help others feel confident too, and take away worries and uncertainties. When at work, be confident in yourself and in your abilities. This will not go unnoticed and your coworkers will think of you as a competent, 'go-to' person who makes them feel comfortable.[3] Some ways to show your confidence are:
    • Use your positive attitude to be a role model for others. Demonstrate your positivity by being able to do your job without listening to office gossip.
    • Don't react negatively to the things your boss or your coworker's do.
    • If you've already decided on a particular option, don't hesitate when asked about it.
    • Know your strengths and use them to your advantage.
    • Avoid projecting any kind of territoriality.
    • Use body language to express your confidence — stand up straight, smile, keep your hands out of your pockets, don't fidget, make eye contact, avoid crossing your arms in front of you, don't talk fast.[4]
  6. Admit your mistakes. One of the hardest things to do is admit you've made a mistake about something. But people who do own up to their mistakes are remembered as being honest and trustworthy. If you make a mistake, admit it. Apologize if necessary. Don't dwell on your mistake other than to treat it as a lesson of what not to do next time.
    • Admitting your mistakes also means forgiving your coworkers for the mistakes they make.
  7. Discover passion for your job. Passionate people tend to be happier and positive, because they have a passion that drives them. The passion you have for your job can rub off on your coworkers when they see how happy and positive you are. Plus your passion is a great motivator for you and your coworkers.
    • If you don't already know what you're passionate about, stop and think about it for a while. Even if you aren't passionate about your job as a whole, there must be a specific task or responsibility you have that you are passionate about.

Connecting with Your Coworkers

  1. Respect the time and priorities of your coworkers. The last thing you want to add to your new reputation is being known as 'that' person who wastes everyone's time. The priorities you have at work will not likely match those of your coworkers. Because of this, you must respect your coworkers' time and not waste it by making your priorities more important than theirs.[5]
    • Try not to show up at a coworker's desk unannounced, especially if you need to talk about something detailed and complicated. Instead, email or call ahead and arrange a specific time to stop by and talk.
    • Learn to read the body language of your coworkers. If they start to show signs that they're becoming impatient or worried, wrap up the conversation and let your coworker get back to work.
    • If you work in an open, but quiet, office environment, keep your voice at a level that doesn't project too far beyond your own desk. Respect the fact that some of your coworker's may need quiet in order to do their work.
  2. Support your coworkers. The business world is about making deals. Some of those deals are done by doing favours for other people so that one day they'll do you a favour in return. The sort of deals and favours being referenced here aren't the underhanded or ruthless kind, but rather the kind where you take the opportunity to support a coworker when they need it. In return you'll have earned that coworker's respect and trust, and hopefully one day you'll be able to call upon them for some support of your own. The following are a number of ways you can show your coworker's support:[6]
    • Offering to help with a task or assignment when you notice your coworker is overwhelmed or falling behind.
    • Showing visible support for a coworker's idea or project in a public setting like a meeting.
    • Offering to fill in for a coworker who may need to go home early because they have an appointment or aren't feeling well.
  3. Have good manners. In general you should always treat everyone with respect. But at work you should try to go a little further by making your coworkers feel important and relaxed. If you're making small talk around the water cooler, talk about things your coworker would be interested in. If you don't know what your coworker's interests are, ask them.[7]
    • When listening to a coworker tell you a story, follow-up with questions during or after their story. The questions show you were paying attention and thought what it was important.
    • When talking and interacting with your coworkers, be sincere.
    • Remember to do small, friendly gestures for your coworkers when you can. For example, if you're going to get coffee, offer to pick one up for them.
  4. Give compliments. It is often assumed, especially by managers, that if they haven't told you you've done a bad job, you're doing a good job. In other words, no news is good news. But this assumption isn't good enough. Human beings need to hear praise, it makes them feel good and boosts their confidence. The next time a coworker does something great, compliment them.[8]
    • While complimenting is great, be careful about the types of compliments you give out. Because it's a work environment, you should probably avoid compliments about physical appearance so as not to make your coworker uncomfortable.
    • Good compliments to use in an office setting would be: praising a coworker about a great presentation or speech they gave; telling a coworker you really liked a report they wrote; commenting to a coworker about the excellent way they handled a specific situation; etc.
  5. Do not become the office gossip. Chances are you don't like it when your coworkers talk about you behind your back, so why would you do that to them? Office gossips develop the wrong kind of reputation, and it's one you should work to avoid.
  6. Pretend everyone can read your emails. Emails, just like anything on the internet, can never truly be deleted forever, and can probably be seen by more people than you realize. When writing emails on a work email account, pretend the whole company can read them. Not from a business content perspective, but from the perspective of your tone, how you talk about and to other people, and how you word requests.[9]
    • Avoid using work email to talk about specific people, especially to someone outside of your organization. If you need to vent about someone who has upset you, do so in person or with personal email.
  7. Work out conflicts on your own. Conflicts are inevitable at work, but it's how you handle them once they've occurred that will play a part in your reputation. If you have a conflict with a coworker, whether it be personal or work-related, speak directly to that person about it. Be open and honest and work to resolve the issue together.[10]
    • Of course, there may come a time when you are unable to resolve the conflict on your own and it affects your ability to do your job. In a case like this, talk to your own manager about the situation and ask for advice. In some situations your manager may need to handle the issue directly.

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