Developing a friendly relationship with your co-workers cannot only make you feel more comfortable in a business, but it can also lead to greater collaborations and productivity, which can help you to excel in your career.
Yet, striking up a conversation with your colleagues might feel anything but easy, especially as those Tinder pickup lines you learned aren’t appropriate as ice breakers for the workplace. If you want to form firm friendships throughout your career, read the below tips on how to kickstart a conversation at work.
Give Someone a Genuine Compliment
To build a rapport with your team, consider giving a co-worker a compliment. For example, you could comment on their jumper and ask where they bought it, or you could tell them their lunch looks delicious and ask if they made it themselves. However, ensure the compliment appears genuine and natural to ensure the conversation flows.
Find Some Common Ground
The reason you might be struggling to form a friendly relationship with a colleague might be because you have yet to find some common ground. Bridge the gap by learning more about their likes or dislikes, so you will both have something to talk about. For example, visit Slick Kook to find and broach a subject on the latest movies, music, TV or entertainment to see if you have anything in common.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
If you find you are doing all the talking with a colleague during a conversation, it might be helpful to ask more open-ended questions. For example, encourage them to talk a little more about themselves by asking questions, such as “where did you go to college?” or “what do you usually do during your weekends?”
Be Mindful of Your Body Language
A co-worker might be happy to strike up a conversation with you, but your body language might be a deterrent. Be mindful of your body language to appear more approachable at work. For example, open your posture, smile and make eye contact, nod when another person talks to you and avoid hunching your back and shoulders.
Ask “If You Could Only” Questions
You can guarantee your co-worker will appreciate a little escapism from time to time, which is why they might enjoy answering “if you could only questions…”. Build a rapport with a colleague by asking them questions such as “if you could only eat five different foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?” or “if you could only take three things on a deserted island, what would you bring?” It will prove you have a fun, friendly and approachable personality, so they might feel more comfortable starting a conversation with you in the future.
Solicit Their Opinion
Another good way to get to know a colleague is by simply asking their opinion. For example, you could ask them what they think of a project, your speech or an industry workshop. Not only will this encourage a discussion, but they will be complimented that you value their opinion, so they will be more than happy to respond.