Over the past few weeks we have been exploring TXM Recruit’s key attributes to being a successful professional.
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The poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. This quote epitomises probably the best approach to build a genuine network, which put plainly is for YOU to become friends with your colleagues.
When learning to be a friend to new people at work it may not be as natural as going down the pub and sparking up a conversation. Most people will gain their organic network of friends from situations where there is social common ground, like through family, sports clubs or those you grew up with.
The work place can be a very different hunting ground as you are all forced into a single space and the common ground, work, is something that takes you away from your pleasure and social pursuits.
Saying that, we know some of our lifelong friendships can come from the work place and can be so rewarding, so it is important you approach all new relationships with this, our P.E.A.R.L of friendship wisdom.
Give your new colleague your Patience, and Empathy, be Available, show them Respect and learn to Listen (you were given two ears and one mouth for a reason).
Following this simple acronym should help you get on the front foot with new colleagues and if it doesn’t then they’re probably the problem and won’t last long anyway.
So why should you go to all this trouble?
In this blog we’ve put together our Top 10 benefits for being friendly at work.
1. You can't get away with anything
Since sharing information on social media became so easy, our professional world has changed. We have all become mini brands not only representing our personal selves but also our professional selves and everything we do and how we act can be shared instantly to hundreds if not thousands of potential employers, clients and colleagues. Every person in their own right can now act as a ‘citizen journalist’ whether that be good or bad it is the world we now live in.
2. You’ll get ‘luckier’ – Good people have bigger networks – People will like you
A 10 year study of self-professed Lucky people Vs Unlucky from British psychology lecturer, Richard Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire found that lucky people scored significantly higher on Extroversion, smiled twice as much and made stronger eye contact. All signs of high functioning social skills. He went on to suggest that because of their stronger social skillset they were more likely to have an increased number of ‘lucky’ opportunities come their way because they meet more people, connect better and maintain relationships.
3. Improved productivity
A happy work place is a positive work place. Being friends with colleagues takes away any risk of work place anxiety through negative relationships with staff. This is crucial to high functioning teams.
Friendly relationships with colleagues will make you feel more supported and you will find it easier to share ideas and workloads.
Friends will be more willing to go ‘The Xtra Mile’ for you during times of pressure helping you and them achieve targets and objectives.
4. Improved job satisfaction
We all want a lifestyle that brings us pleasure, by working with friends you are more likely to enjoy something that is making up an entire third of your week.
5. Friendliness makes you feel good
Actress Christie Brinkley’s quote ‘Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace’ might only be scratching the surface. Smiling makes everyone in the room feel better because our inbuilt response is to smile back, activating happy feelings. So the concept here is when you feel good and outwardly show those emotions it can be infectious. Follow the lyrics of 1976 Hollywood children’s hit, Bugsy Malone, “You give a little love and it all comes back to you”.
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6. You won’t look like the A-hole
The controversial Australian comedian, Jim Jefferies dedicates a segment of his ‘Freedumb’ stand-up routine to Donald Trump and his position on international terrorism, finishing off by stating ‘Only love can conquer hate. So you should show love to all, even those that hate you, in the long run they might not love you back, but eventually they’ll look like the A-hole’. His point here is in a working environment if you show class and hold the ethical upper ground by being polite and friendly one of two things will happen. 1, The person you have issues with will backdown (and maybe become friends) or 2, as Jim Jefferies states “they will end up looking the A-hole”.
7. Friendliness attracts happiness
Positive friendly people attract people to them. They have an energy that other people will feed off and feed into. They tend to be good and inspirational leaders and with leadership comes advancement and an increase in income.
‘The creation of the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts’ has to be the key goal of all high functioning teams. For the reasons discussed already above friendliness helps bring these ‘parts’ together to help ‘create the whole’. In business when synergy is achieved; objectives are reached, success resounds, and profitability follows.
9. Better peer appraisals
Top organisations know that understanding what’s going on in the ‘front line’ will help lead to success. So implementing peer to peer appraisals are key to understanding each-others interpersonal interactions and skills. Like with all things professionally you want to ‘put your best foot forward’.
10. Clients will prefer to work with friends
Clients are people and for most roles they’ll be the most important people employees will work with, so making sure you come across friendly and personable will help you. Being likeable is important but being a trustworthy ‘friend’ will have you firmly positioned in the frontal lobe of your client when it comes time to renew a contract or be an advocate for your services.