In the workplace, it is crucial to have good social skills and use them regularly. Good social skills are behaviors that will help you form healthy relationships with your peers and supervisor. Some examples are things like being polite and friendly, showing honesty, and socializing appropriately. Social skills like these help you stand out as a professional role model for your peers. By standing out in this way, you’ll create good workplace relationships and get along well with others.
Here are five tips we’ll discuss for practicing good social skills on the job:
- Avoid office drama
- Show integrity
- Practice small talk
- Know when it is okay to socialize
- Be friendly
Avoid office drama
The workplace can often be a stressful and overwhelming environment. People scramble to get work finished, rush to meetings and check off their “to-do” lists. For these reasons, the workplace environment can buzz with stressed-out employees who like to spread negativity. When starting a new job, it can be easy to get wrapped up in this office drama. To avoid this drama and keep a positive attitude, here are three helpful tips:
- Excuse yourself from the dramatic situation. This is a great way to avoid gossiping and to keep your peace of mind.
- Set boundaries for yourself and others. Promise yourself that you will not add to gossip or say something you will later regret. If others’ chatter about others makes you uncomfortable, politely ask them to stop.
- Be an example for your peers by avoiding gossip and focusing on work. If you do say something about a peer, make sure it is positive. Your positivity can quickly change the workplace for the better.
Integrity involves moral judgment, honesty and leadership values. People who show integrity in the workplace understand right from wrong and also practice it in all they do. Showing integrity is an important social skill to practice at work, especially when beginning a new job.
Here are four tips to help you show integrity at work:
- Treat others the way you want to be treated. This rule, also known as the “golden rule,” shows respect for others while minimizing conflict in the workplace.
- Be honest. Honesty encourages open communication between you and your co-workers and leads to healthy workplace relationships.
- Respect confidentiality. Employees are often required to keep certain information private or confidential. Doing so shows respect for customer privacy and also demonstrates that you are trustworthy.
- Lead by example. If you always try to do the right thing, you will set a standard for other employees to do the same. In this way, you can change your workplace to be one of integrity.
Practice small talk
Small talk is simple conversation with people that you do not know well. It is perfectly okay to practice small talk at work with your peers and develop relationships with them. In fact, it is healthy to have workplace relationships as long as they are positive and do not interfere with getting your job done. You want to make sure, however, to keep the small talk appropriate and leave your personal life at home.
Here are some examples of safe and appropriate small talk at work:
– Ask for help
– Offer help
– On Monday, ask about the weekend
– Talk about a movie, TV show, or sports event that is current
– Ask about local restaurants
– Ask “open-ended” questions (not “yes” or “no” questions)
Know when it is okay to socialize
Small talk is appropriate at work if it focuses on the right topics. However, the timing of the small talk also determines if it is appropriate. For example, you do not want to ask your coworker how her weekend was in the middle of a meeting, just as you do not want to discuss last night’s game during a performance review with your boss.
Being friendly to your supervisors, peers and others in the workplace can help you build good workplace relationships. Here are some suggestions for being friendly at work:
- Start conversations with others.
- Respond to small talk when others initiate it.
- Chat with coworkers at appropriate times.
- Invite others to join you or the group in after-work activities.
- Include new people at work or those who are usually excluded.
- Offer compliments to your coworkers.
You may know and practice good social skills at work, but that does not mean everyone does. If you find yourself dealing with someone who gossips often and spreads negativity, try to avoid that person. This does not mean you should not be friendly to him or her, however. You should be friendly and polite to all your peers and supervisors. It can be difficult to keep your positive attitude, but remember that you will lead by example and make a difference in creating a friendly workplace environment.
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