Starting a new job? While the stress of the hiring process is over, now you have different challenges to worry about, including connecting with your new coworkers. In our eighth episode of Ask Paul, Paul addressed the following question: Dear Paul, I'm starting a new job and I'm nervous about not knowing anyone. Do you have any tips for me on bonding with my new coworkers?
Read below for a quick summary and tips from Paul or catch the latest installment here.
As the new face at the workplace, you'll want your coworkers to be able to approach you. When inviting people to reach out to you, smiling can help. Names are also very powerful. Remembering people's names can boost your impression and approachability. If you have a difficult time recalling names, try to find something to associate with them as a trick to remembering. Being approachable will also make it easier for others to reach out to help you with something. This not only helps you be better at your job, but makes your existence at the job better too.
Be the one to break the ice if you have to. Initiating the first interaction may be the hardest challenge, but is necessary to move forward. Actively influence your situation by taking that step instead of waiting for someone else. Offer a handshake, start a conversation, or ask to join a group of coworkers at lunch. Getting over that first challenge is impactful and will make the rest easier.
Every person is different. Start every introduction from a point of respect and don't make assumptions about anyone. You may think that people look too busy to welcome any interaction with you, but that is an assumption. Unless you actually approach them, you don't know. Likewise, be yourself and get people to connect with who you really are.
Two topics to avoid at all times are politics and religion. Even if there is something you want to discuss, wait until you step outside the workplace to speak with family, friends and relatives. As long as you're not touching on those two topics, you can talk about other interests like sports. It is a good starting point of discussion that shows a genuine effort to bond with someone. Also, remember to avoid letting the conversation be one-sided. Give everyone the opportunity to finish their thoughts and contribute.
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