Being Liked Matters! Here’s 3 Ways to Get Started
If you've followed me for a while, you've probably heard me talk about the importance of being liked in the workplace. It’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way, because early in my career, I used to say that I didn't come into work to make friends. I kept my head down. I wasn't talking to people, didn't do water cooler talk, and didn't go to office events.
But having a substantive, long-term career means that people have to know who you are and feel comfortable around you, and most of all, they have to like you. If you’re an introvert or a recovering head-downer like I was, here are three ways to build relationships and be liked in your office.
1. Understand your corporate culture
Corporate culture is people. That's it.
It's people and how those people get their jobs done, so understanding the "vibe" of the people at your office is important so you can succeed.
How do they work? Who do they get done through? Who are the key people who move work through the organization?
2. Be intentional and committed
Being liked and building relationships isn't going to be something that's gonna happen overnight, and it can be uncomfortable. It's easy to get hung up on titles on business cards and feeling like you can't talk to someone because they outrank you. But remember that people are just people, and just because their job title has "VP" in it doesn't mean you can't talk to them.
But you have to be focused and intentional in your effort to become liked. You want people to say, when they're asked about you or your name comes up in a consideration list for a promotion, "hey I know that person. I like them."
That takes time and commitment.
3. Start with scheduling formal one-on-ones
Okay, hear me out here. I know this sounds daunting; the person you're scheduling this meeting with might not even know you! But it's actually pretty easy- you talk to the person (or their admin) and say something about how long you've been at the company, how you want to get to know them because they've got something you want to learn from.
Really, people aren't going to feel like it's a challenge or an imposition to share their knowledge with people who are eager to learn from it. At the end of that thirty minutes, 90% of the time they'll say something like, "Hey, if I can help further just throw something on my calendar!" And then you're in. Schedule something for two weeks out and keep developing the relationship that way. It's really as simple as that.
If you do this with a few people, you'll quickly be able to tell which ones will move into a mentorship role and which ones will just be supportive of you in your office. It's a win-win.
There are a lot of other ways you can make more connections, but if you start by being intentional, understanding the lay of the land, and setting up some one-on-ones, I think you're going to be able to see a huge benefit down the line if you keep up with it.
If you want some additional strategies on how to win friends in your organization, let's connect! Schedule a free consultation with me and we can make your game plan for growing your career.