How to bond with your colleagues

Expert tips to help you bond with your colleagues; whether those colleagues are new or longstanding!

In this case, let’s consider bonding as ‘getting on well enough with your colleagues that you can all do an excellent job; without colleagues becoming an unnecessary source of stress in your life!’ In other words, this isn’t about becoming the best of friends (and would that even be a good idea? Read the debate here!)…

Tip 1: have compassion

We’ll come to some more straightforward advice in a sec. However, we couldn’t possibly overlook this great concept from (the all-around experts of business and career development!) Harvard Business Review.

At the crux of their argument, a desire to connect is an essential part of our human nature. And, at the heart of our human connection, you’ll always find compassion.

They break compassion down into 4 aspects: noticing someone else’s distress; placing importance on this; feeling concerned about that person/the rest of the group, and then doing something to help.

For example, you spot that your colleague is swamped with work and beginning to panic. You empathise with this, knowing exactly how challenging you’d find it yourself. You’re worried that this person won’t be able to carry out their normal duties, and you…

  • Offer to take something on yourself
  • Stay late to help them prioritise their tasks
  • Make them a cup of tea and take phone messages on their behalf…or similar!

This is a simple example – you’ll find more recommendations on each step here.

Tip 2: be less vague!

This one also comes from Harvard Business Review, although from a little snippet of an article on being a better colleague.

Here’s a reminder of the need to make your meaning clear so that your fellow workers don’t have to waste their time worrying about your intentions.

What’s ‘to the point’ to you, may come across as abrupt/hostile to them. So, read this and remember to pause for a mo before you next hit send/put the phone down.

Tip 3: all the tips!

If you only want to read one article on this topic, you’ll probably find this one handy. As usual, Lifehack manages to break the subject down into achievable habits that you can test out in your new or current job.

They’re the sort of simple pointers that won’t take long yet that we can all too easily forget.

Tip 4: say yes, at least some of the time…

What better way to bond with your colleagues than to do so away from the confines (and conversations!) of your daily work? This is the attitude of the team at The Muse. Along with all the other teams you’ll spot around the city after office hours!

Of course, this step is easier to achieve when you’ve established some bond. Yet that bond has to start somewhere, so consider saying yes to the next invite!

Tip 5: remember the first-day rule?

This tip only really applies to the new starters. Or to projects with entirely new teams. It’s a conversation originally inspired by the Independent’s advice on ‘the one thing you shouldn’t do when starting a new job’. We’ve added our thoughts and would be interested to hear yours.

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