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Making Friends with your New Colleagues

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 3 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Making Friends With Your New Colleagues

Making friends in the workplace is a great way to make your job as enjoyable as possible.

When you work with people that you like, it can be easier to work to your full potential as you are in an encouraging and positive environment.

However, it can be hard to make friends in a new job, especially if your new colleagues have already formed friendships and groups before you join the company.

First Impressions

When you start work in a new company, you can be sure that your new colleagues will know about you before you join. This may or may not be positive, depending on the type of company it is and the character of the person giving the information. That may sound very cloak and dagger, but it is true to say that, especially in sales roles, company’s can actively try to encourage competitiveness between colleagues.

So, assuming you are starting work at a company that is not trying to create an underhand atmosphere, you need to think about what first impression you will make.

Your first impression to your colleagues needs to be appropriate to your role, especially if you are being brought in to manage a team. In order to make friends but still be respected as a manager, you will need to come across as approachable and professional. Dress smartly and suitably for the industry you are in. Introduce yourself to your new colleagues in a down to earth but not too chatty manner, although you do not want to seem stand offish, this is better than being too chummy, which can seem fake or unprofessional.

Dealing with Office Cliques

Many offices have cliques, it doesn’t mater how big the organisation or how successful the teams, there are always people that stick together. You, too, will find that you get on better with some people than others, but you will need to be able to be professional and impartial if you are managing a team.

Nothing causes more problems in teams than the boss having favourites, so be careful not to seem as though you are taking sides. While it is preferable that you get on well with your colleagues, it is perhaps not the best idea to rely on your work place for your closest friendships as problems in the office can spill over, or one or other of you may go to work for a competitor.

Being very close friends with your colleagues can also make it difficult for your own boss. All companies prefer their employees to be happy at work, but you must remember that you are there to work.

If you feel as though the cliques in your work place are damaging to the confidence or productivity of the organisation, you may chose to say something to your new boss, the HR department or your line manager. This may be appropriate in your first review in your new job. However, many people do not feel comfortable doing this and just tend to leave that company, which unfortunately does not help the problem.

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