Humans are social (to a varying degree) by nature and thus social interactions are an important element of the work experience. There is a great opportunity to foster a socially rewarding experience at work while advancing the professional goals of any given industry. Most professions value teamwork which relies on strong personal/professional relationships. The following are considerations for how to bring your best social self into the work place:
- Make a conscious effort to actively listen to your coworkers and make sure your contributions to conversation are productive.
- Ask questions that illuminate a situation or idea while encouraging others’ creativity.
- Know the difference between being rigorous, being skeptical, and being cynical.
- Rigorous examination of an idea can be energizing and thought provoking.
- Skepticism can lead to discovery and a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.
- Cynicism can consume all the oxygen in the room and kill ideas and dialog.
- Strive to do more than identify problems; strive to solve them.
- Contribute time and effort to group projects, and don’t under estimate the productivity a positive attitude brings to a team.
WHEN SOCIALIZING IN THE OFFICE:
- Be open to understanding what experience and strengths your co-workers bring to the table.
- Assist others to be their best selves.
- Be authentic about who you are while being respectful of your privacy and the privacy of those around you.
WHEN SOCIALIZING WITH CO-WORKERS OUTSIDE THE OFFICE:
- Attend company sponsored social gatherings to make connections with your colleagues, as showing personal interest in knowing your team will help you engage with them professionally.
- Keep your blood alcohol levels low and remember that everyone has a dangerous combination of the following:
- a camera
- a social media account
- questionable judgement, especially when liquored up.
WHEN SOCIALIZING ONLINE:
- Your digital persona is your professional persona, so don’t create a brand for yourself that is repugnant to your employer.
- Privacy settings NEVER create true privacy.
- Once something is public, it remains public.
- Even on instant messaging, don’t forget the power of the “Screen Shot”.
- Be smart about your interactions both on and off line…your job may depend upon it.