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Social or Shy: Five Essential Workplace Icebreakers

Some people find it easy to meet new people and instantly develop a rapport with them. Others tend to be more reticent and can take time warming up. If you’re moving between workplaces all the time and doing a long of short-term, casual work, that can be a problem. Making the most of your relationship with your coworkers is making the most of your time at work.

Maybe your work relationships come to a standstill as soon as you finish your shift and walk out the door, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep your coworkers at arm’s length. Friendliness and positivity go a long way towards making work more pleasant, and even fun for everyone.

Make An Effort

Surely just about everyone has been through the experience of feeling a little bit alienated at work. Maybe your role is fairly independent, maybe you’re physically separated from your coworkers while you’re working, maybe there’s an age gap between you and your coworkers, but a little bit of effort to get to know them can improve your outlook on your job, and also your work performance.

Find Common Ground

Here’s one thing that’s great to keep in mind though – you already have one thing in common in that you work in the same field. Trying to find common ground with someone is a brilliant way to get to know what makes them tick and “break the ice” between you.

Have any unusual stories from other, similar jobs? They can be relatable conversational fodder when getting to know your new coworkers. People love trading anecdotes, and it can be a great way to learn more about people while they learn more about you.

Ask Questions

Being in a totally new environment, you might be unsure of some things. Never hesitate to approach a colleague with a question. Most people will be more than willing to help you, and small moments like this help immeasurably to break down the walls of unfamiliarity.

Read The Vibe

Every workplace has a different vibe. The approach you took at your last job might sink like a lead balloon at a new place. The most outgoing among us might still hit a wall if they don’t follow the example of their new coworkers. Reading the vibe is an important skill to have, so if you don’t feel comfortable jumping into the conversations around the workplace straight away, then just observe until you’ve figured out what sort of people you’re working with.

Rein It In

On the other side of the coin, one thing to remember is that if you happen to be a great, loquacious conversationalist, it’s important to recognise when it’s appropriate to chat with your coworkers. You may be excited to meet new people, but you don’t want the unfortunate reputation of being the person who talks all the time and doesn’t know when to just get your work done.

Hopefully these five points give you the guidance you need to find your spot in a brand new workplace. It can be intimidating whether you’re the life of the party, or more likely to hide in a corner, but everyone eventually finds the place that suits them.

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