So much of our success depends on building relationships with our colleagues. But how can you build rapport in an authentic way? Here are four strategies.
• Find ways to make yourself well rounded. You need something to talk about with your colleagues so it’s important to have interests and hobbies. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? A book you’ve been meaning to read or a show you’ve been meaning to watch? Having experience and knowledge in a variety of topics can give you material to draw from when you’re meeting and connecting with others.
• Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Say your new colleague is a wine expert. Instead of hurriedly purchasing a book all about wine — or signing up for a course — in hopes of passing yourself off as a fellow expert, consider expressing your interest in learning more. Placing yourself in the role of student and the other person in the role of teacher can be a great way to build a genuine bond.
• Give to get. In order to get people talking, sometimes you need to give some information about yourself first.
• Take notes. People feel special when you remember details they’ve told you about their life and even more so when you follow up. Jot down some key points about someone after you’ve met them so that you won’t forget.
This tip is adapted from “5 Techniques to Build Rapport with Your Colleagues,” by Christina Hillsberg