Socializing with colleagues can be nice, but there is definitely a fine line between what should and shouldn’t be discussed. These are people you work with, so you still want to maintain some sort of professionalism while on and off the clock. It’s great to have friends and maintain healthy work relationships, but this is your source of income.
You wouldn’t want to put that in jeopardy because you were too social. Depending on the colleague you’re socializing with, be sure to take into consideration how trustworthy are they. The CGS team has put together a few tips on what should and shouldn’t be talked about while socializing with colleagues and coworkers.
Tips for socializing with colleagues…
Don’t Be A Loner
Don’t avoid socializing with your colleagues altogether. Avoiding being social at work can only lead to awkwardness and may show that you aren’t a team player. You have to remind yourself that you are in a work setting and being professional is more important than be being uncanny.
It’s important to not have the objective of being besties with your colleagues, however you shouldn’t avoid office relationships completely. Take a networking approach when socializing with coworkers. What can you learn from them? How can they help you grow?
Don’t Force Relationships
Forcing relationships can make you seem desperate. Typically the relationships that are beneficial and long lasting are produced from trust and a genuine interest in one another. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone feels comfortable talking about their personal life, and will the keep conversation solely work related.
There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s preferable. Don’t push into questioning your colleagues about things that aren’t work related. When approaching a colleague about personal matters or potentially hanging out, don’t approach them in front of the whole office where they feel obligated to say yes. If hanging out outside of the office doesn’t come naturally, don’t force it!
Do Be Mindful
Do be mindful of keeping some inclusivity with your relationships. Relationships are based off of networking, and being selective of who you want to build professional relationships with may come across negatively. Be sure to read 5 Signs Your Negative Without Knowing It to make sure you aren’t giving off bad vibes!
If you want to go out and get to know someone, try extending and invite to everyone and not just one person. If you keep favoring the same people in the office it may make it harder to work with others who feel excluded.
Do Seek a Mentor
Finding a mentor at your job is very important. A mentor is someone who you can learn from and will ultimately have your back in tough times. A mentor will be your biggest supporter when you aren’t around and conversations about you are taking place. It’s important to always maintain professional working relationships and those who genuinely want to see you grow will make themselves known.
It’s a great resource for you, but keep in mind not everyone will want to be your mentor – they may have other mentees or conflicting work interests. Be professionally social with people you admire in the workplace. This could come in handy down the line.
Related: 4 Ways to Win Over Your Co-Workers
If there’s one thing you take away from this article, it should be to always maintain your professionalism. Regardless of how close you are with your colleagues, always remain professional in the workplace. Take into considerations these helpful CGS tips. Have you ever been in compromising situations with colleagues because you (or they) were too personal? How do you handle social and professional relationships? Leave a comment below to share!