Recent studies show that employees value the connections they have with their colleagues, and the majority feel that they are more productive when they have friends at work. Working within an atmosphere that encourages and develops positive connections between workmates can be great for your communication skills and business networking as well as your social life, but how do you know which of your colleagues to seek out as a personal friend?
There are many different personality types, and it can be helpful to consider who will make the best sort of friend at work. The positive or negative traits described here cover a huge variety of attitudes and behaviours, and most people will be a blend of more than one type. Can you spot any of your own personality traits on this list?
The helpful supporter. Building a friendship with the person who identifies themselves as a helper will pay dividends when you need a hand with a last minute job. This character will go out of his or her way to help, and you will never feel alone if you have someone like this to rely on.
The chatterbox. Making friends with the office chatterbox will always guarantee that you hear the gossip first, but you may find that this friendship eats into your work time and leaves you with a pile of unfinished projects. If you have a connection with someone like this, try to limit your chatting time or arrange to meet up outside of working hours to catch up with the latest news!
The experienced expert. Someone who has been there and done it all before can be a huge asset on a project team and a good friend in the workplace too. Friends who are keen to pass on their wisdom, and do so in a non-patronising way, can help you to develop your skills and confidence within your field of expertise and in your everyday life.
The pessimist. Someone who complains or points out the negatives of every situation can suck the joy out of your working life and lead you to feel frustrated with your role. Refusing to be drawn into woeful awfulising can release you to enjoy the positives throughout your daily life.
The constructive critic. Someone who is open and honest about the ideas you put out and the work you submit is a very valuable asset and can make an excellent friend. You have the opportunity to develop your skills and improve your output at the same time as building a relationship with someone with a high level of integrity. This is a winner!
The taker. Reciprocal support and help is a key part of any friendship, and knowing that you can rely on a workmate for a favour is great. However, the person who constantly asks for favours but never returns them makes a poor friend and ally in the workplace. Ensure that you do not slip into this negative role by taking care to reciprocate the favours done for you.
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