How to Bond with Your Co-Workers

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Many of us spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our families and friends. With all that time and energy invested, it's usually a good idea to at least be civil with your co-workers, cultivating a productive, healthy relationship that can serve you well in the workplace.

  • Make a habit of asking your co-workers about their weekends. Use this basic conversation to add in any commentary or connections that you feel might be appropriate. For example, if a co-worker says that she spent Sunday talking with her friends over brunch, ask her if she's ever tried one of your favorite places for brunch. Mention why you like the place, adding that it has wonderful mimosas and great scenery.

  • Alert your co-workers when you're going out for snacks or where you're grabbing a bite from. Ask them if they'd like to go along or if they can't, offer to bring something back to them. Gestures like this make others view you as considerate and friendly.

  • Bring in any extra sweets, homemade breads or leftovers (if appropriate and in a large enough quantity) every once in a while to your office. Be sure to alert your co-workers via e-mail. Include everyone (at least those in your immediate department) on the e-mail and say something simple like, "Hey everyone, I tried out a new brownie recipe last night and would love to know what you guys think of it. Test it out; they're in the break room!" If the quantity is limited, you may even want to take the plate over to the co-workers you're trying to befriend personally and mention that you wanted to make sure they got a sample before it got devoured.

  • Ask you co-workers for advice from time to time on simple issues, like what color you should paint your bedroom or whether you should go on a second date with your friend's friend.

  • Bond with your co-workers over boss talk. Compare experiences and laugh about past nightmares on the job.

  • Invite your co-worker to a get-together you're throwing or to a local happy hour where you're meeting some other local friends. You should do this after you've developed a positive, casual relationship with your co-worker.

Tips & Warnings

  • Though office gossip is not always warranted or appropriate, engaging in a little office talk doesn't have to be harmful. It can, in fact, be a great way to bond with your co-worker as long as the talk isn't malicious, constant or about another co-worker who she may be friends with. Office talk is fine, just remember to keep it appropriate, as the co-worker may interpret your gossiping as you being a tattle tail or very judgmental person.

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