Everyone wants to be liked, or at least to be more popular. But at work, there’s a lot more to it than knowing people enjoy hanging out with you. When people like you, you get noticed, and getting noticed is the first step to getting ahead.
Here are a few conversation hacks that will make your co-workers want to include you in everything that is going on around the office.
You don’t want to be like everyone around you, but you are more likely to be liked by people if you share some similarities with them. On a subconscious level, sharing the same body language as someone else makes them see you as an ally. But be careful—if you do this the wrong way someone might think that you’re imitating them as a joke. Be as sincere as possible.
Want to make people feel like you agree with them? Repeat the last few things they say when you reply to what they said. This hack may be called “parrot-talk” but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with what the person you’re copying is saying. Repeating their own words back to them can make people feel like you are on their side. What you say after that can drive your own point home, but your audience will feel like you’ve built on their point, instead of tried to tear it down.
Let Them Talk
Don’t be a conversation hog. Most likely, people don’t want to know about you to like you. They want you to like them. So let them talk. Scientifically, our brains are rigged to reward us for talking about ourselves. The more you let someone do that, the more pleasure they’ll feel around you. Try not to hate yourself for not talking about yourself, and listen to what they have to say.
When it comes to gossip, what you say reflects on you, not just the topic of your juicy bit of gossip. Talking about other people when they’re not around can be a positive thing. Tell other people how much you like a person, or what they’re good at and you admire. You’ll be the one who winds up looking like the hero. Trash talk makes other people subconsciously feel some level of mistrust for you, and can hurt your chances of being really embraced.
Getting advice from someone who knows what they’re doing isn’t annoying—it shows them that you respect their intelligence and want to be mentored. Most people are flattered by being asked for their in-put. That can help you forge new relationships and get brought into the loop on other things. Even if the relationship is somewhat antagonistic, like in a negotiation, asking for advice from across the table shortens the distance.