How do you approach your colleagues at work from a relationship perspective? Do you interact at the office only and talk when you must? Do you have lunch together sometimes and part ways in the evenings and weekends only to resume office relationships on Monday? Or,do you go the extra mile to engage your work colleagues into your personal life away from your desk?
I'll admit I've generally fallen into category number one. I have tended to do my own thing and not say too much. But, over time, I realized it didn't add to my success at work. I think the perception if you are a loner, is that you are unhappy and don't like people. That may be you, but it's not me.
I recently had the opportunity to join a friend and his colleagues out for a team dinner. Over the course of the meal and conversation, I realized the rapport and camaraderie built up among the team was so strong, and I was convinced that events like this meal are part of the reason why. They treated each other like friends in addition to co-workers. They look out for one another and treat each other with the love of friends.
After recently going through a major attitude adjustment about choosing joy and happiness over listening to voices of fear and timidity, I decided I wanted to adopt more of the inner office relationships that I observed at the dinner. Since then, I made a concerted effort to stop and speak to people as I pass by in the office. It doesn't have to be an in depth conversation that pulls people away from their work for a half hour. We know those people too. Since making an effort to invest in my office relationships, I've noticed I'm seeing more success in my work. I enjoy the work I'm doing more, and I like engaging with my friends while I happen to be at the office. There are many ways you can improve your work relationships. Just try.
I envision developing a work family in the true sense of the word, family. I want to support my work family through busy times, joys, and trials. Just think if your work environment can supplement your emotional state the way your home life can. If you have those strong relationships in place, your happiness at work can really propel forward.
As in any relationship, you don't enter the state of closeness immediately. It takes time and a conscious effort to be considerate of your neighbor. If you've got nothing else, just smile and say, "hi."
With 750 million regular users, Facebook and its many social applications has given rise to a new need of social consideration. In the last few posts I addressed when you should friend and unfriend people. Now, when considering your friends, we should also be considerate of tagging them in photos and locations. Each person's sensitivity level on this issue varies, and it's really best not to assume it's ok to do whatever you like.
Checking In When checking in on Facebook Places or other geo-location applications that allow you to tag and check your friends in too, be sure you ask your friends before doing so. For both safetey and privacy reasons, not every person wants to be followed or exposed as not being home. No matter how cool of a place you are with a hundred of your best friends, if you aren't sure about someone's preferences on being checked in, just ask. If you're really sensitive to it, you can change your settings to prevent people from checking you in.
Posting and Tagging in Photos Photos are animals in and of themselves. Each person has rules for photos. For me there are no full body bathing suit photos and no photos with a drink in my hand. I'm a huge yoga lover, and no matter how cool I think yoga photos are, they are not always Facebook appropriate, especially when it isn't me in the photo!
When I do post photos and photo albums, I lock them to friends only, and sometimes I customize the viewers to be only the people at the event. That way you can share without broadcasting everything to Everyone, Friends of friends or even your parents' friends who may also be your Facebook friends.
One you've posted albums or view albums from an event you attended, I'd say tag yourself in those photos as liberally as you'd like. Some people do no want to be tagged by other people. If you aren't sure, you can ask your friend's preferences or observe their behavior. If your friends are tagging tons of people, then they're likely comfortable with you tagging them if they haven't done so already.
Now that people are losing or not getting jobs in the first place over Facebook missteps, please use discretion and act wisely when posting and tagging. Be respectful of yourself and your friends. Social media is a wonderful tool to stay in touch, in the know, and involved. Like any other toy/tool out there, it just needs to be used wisely. You can!
A few weeks ago, I met a gentleman by the name of Neil Lemons, through a mutual friend. After talking to Neil for a few minutes, we hit it off as two fellow bloggers and social media junkies. Over the course of our conversation, I learned some interesting things about Neil and his involvement in the Dallas community, which reminded me, once again, of the value and importance of networking and being integrated in your city or town.
After meeting Neil, he visited this blog and posted a comment in response to my 100th post celebration comment contest. His comment made him the official winner of the contest, and now I have a great excuse to introduce you to Neil Lemons, and share some of the cool things he's doing to make Dallas a more interesting place to live.
Neil is one of the few native Texans I've met in this state. Among other things, he's a self described "personal development and marketing nut." and has been an active blogger since 2001. He co-founded the website, I live in Dallas, a hyper-local publication on art, events, theater, people and Dallas restaurants. Neil's website is comprised of a group of writers who share interesting things to do and experience in Dallas. The most recent article featured profiles o six boutique hotels in Dallas.
With the help of Neil and his cohort, you'll never find yourself lacking for ideas of things to do in the DFW area.
In addition to being an involved writer and social media guru, Neil is a great networker and connector. Soon after we met, we found out we were in many of the same professional groups, and I learned about even more groups I didn't know about. He gave me the opportunity to grow my network, which lends right into my personal goal for the year to meet as many new people as possible. It's always fun to meet a connector because your circles can expand exponentially in a short period of time. You'll make friends and business contacts you hadn't known before, some of which may have a lasting impact on your life down the road.
I encourage you to visit iliveindallas.com even if you don't live in Dallas. It will offer you many ideas of things to explore in your own town. Experiencing this life is a gift, and I hope you'll follow Neil's example by making the most out of each day. You can!