Don’t bring your problems to work. Nobody wants to hear you whinging, the same as you don’t want to hear about other people’s dramas. Wait until you have established a relationship with your workmates before confiding in them. Less trustworthy people will take the first opportunity to spread your personal issues through the work site for their own amusement or to make themselves feel superior.
Bring your sense of humour to work. I can’t think of anyone who’d choose to hang around a sad bastard.
Keep an open mind when you’re meeting new people. They’ll tell you the strangest bloody things if my experience is anything to go by. Try not to judge too quickly. They might be psycho but at least they’ll be entertaining.
Have something to talk about. Broaden your range of interests and knowledge so you can participate in a discussion. You don't have to be Mr Memory, just stay abreast of current events and maintain a broad general knowledge. Don't know what your workmates are talking about? Try listening. At least try to elevate yourself above the dumb and boring, tired deadheads who have no opinions, no drive and no prospects. Believe me, you’ll come across them.
You’ll find yourself working with young know-nothing apprentices just starting out and old bloke’s ready to retire. Find some common ground with each of them. If they’re negative and unhappy, find out what they like doing instead and get them to talk about that. If you can’t find common ground on their favourite subject, ask questions, constantly steer the subject into positive territory. When you leave that person they should be less miserable and will have a good impression of you. You don’t have to be deceptive. How hard is it to be genuinely interested? You might even learn something.
There are a few people who cannot be positively steered. They generally attract negative acquaintances who feed off each other and make life unhappy for others. Avoid them.
(Like it? see – PART 9)