In the context of workplace networking, revealing certain aspects of yourself can enhance likability and foster positive relationships. According to psychology, particularly in areas related to social and organizational behavior, here are eight ‘secrets’ or personal insights that, when shared appropriately, can help you be liked and respected in the workplace.
1. Your Genuine Interest in Others
- Sharing Your Curiosity: Express genuine interest in your colleagues’ lives and careers. When you ask about their projects, experiences, or challenges, and actively listen, it shows that you value them beyond just professional acquaintances. This genuine curiosity fosters deeper connections.
- Psychological Basis: According to social psychologist Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” people are more inclined to like and cooperate with those who show genuine interest in them. This principle of liking is based on the idea that we tend to favor those who we believe genuinely care about us.
2. Your Humble Beginnings or Struggles
- Relatability Through Vulnerability: Sharing stories of your humble beginnings or the struggles you faced in your career can make you more relatable. It humanizes you and breaks down the barriers of hierarchy or status.
- Insight from Brené Brown: Brené Brown, a renowned researcher on vulnerability, emphasizes in her works, including “Daring Greatly,” the power of vulnerability in building connections. Revealing your struggles can foster empathy and create a more authentic relationship with your colleagues.
3. Small Personal Achievements
- Celebrating Milestones: Sharing your personal achievements, like completing a marathon or a personal project, can be a great way to engage others. It invites them to celebrate with you and can inspire positive conversations.
- Social Interaction Theory: As per social interaction theories, sharing personal achievements in a non-boastful way can create moments of shared joy and camaraderie, which are key in building likable social bonds.
4. Your Hobbies and Interests Outside of Work
- Building Connections Beyond Work: Discussing your hobbies and interests can open up new avenues for connection. Colleagues who share similar interests can bond over these commonalities, leading to stronger workplace relationships.
- From Sociological Perspectives: Sociologists highlight that shared hobbies and interests are strong foundations for social bonds. These shared activities or interests provide common ground for deeper, more meaningful interactions.
5. Learning Moments from Past Mistakes
- Growth from Failures: Sharing what you’ve learned from past mistakes or failures demonstrates humility and a growth mindset. It shows that you value learning and development, qualities that are generally admired and respected.
- Educational Psychology Insights: The concept of a growth mindset, popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, suggests that acknowledging and learning from mistakes is crucial for personal and professional development. Sharing these learning moments can inspire others to adopt a similar approach.
6. Instances of Gratitude or Appreciation
- Spreading Positivity: Expressing gratitude for what you have or appreciation for your colleagues’ efforts can create a positive atmosphere. It shows that you are not just self-focused but also acknowledge and value the contributions of others.
- From Positive Psychology: Positive psychology research, including works by Martin Seligman, emphasizes the importance of gratitude in enhancing personal well-being and social relationships. Expressing gratitude can improve the workplace environment and your likability.
7. Personal Challenges You Are Working to Overcome
- Sharing Your Journey: Discussing the personal challenges you are working to overcome, like public speaking or work-life balance, invites support and shows your commitment to self-improvement.
- Behavioral Psychology: Behavioral psychologists note that sharing personal development goals can create accountability and support from peers, fostering a collaborative and supportive workplace culture.
8. Your Aspirations and Dreams
- Inspiring Through Ambition: Talking about your future aspirations or dreams can be inspiring to others. It invites colleagues to understand your motivations and aspirations, fostering deeper connections.
- Motivational Theories: Motivational theories in psychology, such as those proposed by Abraham Maslow, suggest that sharing aspirations can lead to mutual inspiration and motivation within a group. It creates an environment where individuals feel encouraged to pursue and share their own goals.
In summary, sharing these ‘secrets’ or personal insights can help in creating a more likable and relatable persona in the workplace. It’s important to share authentically and appropriately, considering the context and the nature of your relationships with your colleagues. These revelations, grounded in psychological principles, can enhance your social connections and overall workplace experience.