NEW ASSIGNMENT? 9 TIPS FOR BEFRIENDING CO-WORKERS
A huge advantage of being a traveling nurse is your ability to continually meet new co-workers at each assignment.
Of course, that can also be something of a challenge if you have a trace of shyness or find it hard to approach people. But fear not: There are ways to make others feel comfortable so you can start to befriend them and assimilate yourself into the staff. Consider the following.
- Make the first move. Don’t wait for others to talk to you; they may be shy themselves. Smile, introduce yourself and ask them something about themselves to kick off conversations.
- Learn names ASAP. Calling people by name is the first step toward establishing a working relationship.
- Ask to connect on LinkedIn. It’s a non-threatening way to learn about co-workers without immediately asking for more personal details via Facebook or other social media.
- Seize social opportunities. Show up and participate at staff social events even if you feel a bit uncomfortable at first. If need be, you can fake a sense of confidence until conversations start to flow. If the event is company-sponsored, remember not to let down your guard too much; remember that supervisors and co-workers will be observing.
- Remember key details about others. Memorizing a few facts about co-workers’ interests and personal lives can help you initiate water-cooler conversations. Show sincere interest in their vacations, hobbies, families, pets or fun weekend activities. And listen more than you talk.
- Ask others to lunch. Choose a co-worker you may have a connection with and ask him or her to help you try a new restaurant. Don’t be discouraged if you get a “no thanks” the first time, since not everyone chooses to socialize on their lunch hour. Just try again later with someone else.
- Show some personality. Place photos and other memorabilia at your workspace to inspire curious co-workers to ask questions.
- Contribute snacks. Homemade goodies are almost universally appreciated; put them in the break room with a note of thanks to everyone for making you feel welcome.
- Model kindness. Be open-minded, helpful and sincere and resist the temptation to gossip. When people see you as truthful, non-judgmental and good-hearted, they’ll be more apt to trust you with their friendship. You might even stage random acts of kindness.