The happiest people are those who have invested their time in others. The unhappiest people are those who wonder how the world is going to make them happy — John C. Maxwell
So, it’s been almost three months into working on this project with my team. We all started from zero. The five of us have never been into the same group before. But since we have the same goal, we work past our differences and learn about each other. We start to grow into the person other people would like to work with — a people person.
What does it mean?
In many job interview, many people will mention that they are a people person. Why? Because this quality is needed, especially when you’re working in a team. According to the Cambridge dictionary, people person is someone who is friendly, enjoy meeting and talking with other people. But if you’re referring to this definition, then anyone can claim to be a people person (no offense, Cambridge dictionary 😅). People person goes way beyond that definition.
It’s not enough to be friendly, you actually need to consider them your friend. According to the Gallup organization, people who have a friend at work are happier and are able to enjoy their work immensely. Why? Because in a friend you’ll find comfort and support. Humans are social creature. We need others to survive — or in this case for this project to succeed. So, assuming that we work on this project for 10 hours a week, then the work life would be more enjoyable if you have a good relationship with the members of your team.
How can we try to be a people person in work place?
A lot of people are saying that being a people person is something that you’re born with. Is that true? Well, not entirely. Some people do interact better with others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to change. As an introvert, I love to stay quiet. Making friends seems like a hard task for me and don’t even mention socializing with people — I already wanted to give up just by thinking about it. But that was before I tried to break out of my own shell. I really wasn’t great at befriending people (horrible, in fact), but as I keep trying each day, I became better at it.
Radiate positive vibes
Let’s say that this week’s workload whether it’s from your project or your real-life duties almost reaches the point of unbearable. But then you come back to your group and they greet you kindly. That will cheer you up a bit, right? I remember back when it was near the deadline of our project, a team member of mine posts a funny TikTok video in the group chat. It was a really short video, but it lifts up our mood even for just a short time to regain energy.
Who in this world doesn’t want support? I mean, just a slight of “Good work” can make someone’s day better. I mentioned that when you befriend your colleagues, it leaves you to less or no competition with them. In my case, there’s no competition among us that we’re completely supportive of each other. Like the time my friend got awarded as “Man of The Sprint”, we were all congratulating him and sent many stickers in the group chat. There’s no one who was like “Ah, it should’ve been me”, instead it was like “Cool! Who’s next?”
Before you could be an empath, you need to be understanding first. It’s not just the highs, it’s also the lows. As a team, you ought to be sensitive to your team mates well-being. And not just curious, but genuinely interested in them and their concerns. If one of them is going through a hard time in their real life, show them some empathy. The warmth you give will forever be remembered and they will most likely be empathetic towards you too. Basically, to have empathy is to see and treat your team mates as a human being.
You also need to understand that everyone’s capability is different. Some may have more experience in certain topics while others are not. In this case, you need to understand that some people may need more time to learn and may need your assistance to complete their tasks.
Communication is key to everything. It defines your ability to get along with others and get others to listen to your ideas. You also need to be clear on what you say. Time is limited and when you’re working in a group of people with a set deadline, there’s no time for misunderstanding. You also need update others on your progress or whether you have troubles or not. By keeping your team mates informed, your presence will be more real to them.
Sharing is Caring
Last but not least, share with others. Remember that you are now a team player and rowing the same boat as your team mates. If you have some knowledge that you think can help others with their work, don’t gate-keep them. If there’s anything you can do to help the boat arrive safely and swiftly towards the dream destination, do it. This also relates in helping others. If you have the skill that other member lacks, you can help them to complete their task. In that sense, you will show them that you care about them and to the team’s performance. You can also share anything that doesn’t have any relation to work. Even if people don’t relate to it, they will still enjoy getting to know more about you.
People Person and Work Environment
Seeing the qualities I mentioned above, you can already imagine how peaceful and productive the work environment could be if it’s filled with people person, right? A people person will see their work mates as friends and not just colleagues. They share a mutual respect and interest in each other. High productivity can be achieved because they have good communication while also a deep understanding of each other.
I cannot express how grateful I am for my team. Whenever we face an obstacle, we work together to overcome it with a positive mindset. If just one person says anything discouraging, it will affect the team’s spirit. That’s why we refrain from such behavior.
For some people, they prefer to be approached than to be approaching. For me, I like to check in on my friend. Once I asked her if she’s done with her tasks or not, and only at that moment she finally opens up that she’s been working on this error for days. After that, I tried to help her and when I can’t help her, we ask for help from other team member.
Other time when I felt the care of my team members was when I was sick for a week and haven’t made any progress. I couldn’t attend the meeting and they sent me “get well soon” messages in the group chat after the meeting ended.
Making friends and establishing relationship may be a lot of work for some people, but all those efforts will give benefit not only just you but also the people around you. Comfort goes both ways, and when you’re comfortable with your surroundings, a feeling of belonging and willing to move the team forward emerges. A people person will create a harmonious group that is able to work together. And as the team strives together, they will thrive together.
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