Shirley's Articles / Communication Skills and Building Relationships

How To Win People Over

Most of us are around people in our workplace five days a week for eight hours a day. That’s a long time. In that case, do you really think it is enough to simply tolerate all the people you work with?

Surely you deserve better than to just endure those who surround you? Your daily workplace relationships can be as inspiring and happy as you make them, because the truth is you cannot change other people, but you can change yourself, especially your attitude.

Being likable in the office can lead to promotions, advancements and more enjoyable tasks. It can also lead to great friends and fabulous relationships. But before all these benefits comes a much simpler and deeper one. When you start making great connections with the people around you, the whole dynamic at work will start to change.

Of course, some people are unfortunate enough to work in toxic environments. If this is the case, you have two options: you can either join them and be miserable, or lead the way to a happier workplace. The truth is, it’s not that hard. Most people usually want to like each other and get on. And like so many things in our lives, the key is communication.

Here are some simple ways you can help to make your workplace a happier workplace as well as make friends and win people over:

  1. Show appreciation.
    Compliment people, be polite, and smile. Every single one of us likes to hear that they are doing a good job or that they look nice. Showing appreciation can only do good.
  2. Be mentally there and aware.
    We all love to hear our name, so use a person’s name when you are talking to them. This shows you recognise them as an important individual in your life. And while you’re talking with someone, stay focused. It is so upsetting talking to someone who is mentally not paying attention.
  3. Create commonality.
    Find out your similar interests. Sharing what you are passionate about will create a real and lasting bond.
  4. Be genuine.
    People can see right through a facade. When you are caught out, it will be impossible to recover. Show and share genuine feelings and be genuinely interested in others.
  5. Be a giver.
    Try having a conversation that is important to one of your colleagues, and make it about them. Offer advice only if it is asked for, and ask questions when you need more information,. But do not simply wait for your turn to talk. Make others feel important and secure. Give without any hope to gain. Without even asking for it, you will find what goes around comes around.

When my mum was very ill a couple of weeks before she died, a regular visitor dropped by. During the visit, her friend said, “Eileen, how come you can still keep smiling and jolly, even though you’re in so much pain and suffering?” My mum smiled and replied, “Well, no-one would want to come and see me if I was miserable.”

Whenever I’m feeling down, I think of my mum and I put a smile on my dial. Try it. You will draw more people to you with a smile than a frown. It works every time, and not only will you feel the benefit; everyone else around you will too!

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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