Asking Questions

I think everyone can agree that building relationships with your colleagues is critically important to your success at work. Without strong relationships, you will not be able to get your work done as effectively and you will not be able to enjoy your workday. Strong relationships at work are hugely important for your health and effectiveness each day. If you do not enjoy who you are working with you will not enjoy working.

Building these relationships is challenging, especially as a new employee in the workplace. Everything is foreign. Your new colleagues have been there longer than you and have already developed these relationships. It is like being the “new kid” in school. You can feel alone and on an island at times.

Getting over this feeling of being alone is essential and can only be done by you. You cannot wait around for someone else to step in and make you feel comfortable. While it is on the responsibility of others to welcome you, you need to work to become comfortable. You need to be proactive in this effort to become comfortable in order to form relationships with your colleagues.

The best way to build these relationships is to ask questions to your colleagues. Ask questions about the company, their projects, where they like to eat lunch, their last vacation, what they like to do for fun – ask them quite literally anything. The key with this strategy is to get them talking about themselves and share information with you. By asking questions you show interest in them as individuals. It shows you want to create a connection with them and that you want to learn from them.

Even when you have been at the company for some time and already know your coworkers, don’t stop asking them questions. These questions will help you continue to build your connections to keep them strong. You never know when a connection may come in handy for you, so take the simple act of asking questions to keep those connections healthy.   

Though Starters:

  • What questions can you ask your colleagues to get to know them better?
  • Who is one colleague you do not know well that you should ask them a question to get to know them?