Getting the conversation started with any new person can be a monumental task especially if you’re inherently socially awkward entering a new team or a new job can be difficult for most new employees. It can get difficult to break through to your new colleagues and peers. When you look around, you see already established friendships, groups, and even lunch groups. The undeniable pressure of not belonging can even hinder your productivity. In order to break the ice with your colleagues, you must be willing to start the process on the first day itself. social interaction has the tendency to become easier incrementally the more you engage. Social interaction can open big doors for you, your eagerness to engage with others can mean the difference between success and failure when climbing the corporate ladder.
Individuals who are well-connected and interact more freely have fewer steps in their ladders in comparison to their peers. This is the reason networking is incredibly important in the corporate sphere.
Tips to break the ice with the team as the new hire
Let’s see how you can do it given the fact that breaking the Ice as a new employee is Step 1 in creating any new relationship.
Showing enthusiasm and genuine interest:
It is important, to be honest when interacting with people when we try to show genuine interest and enthusiasm is what the other person is talking about, it is reciprocated and this is what takes any conversation forward. It is imperative that we ‘listen’ and not just hear what is being said whilst paying attention and maintaining adequate eye contact with new employees.
Compliment Liberally to break the ice:
It should come as no surprise that people like compliments, compliments can be great conversation starters, so compliment liberally. Comment on Clothing, Jewellery (Watches for men), and the shoes/heels people wear. Anything that positively stands out to you.
Eg: “I love your hair! What’s your hair care regimen like?”, “Nice shoes! Which brand are they?”, “I really like your earrings.”, “I love watches. Can I see your watch?”
Small talk is essential. Make personal inquiries, ask about their day, where they are from, how long they have been in this particular city/company and how they came to be where they are. How their journey has been.
Eg:” Been in Pune long?”, “How long have you been working here?”, “The weather is getting warm, huh? The sun is unforgiving.”
Invest Time in The Common Areas
Common areas could be a range of places, water coolers, coffee machines, employee lounges, and even the table tennis area. These are venues that encourage conversations and promote interpersonal relationships. Spending as little as 5-10 mins gives you access to your colleagues in a more informal setting.
Never eat alone to break the ice with the team
Make it a point to have lunch with your colleagues, if your department, team or organization doesn’t have such a culture, take the initiative to establish it. Lunch breaks are not just for nutrition but also act as a break from the average employee’s hectic schedule. The exchange of food and conversations at the table helps you break the ice.
In the process of breaking through in a new setting, it is important that you do not force interactions. Ensure that the process occurs organically and does not make people in your surroundings uncomfortable. walking the thin line between being overbearing and being communicative one should ensure that they are not intrusive in others’ personal space and keep the decorum of a good professional.