Entering a new team or a new job can be difficult for most. 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 in the first day itself. Following are few ways that can help you break the ice
It is important to be proactive if one wants to break the ice. It is not a good idea to hide behind your desk or monitor procrastinating the socialization process. Do not depend on your managers or new found colleagues to take the initiative. Something as small as going around the office/team/department and introducing yourself. Ensure you maintain an approachable body language and facial expression.
One may feel the pressure to establish their presence in the initial days of joining an organization or entering a new team. One might also feel the need to appear more interesting to get others attention, but it is crucial to take interest in your coworkers rather than trying to get them interested in you. Ask about their role, the nature of their job, how can you help them, and what kind of assistance you feel they can provide you. Engage your colleagues with a lot of open-ended questions so as to encourage an elaborate conversation.
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.
Make it 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 surrounding uncomfortable