Sometimes you inadvertently say things that scare your colleagues into thinking something’s much worse than it is.
It’s not intentional: It’s just that you’re busy and you don’t always have the time to think through how you’re coming off.
However, just like there are phrases that cause a visceral negative reaction, there are also some that’ll instantly make your co-workers smile—and improve your workplace relationships. Not only that, they’re so common that incorporating them into your communication at work will feel like second nature.
Seriously, give one of the below options a test run this week—you just might make someone’s day.
1. “How Can I Help?”
It’s natural to get caught up in your own work—after all, that’s your job. But if you always look too busy to connect with your co-workers, you might seem a little self-involved.
An easy fix is to look up from your desk and simply ask what a co-worker’s working on—and if there’s any way for you to pitch in and help. This simple two-part question reinforces the idea that you’re a team player willing to take time out of your schedule to support someone else. Because you’re actively demonstrating that you’re not too busy to be bothered, you’ll be seen as more friendly, more approachable, and yes, more likable.