With the amount of time that the average person spends in the office amongst their coworkers, it can be all too easy to allow the levels of professionalism drop to an unacceptable degree. While there is certainly nothing wrong with building and maintain a working friendship with the people that you work with, there are certainly limits that you should be aware of.
Keep It Clean & Professional
Unless your work environment is one that freely fosters the use of inappropriate language, then it is best to keep the words you use strictly to words that you could be comfortable saying in front of your grandmother! You definitely don’t want to be labeled as the dirty-mouthed person on the team, so it is always best to keep the cursing either to an appropriate minimum, or cut it out completely. The professional language that you use in the workplace will greatly reflect on the impressions that your coworkers and managers form about you.
Too Much Information!
It is certainly understandable to form a close friendship with some of people that you spend the better part of your waking hours with; however, you should ensure that the information you share with your professional friends is not something that could be used against you at a later point. You should stick to the idea of “TMI can really be TMI sometimes.” That may mean keeping the tales of your weekend exploits to a professional level and avoiding topics that can relate to personal hygiene or even be of an inappropriate sexual nature. It is understandable to have the desire to share great portions of your personal life with your work friends; however, you should always be acutely aware of the fact that it is in fact a work environment.
There is little doubt that you will, at some point during your career, run into a situation with a coworker that requires a level of conflict resolution. It is important to understand and to realize that your reactions to the disagreements could reflect on your abilities to lead and potentially be promoted within the company; whether you handle the conflict with tact, professionalism and come to a suitable resolution, or you completely lose it and melt down – you need to understand the potential implications of your behavior. If it feels to you that you are unlikely to find a solution to the situation then you should give serious consideration to asking an HR representative or a supervising manager to step in and provide assistance.
Carefully cultivating working relationships with the people you spend time with at work is a great method of ensuring your day not only goes smoothly, but that you are able to interact with your coworkers on a more interpersonal level that will allow you to learn the best methods of successfully working with them. Just remember to keep things professional!