NEW YORK (MainStreet) — You may think being the black sheep at work has little to do with your own career goals, but experts say those interested in moving up the corporate ladder should care about whether their co-workers genuinely like them.
“It doesn’t matter how you good you are in the technical aspects of your work,” says Bob Wall, author of Working Relationships, Using Emotional Intelligence to Enhance Your Effectiveness With Others. “If you can’t get along with people, you’re not going be successful.”
Wall, who studied behavior in the workplace extensively for his book, says that what tends to differentiate a star performer from an average one is his or her ability to develop positive relationships with others that can be leveraged as means to get things done.
“When people like you, they look for ways to say yes to you,” agrees Nicholas Boothman, author of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less. “When they don’t like you, they look for reasons to say no.”
It also can potentially minimize your chances of getting a pink slip. Wall says a majority of terminations these days have little to do with insufficient technical capabilities and are more likely to result from inappropriate behavior, bad attitudes and problems with relationships at work.
Of course, this isn’t actually a directive to mix business with pleasure.
“You don’t have to spend time with your co-workers after work or go out to dinner with them,” Wall says, but it is in your best interest to be genuinely liked and respected by the members of your team.
As such, MainStreet talked to career and relationship experts about how to gauge your office connections and what you should do if you’re getting the vibe some of your co-workers just aren’t that into you.
How to Tell You’re Unpopular
The first step to improving someone’s overall impression of you is to make sure it is, in fact, negative.
“Sometimes people think that other people don’t like them and they’re wrong,” Boothman says. He explains that a person’s perceived disdain may have more to do with their bad day than your bad behavior.