Cultivating relationships in the workplace is an important aspect of succeeding as a professional. Obviously, most of your workplace relationships will only stay at the professional level and you won’t develop outside friendships with everyone. However, if you want to succeed at your job, it is vital that you understand the depth of possibilities that are open to you if you can learn how to cultivate these relationships. This interpersonal development among colleagues and management is sometimes difficult for shy people to conquer. Many times their shyness becomes an obstacle toward networking with others and developing relationships. This article will address how to overcome shyness and effectively develop professional relationships that have a symbiotic purpose in the workplace.
1. Be Realistic in Your Approach
Stepping outside your comfort zone can seem like an enormous task that you will never be able to conquer. That is why you need to be realistic in your approach and realize that the process can take time and you will need to make adjustments to your daily habits so that you begin to cultivate the professional relationships that need to be developed. Accept the fact that you will succeed when you make a commitment to put one hundred percent effort into the relationship cultivation process.
2. Embrace Who You Are
As a shy individual myself, I understand that there are a variety of obstacles to overcome when building relationships. However, the first step should begin by fully embracing who you are as an individual. Accept that you are shy and that there is nothing wrong with you. Of course, we can all improve in areas that we view as weaknesses. Just remember that you are a unique individual who has many skills and abilities to bring to the workplace. It is possible for shy people to come out of their shells and shine in their professional environment.
3. Use Your Shyness For Good
Take the time to think about how you can specifically use your shyness to your advantage in the workplace. This brainstorm process is only possible when you have fully embraced who you are. You do not need to apologize or make concessions for being shy. Many times shy people remain in the background and are very observant individuals. They don’t usually charge right in to a situation in the office or networking event and make their presence known. This factor can be used to your advantage. Use the time that you are observing others, to hone your focus and ascertain which relationships would be the most advantages to develop. Accept your reserved personality as a means to an end. Instead of being rash, you will be able to slowly -and more completely- develop relationships in the workplace.
4. Focus on Your Strengths
Many times people tend to develop shyness due to the environment that they grew up in and learned to cultivate this habit. It’s a fact of nature that humans need other humans to interact with in order to feel fulfilled, learn from and grow with. Shy people need to develop relationships as much as outgoing individuals do. Realize that you have a great many strengths at your disposal to begin to develop relationships at work. Take a leap of faith and break free from the cage of insecurity that has been holding you back. Focus on your skills of observation, amateur behavior analysis and your drive to succeed.
5. Implement an Action Plan
One of the best ways to overcome your shyness at work is to find a wing man or partner in crime who can work with you to help you be accountable and motivated to continue to develop relationships with others. There must be someone in your office that you have already connected with. Begin to further that connection and then share that you want to try to develop professional relationships with others. The best scenario would be that this partner is someone who is more outgoing than you and who can bring you along into group settings in the workplace, to interact with others. Focus on building your courage daily as you decide to say hello to one new person each day. Make an effort to push yourself to actually speak in person with your manager or boss rather than simply emailing them with questions. The more you physically communicate with others, the better able you will be to improve in overcoming your shyness.
See Also: A Guide to Networking for Shy People
Are you a shy person? What have you done to overcome your shyness and develop professional relationships in the workplace?