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Getting to know your coworkers is an important part of creating strong work relationships. By understanding a little bit about your coworkers' backgrounds and personalities, you can learn how to work together and collaborate more efficiently. Asking questions is a great way to break the ice and show your colleagues that you are genuinely interested in their lives. Here we share a list of 'get to know you' questions for work.
‘Get to know you’ questions for work are a great tool for learning more about your coworkers. By asking lighthearted questions, you can learn more about your team members’ lives, interests, and backgrounds. Getting to know other people on a deeper level is also helpful for teamwork. When you understand how others operate, you can be more collaborative.
Learn more: Important Character Traits for the Workplace
Follow these steps when asking ‘get to know you’ questions for work:
Always be respectful of others when asking questions. If you find that a coworker would rather not answer your question, let it be. They may feel uncomfortable with that particular subject. When asking questions, don’t get too personal. Things like religion, money, and health concerns are considered taboo for many. Remember, some people might be more private than yourself, and you should always respect that.
The types of questions you ask coworkers may be quite different than the questions you ask your friends. Since you are in a work setting, you need to ensure the conversations you are having are appropriate. Avoid asking anything that could be considered offensive or outlandish. You want to make sure everyone is comfortable whenever you ask them a question.
Learn more: How to Find the Perfect Company
Before asking deeper questions, begin with more lighthearted ones. This way you can ease into getting to know your coworkers. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t want a complete stranger or acquaintance asking about your deepest darkest secrets. Start with surface-level topics, such as hobbies, travel, or previous work experiences. As your conversation continues, you can begin to ask more in-depth follow-up questions.
Asking such questions isn’t appropriate in the middle of a meeting or when someone is busy with work. Save the banter for more relaxed settings, like lunch, an after-work happy hour, or before a meeting begins. For instance, some managers like to start meetings by asking a fun question to help everyone loosen up a bit. When saving such questions for social situations, you can have more time to share and discuss.
When you ask a question, make an effort to remember the other person’s answer. This shows them that you are an active listener and can help you avoid asking the question again. When you remember information about people’s lives, it shows that you care about what they have to say. It’s also a good way to build your relationship since you can ask additional questions about a piece of information you remember.
Let’s look at some useful ‘get to know you questions’ by category:
These are questions you could ask during a business meeting or networking event. They are primarily focused on professional topics and previous work experience. You can learn more about your colleague’s working style and career goals with these questions:
You can think of these as icebreaker questions. They are helpful when you’re just getting to know someone. They give others the chance to share more about their interests, life experiences, and hobbies. These questions are useful when making small talk or as you’re just getting to know a coworker:
Once you start to establish more personal connections with your coworkers, you can begin to ask these questions to learn even more about them. Discussing these topics can help you both feel more comfortable working together: