Be congenial, loose the shell

    I need to set the record straight, this is not a dating advice sight. “But wait Thom,” you interject. “What were the first two posts about, if not dating?” This is about how to be congenial and approachable. To be honest, I left the dating scene 34 years ago, when I met my wife. 

    “So what is this all about then, if not finding the right girl at a club?”

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Well I am glad you asked: It is about congeniality in your everday life – When I was in the corporate world, I went out of my way to be congenial. I made it a point to say good morning to everyone, I introduced myself to all the new people and I created relationships with the majority of the staff.

    I did this, because the place I was working at had a cold vibe to it. It was a payroll company, and most of the people seemed – for the lack of a better explanation – dull and uninspired.

    When I went to work there, only one person came to greet me, she was my manager, and it was part of her job. So I made it a point to let everyone know I was there.

    My next mission was to make all the new hires feel welcome, and this created some nice friendships. 

    One day, one of my friends from sales came over and introduced me to his new client. After the sales rep left, a woman that worked with me asked, “Who was that?”

    Even though that sales rep had been there for over six months, she didn’t know who he was. Why, because the woman I worked with was not approachable – she was stuck inside of her shell, she was not congenial and worse yet, she seldom smiled.

Photo by Eva Elijas on

    Another time, she wanted to know who a person was, and she pointed across the room. After I told her, she said – with a fair amount of snark, “Well you know everyone.”

    Why did I know everyone, because I made it a point to be congenial. I was approachable, I looked nice and I smiled. I made it a point to get to know people and make them feel like they were important.

    Good news – the woman I worked with broke out of her shell and became more friendly. Shortly after that, she left the company for a better job. You see when you get rid of your shell, better opportunities present themselves. 

Now you could argue that I was a disruptive influence, these people were just trying to do their job, and I came around and disturbed them. Well you can be correct in that assertion, but is it better to work in a cold and unfriendly environment or to be in a place that feels welcome and friendly. 

    Don’t be afraid to come out of your shell, look up from your computer screen, be friendly and offer assistance gratefully and don’t feel like anyone is an interruption. Extend your hand in a friendly greeting. Above all else – SMILE!

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