A YouTube follower recently emailed us after making a huge mistake at her new job. She asked a coworker if she was pregnant - and she wasn't.  In addition to knowing the right way to apologize in this situation, rebounding from a communication faux pas with a coworker is never easy. Especially, if you're new to the organization. Studies show making a bad first impression can be almost impossible to come back from.

Shared Interests = Secret to Fixing A Bad First Impression

Research shows a key ingredient to building good relationships is finding common interests. This becomes even more important when you've gotten off on the wrong foot with someone i.e. your coworker. Why? A person who doesn't like you finds it easier to identify more reasons not to like you. You need to go on the offensive and try to help a hater see you're more alike than they thought. Being humans, our personal identities are tightly tied to our likes and dislikes. Thus, it's hard to dislike someone who sincerely shares the same passions and interests as we do.

P.S. - Consistency Is Key (Because Haters Can Spot A Phoney)

Finding a shared interest is only the first step. You'll need to be patient and consistent in connecting with a hater. Haters aren't stupid. They know when someone is proactively trying to befriend them. They'll continue to be distant or smug as a test to see if you really are willing to invest the time and energy into making them see you in a different light. Giving up after one conversation is a sign you actually don't care that much about fixing a bad first impression - which only reconfirms to the hater their first impression was correct! If you do truly want to turn things around, get ready to make a consistent effort. Respect and trust aren't earned overnight. Relationship recovery is a slow road for sure!

Published on: Mar 12, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.